I was driving home from church on Sunday, minding my own business and only going ten miles over the speed limit. I was trucking along at 75 miles per hour, getting ahead of all the traffic that was around me when I got on the 202 freeway. I usually drive with one hand on the wheel. All of a sudden, I felt the steering wheel start to shake a little bit. Weird.....so I put both hands on the wheel and just then, the left rear tire exploded! Oddly enough, there were no cars around me. I was able to slow down and pull off to the right shoulder without risking anyone hitting me. I was shaking but all right. I climbed out of the passenger door and came around the car to assess the damage. What was left of the tire was shredded, and it had taken out my foot rail and parts of the rear bumper, too, just to prove a point. I didn't have my cell phone on me. After standing by my car for a few minutes, a Honda Civic pulled up in front of me then backed up. At first I thought a bumper sticker on his car said, "Separation of Church and State." Luckily, I had just read it wrong, and I knew this when I saw an anti-Obama sticker next to it. He got out and was wearing an Army uniform...National Guardsman on his way to weekend duty. He had just finished taking his wife to church and lunch and was on his way back to command the soldiers. He pulled out my spare and continued in polite conversation the entire time he changed the tire for me! Just as he was finishing, a highway patrolman pulled up behind me. Because I was just in front of the airport exit, I would have to stay on the freeway for another few miles before taking an exit that would get me to a side road to take home. So he followed behind me to protect me, since the speed limit on the spare tire was only 55 MPH. I got off on 52nd Street/Van Buren and then took McDowell all the way home. John was there waiting for me, starting to worry but wondering if I had just gotten held up at church. His arms wrapped around me tight made everything better. What a good man.
Yesterday, John drove with me to take my car to Discount Tire, per Jeff's recommendation. I was able to get decent tires for a good price, and they are going to send my tire to the manufacturer to see if there was a defect. If something wrong is found, they will pay for my new tires and the damage to the car as well. I have tried so hard to keep that car looking nice, but with remote-controlled airplanes smacking the roof and tires blowing out like they were going out of style, that is proving harder to do! It is doing great, considering it has 214,778 miles on it and is a 2002 Ford Taurus! I am blessed to have such a great car. Thanks, Dad!
So, the moral of the story: all is well. I just had the tires checked three weeks ago during my oil change. Not quite sure what caused this explosion, but I didn't want to risk another by not replacing all the tires. That is what my savings account is for, right?! Thanks to everyone who shared in on the soap opera drama. It could have been a lot worse in many ways, but everything turned out ok! I am so blessed!