The house is clean, the laundry is done, the budget has been addressed, and the passionate wife and I have declared an end to hostile operations. With the vacation came many rewards. However, a preventable problem helped teach the wife a valuable lesson about working together, instead of widening our divide.
Wednesday the entire family, Robert (1 year old), Brandon (oldest son), Risa (wife), and I, Wild Bill headed to the super Wal-Mart for some last minute Thanksgiving preparations. We were about half way there, in the middle of nowhere, when the flap flap flap sound of an impending car problem brought our family field trip to a halt. We had a flat tire, no jack, and no spare. To make matters worse with our financial problems, my cell phone bill had not been paid and we did not have a phone to call for help. We were at least a mile and a half from the nearest pay phone. Someone had to walk to the pay phone and someone had to stay with our youngest son Robert at the car. Brandon and I obviously had a mile an a half hike ahead of us.
Brandon and I walked along the side of the road through mud, tall grass, and 34-degree weather. We talked about how cold we were, Brandon asked the inevitable question, "Are we almost there?", as cars whizzed by at 55mph. We topped the final hill; luckily, it was a downhill walk from there. I called my parents, gave them directions, and we walked inside the convenience store for some peppered beef jerky and to get in out of the cold. After we finished off the bag of jerky, we headed back to the parking lot to keep a look out for my parents. Brandon kicked almost every rock in the parking lot and finally our saviors arrived. Brandon and I pilled into the cab of my father's truck and headed back to the scene of my wounded car.
We pulled up and Risa smiled, one of the few smiles I have seen from her in the last few years. She was more than happy to see we had survived our long cold walk and that we had returned with reinforcements. I removed the shredded tire and gave it a spiteful tossed into the bed of my father's truck. My mother wanted to spend time with her grandsons, so I unbuckled Robert and buckled him into my father's truck next to my mother. Brandon jumped into the truck and they left to get new rubber for the rim. This left Risa and I manning the fort protecting the car from god knows what.
Risa and I talked about what lessons she had just learned. She realized we needed to budget better to guarantee that bills were paid on time (cell phone bill.) She agreed with me that if we had an emergency fund and would have prepared for this emergency by having a spare tire that I could have changed the tire in about ten minutes instead of the three hours that it had taken to walk to the phone, call for help, and the wait for the new tire to return. It had taken a major problem to teach her the value in working together as partners instead of against each other as enemies. We kissed each other and vowed to work together from now on. As we laughed and joked over the next hour, I felt closer to my wife than I had in a long time.
My best friend Lummpy pulled up after hearing through the grape vine that we were stranded somewhere in Oklahoma City. It had only taken Lummpy one hour to track us down, but by the time he got there, all that was left was the wait for the new tire. Lummpy climbed into the back seat and we all talked for the next thirty minutes. The sun had set when my parents arrived with the tire. It took about five minutes to put the tire back onto the car. I thanked my Dad for his help and he told me "Merry Christmas," has he drove away.
I had many things to be thankful for; the flat tire had brought our family closer together, my friends cared about me, and my wife seemed finally ready to let her guard down and trust that I wanted to help her instead of control her. We finished our last minute shopping, prepared a great Thanksgiving feast, and snuggled up on the couch for some adult time. Risa and I have started to pick up the pieces of our fractured marriage and the pieces are fitting together nicely (if you know what I mean.)
Now it is time for the comeback. I have had my little vacation, now it is time to bring the Passion back to the website. I want to personally thank Josh McPeak
, The Smoke Eater
, Jim Pfaff
, and My Brother Mike
for their kind words and support. While I was gone, Passionate America reached 50,000 visitors. Let's make the next 50,000 better than ever. I will see everyone Monday morning. I am back!!!