My Hero Has Dirty Fingernails

Vern and I spent 40 beautiful minutes together. And in that time, a physical weight dissipated.

I Hate Tires

You already know how tires are the bane of my existence.

So yesterday, when it was time to put air the tires, again, I said a prayer that someone would help me. And they did!

I’m Getting Smarter

Now I go to truck stops to fill up with air. It’s terrifying to navigate around the trucks that intimidate me, and I get self-conscious because [it feels like] the drivers stop and stare.

But the trailer actually has a spot that physics and geometry deem acceptable, and filling up with air is much easier.

If Only My Gear Were Smarter

I thought I bought a good pressure gauge. It cost more than a dollar.

But it turns out the reason I had trouble getting it to take a reading and not let out air is because it belongs in the trash. And the reason I was (dangerously) overfilling my tires was because the gauge was uncalibrated. Awesome.

tire guage

My Hero Has Dirty Fingernails

Vern walked up behind me (not in a creepy way) while I squatted in the awkward position required for filling your tires. My knees are dainty lady knees and aren’t calloused enough to handle “taking a knee” for balance.

He asked if he could help. Umm, yes! I asked if he could show me what I’m doing wrong with the gauge. He replied that I’m using it. He threw it away, showed me which one to buy, and we went from there.

He then undid all that I had done – filling the tires to seriously dangerous levels. Teaching me how to know when a tire is hot or cold. Replaced the factory-issued plastic caps with metal ones (which he gave me for free). Advising how frequently to check levels based on my travels (every 3-4 days).

I said that I’d seen truck drivers kick their tires to see if they needed air; could Vern teach me what they were doing? He said, “Nothing. They don’t know what they’re doing, so ignore them.” Alrighty then.

A Physical Peace of Mind

My tires have been a major fear for the whole trip. I don’t understand them and know that I need them. This is not a good combination. It’s not like TV where I don’t understand how it arrives across the airwaves, because in reality, I don’t NEED it.

So, sigh. And again, sigh.


How has your mechanic, or road-side tech, saved the day?

8 Responses

In 1963, my father decided we should drive to Mexico in our 1957 Chevy to live for a year. Not surprisingly, we broke down—at the top of a mountain–in Mexico—-in the middle of Nowhere. We were “rescued” by some truck drivers. Here’s the back story:
Just One Boomer (Suzanne) recently posted..On the Road in Spain with Our #2 BoomletMy Profile

great story and great post!

Just One Boomer’s last sentence in her post was inspiring. “The life lessons were an abiding faith that I can find my way anywhere, that anywhere is worth the trip and that the trip is a “there” unto itself.” You embody that as well, Paula. I’m so provincial that I know I can’t find my way anywhere without people who speak my language. I admire people who dive in and learn to swim as they go. Bravo!

Karen – I also have trouble with people who don’t speak my language. So I keep asking questions until they do!!
“can you translate that into girl?”
“i don;t understand; could you use more words?”
“how much of this do i really need to know and how much is technical stuff that i’ll never need?”
“if you were telling your daughter what to do, how would you say it in one sentence?”


Yeah – I have the right gayge.


You make even the bad parts of the trip fun to read. You always find the best people because you believe in the goodness of people. (Did Anne Frank say that?) Maybe one day I will try what you are doing . Do you think I am too old? (I am your mother’s friend.)

Mimi R (vs my friend Mimi A who i call Meemalah) – you absolutely can do this! If **I** can do it, then you can. And i don;t know you! It’s fun, empowering, humbling, amazing!

Karen- Thank you for taking the time to read to the end of my way long Boomeresque blog post about my parents taking us to Mexico in 1963 when I was nine. Actually, thank you for your comment even if you just read the last sentence 😉

I’m not sure of the blog etiquette on this (Paula, feel free to delete), but I have another blog post that might resonate for you and your desire to perhaps acquire some travel moxie. Coincidentally, in this post, I used exactly the same swimming metaphor that you did in your above comment. (Actually, maybe our metaphor congruence is not a coincidence. Sinking or swimming does come to mind when faced with certain trying travel experiences.)
Just One Boomer (Suzanne) recently posted..Timeshares: The Good, The Bad and The UglyMy Profile

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