My husband had left 50 cents sitting on the table this morning. I was completely planning a no spend day today but I grabbed the 50 cents and stuck it in my pocket anyhow. As far as I'm concerned loose change is free game and since it's already been subtracted from the budget as my husband's spending cash it's kind of like free money. With 50 cents in my pocket and determination to not spend money today I left for work this morning.
I do not own a cell phone and I love that I do not own a cell phone. I pride myself on having never sent a text message and having never used an app. These two little oddities make me a freak in today's culture but I'll embrace them for as long as I can. I could write a very long post about why I like not having a cell but I'll refrain and just state that life is really more peaceful without one. When people hear that hubby and I are sans-cell you can see their blood pressure rise a bit. It's as if the sky will suddenly fall right then and there because we're left in such a susceptible state. "What will you do in an emergency?" I can't tell you how many times I've heard this asked. My answer is always, "I'll do whatever would have been done before cell phones existed."
While driving to work this morning I heard an incredibly loud noise, spent a few seconds wondering if a jet had just landed a few feet from my vehicle, and quickly determined that the sound was in fact coming from my van. I pulled to the side of the very busy highway I was on and opened my door to see that a back tire had blown out. I went to the trunk and dug out the jack trying to be a big girl and take care of this "little" issue myself before I considered how incredibly dangerous changing a tire on the side of a busy highway would be coupled with the good chance of getting frost bite in my fingers while I tried. Plus my van is one of those that houses the spare on its underside and I've heard that often times its practically impossible for even mechanics to remove those suckers. It took all of three minutes for me to decide that I needed to walk to a phone (just like people always did before cell phones were invented).
I'll take this opportunity to say that my mother is thee most faith filled person I've ever known, almost to a fault. When I was growing up she refused to ever lock our house or cars when we were absent because she said, "the Lord will protect them." But there was always a clause, "and if anyone robs us then they need what was taken more than we do." If it's even possible I believe I've inherited some of my mother's faith in God. When it comes to the cell phone issue I am steadfast in proclaiming that, "the Lord will protect me." But "if something out of the ordinary happens I know He'll also orchestrate events in my favor." How strange that sounds.
I walked about one whole minute when someone stopped to ask if that was my van back there and did I need it towed out of the snow bank. I said, yes and no. "I've a flat tire." I was then offered a ride somewhere and even though I'd normally decline ever getting in a car with a stranger I also didn't want to walk about 2 miles in the 10 degree weather. After being dropped off at the store that I knew had a payphone I felt almost happy to be without a phone. There's something to be said about a stranger taking time out of their day to help out someone in need. I felt really very blessed. (I insist that everyone refrain from "what ifs." You could drown when you go swimming. You could have a heart attack while walking down the sidewalk. You could slip and fall at any time and break your neck... no need for what ifs here)
I'm horrible with phone numbers and I couldn't remember any but I looked up my mom's place of employment and hoped she would answer the phone. I put that 50 cents in the payphone and she picked up on the other end. This is 3 small miracles in a row. First: grabbing the 50 cents this morning. Second: a kind stranger helping me out. Third: my mom actually being at work and answering the phone. She called my car insurance company and asked them if I have road side assistance. They said yes and gave her a tow truck referral. She then called the tow truck driver and he said he'd pick me up from the store on the way to my stranded van. He was supposed to change the tire for me but he said there was very little chance of him getting the spare out from under the van so he suggested that I get a tow to a tire place. Okay. He billed my insurance company directly so there wasn't a penny out of my pocket for the tow. (because I have road side on my policy I don't have to pay anything for the tow. it's just part of the policy)
The tire guy looked up my tire and said they didn't have any that size in stock. I asked if he could please just put the spare on. He said, "IF we can get it out from under the van then yes we'll put it on for you." Come on, who's bright idea was it to stick a spare tire underneath a vehicle? They said it was (yet another) small miracle that they could get it unlodged but that the spare was shot; that it had been under there for 15 years and though it clearly hadn't ever been used it was ruined by weather. He then told me that he would see if they had a scrap tire he could put on for me.
He came back later and said the van was ready and that I was all set. I followed him to the counter to pay and he said, "no really. you're all set." WHAT?!?!?! A free tire? I have a sneaking suspicion that it's not legal for a tire place to put an old tire on someone's car. But he didn't even charge me for labor (and if my suspicions are correct then he also broke the law on my behalf). I'm going to cheat a small bit and not count the 50 cent phone call and say that this was possibly the strangest NO SPEND day ever!
I went to work after a morning of tire trauma and honestly all day I felt this overwhelming sense of gratitude and joy. There was a little bounce in my step as I beamed from ear to ear all day. I've said for YEARS that if the car were to ever break down I'm certain the Lord would take care of the situation. If that didn't happen today I don't know what did. I'm considerably more joyful at the moment after having my tire blow out this morning than I would regularly be on any normal day. I also find that while one works adamantly to not spend and to save money it's much easier to find shear delight out of things like I experienced today. I got a FREE tire! Granted it's used and worn and I'm going to have to replace it but in the meantime WOW!!!
I must say a prayer of "thanks to God for taking care of me today," and offer a hearty thank-you to each kind soul who crossed my path today and chose to be helpful.
Average daily spending this year: $15.05
Shoot, I forgot to add that the tow truck driver told my mom that I would have to wait an hour before he could get there but he showed up after only 15 minutes. He said that he actually re-routed and came to help me out before the job he was currently heading to because he knew I was standing in the parking lot waiting for him. Honestly every single person I encountered today went out of their way to help me out. It was an incredible day... who would have thought that the day my tire explodes would be one of the best days I've had in ages?