Last weekend we visited my in-laws. Saturday morning we had a birthday party to attend, but on the way I wanted to make a stop and see a dear friend. Tim had to go to work and wouldn’t be joining us at the party. When I pulled out of his parents’ driveway the low tire pressure light came on. I turned around and got Tim outside to look at it.
Now Tim and I have been married for going on twelve years, and one thing I know is that we definitely approach these types of situations differently. I overreact and Tim under reacts! When I see any lights come on on my dashboard, it takes me less than three seconds to imagine myself stranded on the side of the road never to be heard of again. (see… overreaction.) Tim, on the other hand, sees a light come on the dashboard, does a mental calculation about the chance of getting to his destination, and quickly ignores (at least in my opinion) said light. (under reaction.)
I should note that if Tim was telling this story, he would say I overreact and he reacts right on target, but he’s not here so you get my version. 🙂
But I digress. So, I dragged Tim out to the van and he checked everything, drove it for about 20 seconds and told me it was fine. Which it probably was, but he hadn’t been in my head where I was already stranded on the side of the road with three kids in the back.
Somewhat annoyed I got on the road determined to put air in the tires before going much further. The first gas station I went to didn’t have a machine, but thankfully the second one did. (and to make it even better, it took credit cards!) So I started filling up the tires. (btw- they were all low, but not too bad, so Tim’s under reaction was probably on point.)
As I was filling up the tires, an older woman drove up in an SUV. She got out and asked me if I knew how to run the machine. I told her I had figured it out and she asked me if I could help her too. I said sure and she waited for me to finish with the van. I pulled it away and she parked by the machine. She handed me her credit card and I got to work.
As I was bending on the ground filling the tires we started to talk. We got on the topic that I homeschool my kids and she mentioned that she had been a teacher for about 30 years. She listed the schools she had worked at and they were all familiar to me. I told her I even attended one of those schools for my kindergarten through second grade.
It was then that she told me what her name was and my jaw dropped. I was putting air in the tires of my second grade teacher!!! I hadn’t seen her since 1988! When I told her my maiden name she reached out and hugged me and we both got watery-eyed as we began to fill each other in on our lives since we last met. She remembered me and that I had a sister. I introduced her to my kids. We laughed and cried and smiled. It was an amazing experience. We made sure to exchange information and we took a few pictures together to document our reunion. We have since texted back and forth.
It really was a special experience and I laughed later at how annoyed I had been that Tim hadn’t come to my rescue over the tires. If he had, my teacher and I would likely have never crossed paths again.
I spent the rest of my day telling everyone I ran into about my unexpected encounter and she was doing the same thing. 🙂