Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Flat Happy

I finished Gretchen Rubin's wonderful Happiness Project book last night, and I intend soon to describe it here in some detail, but in the meantime, may I suggest you get your own, as soon as possible? As I was reading last night I thought, if somebody told me they only had $15, and they'd have to choose between Gretchen's book and dinner, I'd say skip dinner. (Of course, I myself was eating dinner as I thought this, but still, this is a wonderful book.)

But more on that later. What I want to say is, yesterday morning I headed off to school on my bike, every light turning green on my way. I was getting a better and better feeling about the Monday ahead.

Until Denny Av, when the first red light brought me to a stop, so I could take a moment to make sure that the odd feeling that had just begun was not, please God, a flat tire.

Well, it was a flat tire. But I was only about six blocks from the bus I needed, so I walked up there, put the bike on the rack, and made it to school on time. I had a couple of sessions with my wonderful kindergartners before lunch, when I'd have to tackle the tire.

First I ate, then got my gear, checking my watch to see how fast I could get this done. I had 15 minutes. My new yellow tire tools worked, so I got the tire off without too much trouble. The hole was fairly obvious, and I patched it. It was easy to find the object that made it, so I pried that out of the tire.

Then the awful business of getting that tire back onto the rim. My left hand has become, shall we say, my Achilles heel, due to arthritis, and even my good old strong hands of youth found getting those last several inches of the tire back onto the rim a challenge.

I had five minutes to go until my next group, when one of my supervisors came along and said, "Oh, take all the time you need. I'll do your group." It took me another 15 minutes -- and it's so odd, that last few inches of tire you work and work on and then suddenly, they're over the rim and you almost can't think how and when -- and then I got to sit in and learn as I observed her with my student.

Thirty minutes is a long time for most people to take with a tire, but I did it all myself, got it well aired up -- though I stopped for more air at a bike shop on the way home -- and as I biked along I thought, I wonder if that flat actually made it a happier day? I think it did.

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All material copyright © 2009 by Mary Davies