Happy 4th of July!

I decide that I am going to drive to Chicago for the 4th of July for a family picnic. Tim had to stay behind due to church obligations. So I load up the two kiddos, ALL of the crap you need to pack when traveling with children, and head on my sweet way. I stopped halfway, got a Butterfinger Blizzard, fed Kayla and everything is going smoothly and swiftly. I am making good time and life is good.

And then life got very, very bad.

I hear this awful sound, similar to a gunshot and immediately realize I have blown a tire while going 75 mph. Being the calm and cool one I am in stressful situations I kick it into turbo gear. I immediately access that the best course of action is to pull over to the left hand shoulder. Grasping the steering wheel tightly I veer over onto the shoulder safely. I get out and peek around to the passenger’s side and sure enough…the rear tire is in shreds. Awesome.

I call my insurance company and they dispatch a tow truck to help me. Meanwhile my children and I are on the side of the highway waiting for someone to help us. Oh…did I mention that it is raining? Awesome. I called my mom to tell her I would be late and then tried to call Tim at home. He didn’t answer so I let Isaac leave the message…”Hi dad, we broke a tire, we are on the side of the road, I love you, bye!”

I managed to not lose it and stay calm for the sake of my kids. I didn’t want Isaac upset so we just sat there waiting. A man pulled up to ask us if he could help us and then saw the tire was on the traffic side so he said he would call State Patrol for me. About 15 minutes later a police officer pulls up on the other side of me (he is heading east) and I tell him what happened. So he swings around and pulls up behind me. While the Police Officer is looking for my spare tire my knight in shining armor arrives: Mr. Hoosier Helper.

I did not know what a Hoosier Helper was before this moment but I will forever be grateful to this service my state provides. I won’t even complain about paying state taxes for at least a year. He gets out of his “Helpermobile” and changes my tire to my spare. He then proceeds to tell me how horrible the tire is and that I need to get off at the next exit and put air into it. I thanked him and headed onto the next exit…I am still holding it together at this point.

I pull off at the next exit and find the nearest gas station. There are two cop cars pulled in front of the station. Somehow that didn’t give me a “safe” feeling. My first thought was that the gas station was getting robbed and two gunmen would run out at any minute. It is then that I realize I am in Ghettoville, Indiana. I spot the air tank and proceed there telling myself “Hurry up, get air and get out.” It is $1.00 for air. I look in my purse and I don’t have any quarters. Awesome. There is NO WAY I am leaving my kids to run into the Ghettoville Gas nor am I getting my kids out of the car to go into Ghettoville Gas. So staying near my car I am asking everyone to make change for $1.00. Finally I see a homeless man with a cup of change. I walk up to him and he gave me change for my dollar. Yes this is really happening people….it gets better.
I go to my car and at this point tears are welling up. I see Mr. Hoosier Helper pull up behind me and I lose it. I start bawling. He runs to me and tries to calm me down telling me everything would be okay. He told me this is a very bad area of town but that I needed to pull over to put air in the tire so he didn’t want to tell me I was entering Ghettoville in fear that I would keep driving on the horrific spare. So that is when he followed me. He puts air in the tire and then asks me where I am heading. I tell him I am still an hour and a half from my destination and he told me he didn’t feel good about me driving that far on my poor spare.

He says he knows of a shop a couple of miles downs the road. So I follow him and we pull up to the scariest mechanic shop in America but one that happened to be opened on the 4th of July. There are about 5 burly men all tatted up and smoking outside. My eyes are bugging out of my head. Mr. Hoosier Helper comes up to my window and I immediately say “YOU ARE NOT GOING TO LEAVE ME RIGHT?” He reassures me he will stay until he gets another dispatch call. Wiping away the tears I thank him. Meanwhile a rather “large man who would scare me to death if I saw him in a dark alley” comes up and asks what I need. Mr. Hoosier Helper explains I need I new tire. So he takes my old one and disappears in the back.

Mr. Hoosier Helper is flirting with me big time by now. But I could care less, I was petrified of him leaving me there with my two kids in tow, so I am totally humoring him.

I refuse to get out of the car.

Out of nowhere two dudes start dropping f-bombs and pushing each other right in front of my van…yes this is really happening people….it gets better. I am freaking out thinking there is going to be bloodshed. Two of the other burly men are breaking up the fight. Meanwhile I turn up Ice Age on the DVD player so Isaac can’t hear what is going on. The two continue calling each other obsenities and their mothers obsensities. The one guy already has a broken hand and tells him he is going to break his other hand on the guy’s face.
At this point I am sure I am being Punk’d. I keep looking for Ashton Kutcher and the cameras.

The fight breaks up and the scary dude comes back carrying a weak looking tire. He said that was the best he could do. So he says it will be $20. At this point it could have been $2000 and I would have paid it. I told you before I refused to get out of the car so the man ends up jacking up the back with all of us in the van and puts the new tire on. Did I mention Kayla is hungry and I had to breastfeed her while the back end of the van is in the air? Yah, it was awesome.

Mr. Hoosier Helper went inside the shop to pay the dude for me. The only time I got out of the car was to take pictures for you…yes I risked my life for you dear blogger buddies..

Scary Mechanic Shop…

Scary Mechanic…

Mr. Hoosier Helper…

You can’t make this stuff up people.

So two hours later I arrive at the picnic frazzled and with frizzy rain soaked hair but we made it.


  1. Denise ~ Paper Ponderings says:

    Oh my goodness gracious!! Your life stories are absolutely amazing…when you write a book, it will be a best seller!

  2. Thrifty Miss Priss says:

    that is exactly why I'm too much of a chicken to travel without my husband! I've done it before with white knuckles gripping the wheel!
    Oh Thank GOD for that sweet man! Our state has nothing like that!
    I would have had to get drunk when I reached my destination.

  3. Mom Taxi Julie says:

    Ok don't tell anyone bad things happen when you go without the man lol.

  4. That was a DAY! So glad you're safe! And it sounds like you absolutely did hold it together. 🙂

  5. Oh my goodness…I totally would have gone back home. That is HILARIOUS (after the fact)!

    I wanted to tell you we had a GREAT time in Kentucky and our hotel was actually in Clarksville, Indiana. Everything was so nice up there! I told God I would be okay with moving up there if He needed us to :). We went to the Louisville Slugger Museum/Tour and it was neat! Mostly we just went to the convention and swam at the hotel. How far are you from that area?

  6. Last summer while driving on the highway at 70 mph we had a blowout. Thank God my hubby was driving. I thought we were going to die. A nice young man stopped and unloaded our trunk and changed our tire. We drove to the next town to buy a new tire and no one had a tire our size so we ended up driving all the way home (400 miles) on that little donut spare….a horrifying experience but thank goodness I wasn't alone with two kids…you did well

  7. What an adventure! Glad you survived.

  8. Charlotte says:

    WOW!!! freaky! …does "scary mechanic" have a wound on the top of his head!!?? (yikes!)

    glad you made it through to tell us all about it…riveting!

    a 4th of July to remember, that's for sure!

  9. Okay, so not the kind of 4th of July post I was expecting to read! But you had yourself quite the adventure! So thankful you are safe.

  10. Vivienne says:

    OMGosh! I am sorry you went through that, but this is a great story (after the fact.) Mr. Helper was a God-send.

  11. So Bella says:

    Oh man, wow, that is so scary! But the way you told it, I was laughing… sorry 🙂 You're one tough cookie!

    Glad you made it there safely!

  12. Oh my, oh my. I'm SO glad you made it safely and that Mr. Hoosier Helper came to your rescue! Did Tim freak out when he got your message?!

  13. I think we may be long lost sisters!! Why do things ALWAYS go wrong when the hubby isn't there? Praise God he was there to help!!

  14. Empty Nest Full Life says:

    Wow, what an adventure you had! I would have been pretty freaked out to. When it rains it pours huh? Hope you will have a wonderful week! Jackie

  15. Mabry's gamma says:

    Well that sure was an adventure. Glad to hear you made it out alive and could tell the tale.


  16. Casey (@ Ever-Changing Life) says:

    Oh. My. Goodness. Now THAT is a story, and a testament to God's protection. Yeah for Mr. Helper!

  17. So Beck – I am not going to say that this is funny or anything like that, But I had an experience like that, ok similar, not exactly…but still scary…not a blow out, it was a broken brake line (no brakes), no kids at that point, just me and my little eighteen year old self, s.c.a.r.y. downtown Fresno, Ca. and not a Hoosier Hero, my dad was my hero and of course the locked car doors that I refussed to open even after my dad arrived!

    Thankfully you and your children were being looked after by someone other than the Hoosier guy! B:)

  18. Bless your heart.

    I'm so sorry this happened.

    And I LOVE that Mr. Hoosier Helper flirted with you. Was this before, during, or after you nursed Kayla?

    p.s. Mad props to you for even attempting the drive to Chicago with 2 kids.

  19. Wow, that was an adventure all right! So glad you made it through the day.

  20. Wow! I am so glad that you made it ok! I would have just started crying and I don't know if I could have stopped!

  21. frillsfluffandtrucks says:

    Oh my word!!! I would have been freaked out and crying too, without a doubt!!!

    ~ Sarah

  22. CaLLie.ANN says:

    Best 4th of July, ever.
    God Bless America.

  23. Whew! I was feeling skittish for you just reading this! GA has H.E.R.O s (I think it's Highway Emergency Response Officer), which I never gave much thought to – until I had kids and then they went in my cell phone's call list. But this being a big commuter city, you can't go far on the highways without seeing one. I'm glad you arrived safely – and hope your trip home was entirely uneventful!

  24. So awesome that you had a HH come help! Scary scary stuff though. : /
    Glad you survived and have the pics for us!

  25. Lee Ann says:

    Oh my goodness! That is a CRAZY story. That is my only hesitation about traveling 800 miles alone with small children. Because of things like this! And yes….they really do happen! Hooray for Hoosier helper dude!

    So glad you made it safe and sound!…..and we would have survived without the pictures! Next time don't risk your life or the life of your children just for us 🙂

  26. Beckie…I can't wait to call you tonight and talk about this!! I am laughing so hard that there are huge tears running down my face at work!! You are histerical…that's why I love you!! haha

  27. Michele says:

    OMG…I've with ya girl…I wouldn't have gotten out of the car either. I work in Illinois, in Waukegan, which can be a pretty scary place too. Since I was born here, I've gotten kinda used to it! Now that I live in Wisconsin, that's a whole different place…lol!

    Glad you're safe!

  28. Shelley Fuge says:

    Oh my FREAKIN' WORD!!! Forgive my language, but NO WAY!!! You get into the craziest things…I thought I was bad…I'm so glad you are okay!!! Thank GOD for Mr. Hoosier Helper man!!!!

  29. everydayeclecticism says:

    What skeeery road trip adventures you had…and on the 4th too! Glad it all worked out okay and you can laugh about it now!

    Angie S.

  30. Amy Anderson says:

    This story is awesome. I enjoyed that very much!

  31. Oh my goodness! There just aren't words!
    ~Amber B

  32. Clean and Classic Interiors says:

    I'm shocked you went through all of that, especially by yourself, but I'm even more shocked that you got pictures!! (I love when you thought you were punked! I've had that feeling before – looking around all calmly and stuff!) It makes you appreciate doesn't it?

  33. Clean and Classic Interiors says:

    I'm shocked you went through all of that, especially by yourself, but I'm even more shocked that you got pictures!! (I love when you thought you were punked! I've had that feeling before – looking around all calmly and stuff!) It makes you appreciate doesn't it?

  34. Thank goodness it turned out okay!

  35. Richella says:

    Wow! I hope you got the award for the person who had traveled the farthest to get to the picnic!

    I am grateful that you made it safely. Your Hoosier Helper was a gift from God.

    Take care!

  36. The Harris Family says:

    wow! you are much braver than I am. I would have lost it at the thought of having to go by myself. What a horrible trip but I am glad you made it safe. Also you are a great storyteller-I can never stop reading your posts!

  37. Stephanie @ My Answered Prayer says:

    Wow…what a 4th! You couldn't make this stuff up! Glad you are safe and hope you make it home ok!

  38. Tracy G. says:

    You had the presence of mind to take pictures? Impressive! Glad it turned out ok!

  39. Sarah @ Thrifty Decor Chick says:

    Beckie!! Holy crap, that sounds awful! I was laughing though…but I can NOW right??

  40. I found you by way of Paula Prass' blog and just had to click over because I knew you would have some hilarious stories! So glad that there is such a thing as a Hoosier Helper and that he was able to come to your rescue! This was just the sort of horrendously bad day I would have but you manage to tell it in such a funny way!

  41. Adrienne says:

    omgosh! this is a mother's worst nightmare on the road. you did good girl!

  42. That is GREAT! I almost peed my pants just now 🙂 Sorry you had to go through all that and DIDN'T get to meet Ashton Kutcher.

  43. okay, you weren't kidding about the shop. I thought at first, "how bad could it be?"… okay…bad.

  44. Kristine says:

    I'm new to your blog and after that post I must keep reading. I'm sorry you went through that but two weeks later, it's pretty funny.

  45. Oh my. Thank goodness for your Guardian Angel, Mr. Hoosier Helper. I'm glad you guys are ok, but I can only imagine how horrifying that day must have been!

  46. Hi! I just found your blog through the Mr. Linky about you Antique Chair Makeover at A Soft Place to Land. I am sure at the time this situation was terrifying, but the way you relay it was so funny I almost had tears running down my face! And yes, that is the scariest mechanic shop ever!

  47. Corinna says:

    OMG….this is hilarious NOW after…. The fact that you can take this crazy experience and put such a spin on it that you make me laugh when I read it, that's what you call talent, girlfriend! ha ha And when all was said and done, I would have said "to hell with this!" and turned around and gone HOME! LOL


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