The tires were new. How could I have a flat? I looked at my watch, three o'clock. My husband should be home. It was in the age before cell phones which meant I had to go back into the restaurant and use the pay phone in the lobby.
There was no answer. Odd. My husband and the kids should all have been home by then. I waited several minutes and then tried again, and again. Finally one of the boys answered.
"Where's your dad?"
"He's not home, Mom. Oh wait here he comes. Oh oh. They're towing the truck."
"Towing the truck? But, I have a flat tire! Never mind. Tell your dad I'll call your Grandfather."
After a thorough search of the car, my dad and uncle gave up trying to discover the secret compartment where the spare tire and jack lay cleverly hidden. Obviously only the manual would be of help, and it was mysteriously missing from the glove compartment. Without any other choice, my dad used his ill-fitting jack to remove the tire, and left me to stand guard while he and my uncle ran to the closest tire shop. It was then it began to snow, not pretty fluffy stuff, but wet sleet. Great.
I was shivering by the time my dad and uncle returned with the tire - unfixed. The large hole was unrepairable. The only thing the tire shop could do was put on a patch, which they refused to guarantee. I drove slowly, never over twenty miles an hour with my dad and uncle following just in case. I was really going to scramble to get dinner fixed and get everything else done.
With the truck out of commission, it was imperative we get a new tire. So, my husband took the car down to the tire dealer while I started dinner. He wasn't gone long when the phone rang. Intuition told me it wasn't going to be good news - and it wasn't.
"Honey, we can't get new tires tonight. The front strut broke and that's what punctured the tire. That has to be fixed before a new tire can be put on, and they can't get to that until sometime tomorrow."
"What are going to do? The wedding is at ten!"
"I've called my dad. We can borrow their car while ours is being fixed."
About the time I expected my husband home, I heard frantic banging on the back door. It was Ron. He held up the handle to the screen door. "I couldn't get in."
Before I could fully process that issue, I heard an explosion coming from the general vicinity of the kitchen. The lid to the pressure cooker lay in the sink. The ceiling, walls, and floor were covered with a green mass of unrecognizable matter. From the smell I guessed its identity.
Brussel sprouts have a distinct aroma under normal circumstances, I can't describe what odor assaulted our sense of smell that night. We discussed evacuation, but with so many family members in town for the wedding, we didn't have anywhere to go. Desperate, I used one of my Grandmother's home remedies. Boiled vinegar doesn't have the best fragrance, but it was a whole lot better than the other smell.
By this time it was late, I was tired, and I just wanted to to bed. I went to the bedroom and pulled back the covers. My visit to the Twilight Zone wasn't over yet. The blankets were wet, soaking wet. With a groan I pulled back the sheets. A water fountain rose at least a foot from the water bed in a high arc, spraying everything.
Nothing to do but drain the mattress and pull out the hide-a-bed, the one with the half- inch thick mattress and rigid steel frame. Yep, that one.
I lay in the dark, smelling the lingering residue of burned brussel sprouts barely masked by a nauseous layer of boiled vinegar, and tried to ignore the steel rod poking my back and my husband's snoring. It was then I remembered I still hadn't hemmed my dress. I was Maid of Honor and there wasn't the option of wearing something else. I was too tired to cry.
We survived the night. I managed to hem my dress and make it to the wedding on time. However, I no longer have a pressure cooker, or a water bed, and I haven't to this day fixed brussel sprouts even though it was one of my husband's favorite vegetables. Yeah, I know. What can I say? He liked pickled pigs feet too, but that's another story for another time.