Last Monday we had a blizzard - so we decided not to make the trip to town to replenish the grocery supplies. But in spite of the weather I thought it was a good day, because we were having fish for dinner... and when we have fish my husband cooks.
(Any day that I don't have to cook is a good day!)
But, because we hadn't gone to the store, he needed something we didn't have. I called my good neighbor Terry and asked if I could borrow. He said yes and I jumped in my husband's Ford pickup and headed to his house.
I was about a quarter mile from there when I heard a strange noise, and then a thump. My first thought was a flat tire, but when I stopped, my rear tire kept right on going past me and didn't stop until it got to a corner and ran into a snow bank!
The wheel had fallen off the truck!
Fortunately, I keep a small flashlight in my pocket, so I walked on to Terry's house - snarling at myself the whole time for being too dumb to put on a hat before I left the house.
At least it wasn't below zero like it had been a couple nights earlier.
He called my husband and between them they got the truck jacked up, stole 3 lug nuts from the other wheels, and we got home safely. But dinner was sure late!
I wasn't happy about this event, of course. But the whole time I kept thinking... I sure do have a guardian angel.
What if that had happened on a highway - going 60 MPH? What if it had happened on a highway when I was meeting other cars? That wheel would have crashed right into someone and could have caused a fatal wreck. And who knows what the truck would have done and who I might have crashed into?
It took 2 trips to town to get 8 new lug nuts... only 3 were to be found in the stores so they had to be ordered. It turns out that kind of Ford pickup uses fancy lug nuts (I learn new things all the time.) After we got all 8, we found the hub cap and 3 lug nuts in the ditch, so now we have extras that I hope we'll never need.
The big question is "Why did they come loose?" They were all tight and secure on the other wheels, so if it was our bumpy dirt roads, why was only one wheel affected?
I don't know, but from now on we'll check those things periodically.
Since then, I've learned that this is not such an unusual occurrence. We've talked to 3 or 4 other people who have had the same thing happen. So... maybe everybody should check their lug nuts now and then!