I run this road during the day. I ran it alone once at mid day when I first moved to the area . When I got about 1/2 miles beyond civilization I heard gun shots. I looked up to see, about 50 yards ahead of me, a car parked on the side of the road. Next to it was a man holding a hand gun shooting into the woods. I quickly turned around and tried to act invisible. I flagged down the first car I saw driving by and got a ride out of there. Now, I never run that road alone.
The road follows along the side of a river. It goes through the country and into the woods. It’s absolutely beautiful during the day. The trees make a tunnel that you drive in and it’s like you escape the world for a moment when passing through. I dread driving it at night. It terrifies me. To many crazy things could happen out there. It’s extremely narrow with no shoulder as a buffer. When someone is coming from the other direction, one person has to pull over to let them pass. Riddled with pot holes, it is a hazard . I bet that road has caused a world of damage to peoples cars. Tonight, all of my nightmares about that road came true.
It hardly ever snows in Nashville. Today, the wind chill made it bitter cold and there were steady flurries throughout the day. My best friend had asked our family over for dinner so our kids could play and we could visit for a bit. This afternoon when I was running errands and realized I had no gas in the car. I didn’t want to drive to the gas station, but, decided I’d rather gas up while the boys were warm, at home, napping then do it when they were in the car. In the evening we went to my friends house, had dinner and stayed until the baby got fussy, then headed home.
I took my time driving because of the snow. Besides that, all was normal.We listened to Star Wars music and hummed along. My 4 year old was non stop questions when he wasn’t singing. As we passed the last signs of civilization , I heard a thump. I thought it was just one of the pesky pot holes. That was until we heard a loud clicking sound and saw flashing lights on the dashboard. I turned my hazard lights on and pulled over.
My husband got out of the car to check and see what was going on. As I sat there looking ahead, it was pitch black. There were no houses, no lights. All you could see was blackness beyond the snow in the immediate headlights.I looked in the backseat and saw our 1 yr old asleep with his bottle half in his mouth. My four year old kept asking question after question. “Wheres Dad going?’ “Why are we stopped, mom?” My husband returned and told me we had a flat tire. My stomach sank. It was so creepy out in the darkness.We were on a hill so there was no way we could change the tire where we were. Do I go forward toward home, down the creepy road, through the snow and the darkness? Do I turn back and try to find civilization and a place to change the tire? We decided to keep moving toward the house. My husband said to just drive slow.
As we pulled back onto the road, I asked my husband to call my friend to let her know what was going on. If the car couldn’t make it home I would need her to come get the boys and take them to someplace safe and warm.We were inching along this road through the dark and the snow. “Why are we driving so slow?” my 4 year old asked. “Noah, Mamas car is broken. I’m trying to get us home safely. This is one of those times when I need for you to be quiet.” It was then I started praying. My first prayer I apparently said in my outside voice. “God, please help me get my boys home safely.” Second was “Thank God I filled my car with gas this afternoon.” I swear I run that road faster than we were driving. Any animal, move in the trees, anything I saw made me tense up. As I drove I just kept praying. You could feel the tension in the air. The music was now off and the inside of the car was silent. All you could hear was click, click, click, from whatever in the tire was making that sound.
After what seemed to be an eternity, we started approaching houses. When we reached the turn a 1/2 mile from our house and my body relaxed a bit. “We’re almost there”, I thought. At this point I barely remember the drive. I was so “in my head’, praying and focusing on trying to avoid all the bumps in the road. When we got to our front gate, I heard a little voice from the back seat say, “Thank you God, for getting us home safely.” I wanted to cry. I was never so glad to be home. My body finally relaxed as we crawled up the driveway. We parked the car in a place my husband could change the tire in the morning,carried the baby up to bed and then cuddled with our 4 year old on the couch to watch Star Wars. I don’t know how we got as far as we did on that flat tire. I swear, it was a thousand prayers that got us home.
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