New Life Episcopal Church

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Tire change

They’d traveled not but four miles when the boy heard the tire whacking against the fender. He pulled the old Ford to the berm. His aunt, lips pursed, sat the back seat. The boy’d not before changed a tire on his own but set about it, unhitching the fender-mount spare, bracing the jack, loosening the lug nuts, then jacking the wheel clear of the ground. The first lug nut squealed as he put the wrench to it. His aunt called from the back seat, “You ever get ‘em off, you best put them lug nuts in the hubcap, lest you kick ‘em into the weeds!” The boy frowned and bent to his work. He applied the wrench to the next lug nut and it, too, howled in protest. His aunt again called to him, “Best put some oil on ‘em!” The boy was vexed. “Oil? We got no oilcan. Where am I to get oil?” Still staring the road ahead, his aunt said, “Fetch the dipstick out from the engine. Tap it on them lug nuts. That oil’ll make a world of diff’rence.” Tire changed, they pulled back onto the highway, the boy’s opinion of his aunt somewhat improved.

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