Flaming Golf Balls

A friend of mine recently told me a story about a flaming golf ball that caused a grass fire in Oklahoma. Since hearing this story, I have coined the phrase “flaming golf ball” to describe those things that come up in daily life that often have unexpected and often quite hazardous results. A golf ball is a fairly common item (at least it is at our house) and is generally harmless. However, if you add fire to the golf ball, the results can be quite disasterous. Which reminds me, do you remember the Friends’ episode where Joey and Chandler invent the game fire ball?

This week, our van has been an example of a flaming golf ball. We’ve driven a burgundy 1999 Pontiac Montana for the last 3 years. It has been a very reliable vehicle through the years. We did have one minor collision in it last October, but really it has given us very little trouble. Until Thursday…

Thursday started out quite nice. Per the recommendation of several who commented on Scott’s resolution blog, we have actually come up with a day to have a weekly lunch date. That day is Thursday. Timothy is gone to Mother’s Day Out and Emily stays at school for lunch. So, after the ESL class that I coordinate the nursery for at the church was finished, Zachary and I headed over to Wayland to drop off one of the childcare workers and to pick Scott up for lunch. Even though we are not completely sans children during this lunchdate, we still feel it counts as a weekly date because we only have to buy food for the two of us. Zachary is still satisfied just eating off our plates. Anyway, on this particular Thursday, we chose to eat at Leal’s for lunch. After a lovely lunch, we picked Emily up from school and then went home to relax for a bit before Scott had to be back at work for class and before Emily’s doctor’s appointment.

We were about halfway back to the campus, when I noticed the battery light had come on. So, I pulled over to “reboot” the engine (yes, I am the daughter of a programmer!). The battery light was still on, the temperature gauge was all the way to the top, and it was very hard to steer because the power steering had gone out. We managed to get safely to Wayland. We moved what we needed to into Scott’s car, and Emily, Zachary, and I took Scott’s 2000 Chevrolet Metro to the doctor’s office. As we were leaving the doctor’s office, Scott called to tell me that he had called off class (lucky Algebra students!) to work on the van. A belt had come off, so he got it put back on. When he started the van, the tensioner fell off so he took the van to the closest garage to get it repaired. Surprisingly, it was repaired in a little under an hour. That would be the end of our troubles with the van … or so we thought.

On Friday, we had a new problem. When it was time to go get Emily from school, I loaded the boys into the van and proceded to pull the van out of the garage. The van was moving pretty wobbly, so I thought I’d better investigate before heading to the school. Sure enough, the front passenger tire was as flat as a pancake. I called Scott to tell him as much, and he went to get Emily. An hour later, we had a nice new tire and all is as it should be.

As I think about these things that occurred this week, I realize that the circumstances around each of the events could have been so much worse. If the problems on Thursday had happened a few hours earlier or even thirty minutes later, Scott would not have been with me and honestly I would not have known what to do. The flat tire was discovered at home, so the boys and I were not left stranded anywhere. Though the events were costly, things could have been so much worse. Scott may not feel the same way since he had to call off class on Thursday and leave work early on Friday…

Since the tire has been replaced, we’ve been free of flaming golf balls. Last night, we had a lovely visit with some friends and so far today’s been great. I highly recommend avoiding flaming golf balls at all cost!



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