Today was the day Charlie and I had been planning for weeks. We were going to have a "Kid Free Cookout" and have our friends over for some food and fun. Several of our friends said they would definitely come and were looking forward to it.
We didn't have all that much planned, really, just to cook burgers and hot dogs on the grill, I made a crockpot full of BBQ chicken and I made my famous "Cheddar/Bacon Dip". The thing I was looking forward to was the fact that my MIL was going to be watching the kids overnight for us.
So, the day has finally arrived. Around 11:30am I packed the kids in the car with their overnight bags and headed over to my MIL's. Got there about an hour later and hung out a few minutes catching up with how she's been doing lately and hearing about all the fun things she had planned to do with the kids. After leaving there I stopped at the grocery store to pick up a few more things we still needed for the cookout. I found a display case full of 'fireworks' and picked up 2 packages thinking we'd all have fun lighting them up at the house after the sun went down.
I checked out and was finally on my way back home to get everything put together and await our guests arrivals. About half way home I hear a loud "POP" and feel the car rattle in the back. I quickly pull over to the shoulder and wait for traffic to thin out enough for me to get out and check what happened. Turns out the sidewall of the left rear tire blew out in 2 different areas. I was weary of changing the tire on the side of such a busy major highway. I called Charlie to let him know what happened and he told me to stay put and he'd be there soon. My first assumption was that he was going to bring his tow truck and tow the car home. Since I wasn't sure I proceeded to get the spare tire out of the truck and begin changing the tire myself. I had all the lug nuts off except the last one which was giving me a hard time getting loose. I took a break and sat in the drivers seat for a minute.
A random SUV pulled up behind my car and a man got out. I got out of the car and he asked if I needed some help with the tire. I told him up front I didn't have any cash on me to pay him and he waved off the idea of payment and told me he wasn't going to ask for any money, he said he saw me trying to change the tire and wanted to help. I thanked him for his kindness and he began getting the busted tire off and putting the spare on. Just as he as finished tightening the lug nuts I saw Charlie coming. He didn't have the tow truck which was a bit of relief for me that the tire got changed before he got there. Charlie pulled up and parked in front of me and got out to thank the man who helped me out. I thanked him again, too, and we were all on our way back up the road.
Finally home now, I hurried to get cleaned up from playing with dirty tires on the side of the road and get the last few things done before our friends showed up. Well. Turns out, everyone else seemed to have found better things to do with their day and no one showed up. We had all this food and no one to eat it. Charlie and I were seriously upset and hurt by our friends. We tried calling and texting everyone to find out their ETA's and some people didn't answer or respond and the ones we did get a hold of fumbled around with excuses as to why they couldn't come. We were cut pretty deep at first because of all the prep that went into getting everything ready for a lot of people expected to be here.
After our initial upset about no one coming, our neighbor and another friend (who's typically here every weekend anyway) DID come. It was just the four of us enjoying each others company with a couple beers, good food and a bunch of laughs. The sun finally set and the sky was dark. We took the 'fireworks' I bought earlier in the day and set them off in the front yard.
So, the plans we made fell through, but, we still had a great night. Turns out, only having 2 friends show up to hang out was better then we planned. I was able to really relax and enjoy myself because I didn't have 3 kids to tend to thanks to my MIL. And only having 2 people show up, Charlie and I didn't have to split our attention between lots of people.