photoWhen I was 17, my dad taught me how to change a tire. “Lug nuts first, lug nuts last,” he said. He repeated it a couple times and had me repeat it with him. We went through all the steps, and periodically, he’d quiz me.

“What’s the rule again?”

“Lug nuts first, lug nuts last,” I’d say.

So far, the one and only time I actually changed a tire for real, I was 19 years old, living in South Carolina, about 800 miles away from my family. I was driving alone and was going to meet some friends, so I was wearing a dress. My tires were making an awful racket, so I stopped at a diner to check it out. Flat tire. I went inside to see if I could convince someone to come out with me while I changed the tire. One man volunteered.

“I can change it,” I assured him. “I just want someone to back me up.”

He was nice; he tried to be a gentleman and change the tire for me. I protested, but he insisted. Soon, though, I noticed him scratching his head over it, and at one point, I saw him doing something wrong.

“Let me help,” I said, and, dress and all, I got it done. One step at a time, like Dad showed me.

“Great job,” the man said, reaching to remove the jack.

“Not yet,” I told him. “I haven’t double checked the lug nuts. Lug nuts first, lug nuts last.”

Well-meaning as he was, this guy would have had me drive on that tire without making sure it was securely fastened to the car. Lucky for me, I remembered the mantra.

I’m now involved in a similar project: I know what to do, but it’s daunting. Really daunting. I’ll share details on the project with you soon. In the meantime, rather than give up, all I can do is work step by step.

So I’ll start at the beginning and make my way through each step, and before I finish, I’ll come back to the beginning again. I know the mantra. I won’t listen to anyone saying it’s okay to cut corners.

Lug nuts first. Lug nuts last. Here we go.

Thanks, Dad.


My first book, Upside Down Kingdom, is available on Amazon.