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Oklahoma Here We Come

This is another in the ââ?¬Å?Road Noiseââ?¬Â series. True stories of life on the road.

For many years we lived and traveled in a converted Greyhound bus. I told people the only reason we used a bus was because we couldn�t afford anything else. We could buy them cheap, fix them up with little of nothing and they are made to run long, hard miles on the road. As long as they don�t need major repairs, you are fine.

This story starts while we are doing a week of meetings at a camp in Michigan. While we were there someone pointed out that the bus had a flat tire. It was an inside rear tire which made it difficult to get to. We jacked the bus up, got the tire off, and then took it several miles to a town that had tires the correct size. All they had were used tires that size. By the time we purchased the tire and got it back on the bus it was several days later, just in time to leave camp. Oh, did I mention it took the entire check that the camp gave us to pay for it?

At least we were back on the road. Our next stop was for one day in Zanesville, OH. We were doing fine and making good time when suddenly we were throwing rubber all over the road. The outside tire on the rear of the bus had blown out. There was a lady driving a car right behind us when the tire went flying all over the road. After a piece of rubber bounced off her car she was quick to pull over to the side of the interstate right behind me. She was out of her car pounding at the door of the bus before I could get out. If language is any indication, I don�t think she was a Christian. She was upset to say the least. Somehow I think she had the idea that I had purposely let the tire go just so it would hit her and scare the tar out of her. Fortunately for us her car wasn�t damaged. After more yelling she finally left.

I drove slowly to the next exit so that I could find a place to change the tire without the danger of fast passing traffic. It didn�t take long to jack the bus up but getting the tire off was another story. The lug nuts were tight. No, they were really tight. No, they were tighter than that. I carried a 6-7 foot steel pipe just for such an occasion but even that didn�t work. Kedron must have been 10-12 at the time and we were both standing and bouncing on the end of that pipe trying to get the lug nuts loose. That is a good way to work up a sweat on an already warm summer�s day. Praise the Lord, we still had the spare tire to put on. Once that was accomplished we were on the road again.

We made our meeting in OH. The next stop was Tulsa, OK some 866 miles away with no spare tire. So before we left town we went looking for something to use as a spare. We finally found one place that thought they could help us. They looked all through their inventory but couldn�t find a tire the size we needed. The search finally took us out behind the shop where they kept scrap tires and those going to be retreaded. Sure enough, there was ONE tire the size we needed in the pile that was going to the retread shop. Needless to say, if it was in this pile, there wasn�t much tread left on it. I was told that they got $100 for the case from the retread shop and that they would make me the same deal, they agreed to mount it on my rim for free. We made the purchase. What a great deal I guess. A poor spare is better than no spare with that many miles ahead.

That being said, we had just replaced two tires in less than one week. It really isnâ��t something you want to do very often. Oklahoma here we come. We were finally, back on the road.�  Well, almost back on the road, we stopped to make a phone call back to the office. (Remember these were the days before cell phones were as common as they are now). I called Mary Ann Bell who was our secretary at the time. I described to her our tire woes and mentioned to her that we still had enough money for the diesel fuel it would take to get to Tulsa. However, I also told her that we may not be back in MI when we were scheduled to be. That would all depend on how well things went in Tulsa. The offerings there would determine when we would be able to come home. If we received enough money to put fuel in the bus we would head home. If we didnâ��t have enough fuel to get home I would scare up another meeting or two until we had enough money to make it back. This could take some time but I assured her that she neednâ��t worry if she didnâ��t hear from us or see us when she expected us to be home. In other words, this could end up being a one way trip for a while.

God was so good to us and used the people of Tulsa to meet our need. We received enough money to fill up the tank and make it the 849 miles back home on schedule. My God really does supply all of our needs.

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