Childhood, Family, Friends, Humor


So I alluded to some “crappy” stuff happening earlier this week and compared it to an Oreo.
Which is silly because I love Oreos?
Oreos are not at all crappy.

This past weekend, I was a part of a really cool reunion back in my home state of Ohio.
Let me give you a bit of history:
I was in the marching band for all four years of high school.
This band was up there with some of the best bands in the state of Ohio.
So there is this amazing and rich history that goes along with our band as well.
There is even a book written about our band!
For those that live in suburbia or in big cities, marching bands are HUGE in rural areas.
Especially in rural areas where football is HUGE as well.
Anyway, about four years ago, I thought it would be fun to create a Facebook band alumni page for my little town’s award-winning band.
I thought maybe 50- 75 people would join if I was lucky.
225 people later and still growing, it has become an amazing place to share stories (horror and funny).
Then two years ago, we thought we should hold a reunion.
A few of us became coordinators of the event and held it with the band competition our alma mater holds annually.

So I was on my way to the said reunion with my oldest daughter when there was a setback.
First, my I- Pass (which is a transponder that sucks the money magically out of my wallet every time I want to go anywhere in Chicago) didn’t work at the first Indiana toll booth.
And of course, someone was right behind me.
So I had to get out of my car and grab a ticket.
Have you ever been stuck in those gate situations?
Once, Mike and I were on the Chicago Skyway and the gate came down on us as we were going through and we broke it Dukes of Hazzard style.
Still waiting on that bill from the state of Illinois.

I called Mike on speakerphone and told him basically what had happened. My exact words are kind of fuzzy.
This I remember, I said and I quote “This trip is doomed. ”
Never would I ever realize how much I would eat those words.

So we were driving along, making good time, listening to some wonderful music, and talking about some drama at Annie’s school. Then she got a call from a friend of hers from school about the drama involving a friend of hers.
When “it” happened.

A light came on in my dashboard.
An exclamation point.


Is my oil low?
Is my gasket pocket open?
I just made that up.
Could you be any vaguer, Chevrolet??
(said in my best Chandler Bing voice)

Then the following message came across the dashboard:


All while doing 80 mph on the Indiana toll road.
I told Anna to get off the phone and call my husband immediately.
I relayed what it said, and he said: “no worries, just look at the tire when you get to the next service…..”
Literally, as those words came out of his mouth, I heard a loud THUMP THUMP THUMP RATTTTTTLE.
The car shook, swerved, and my brakes stopped working.
Like pushing my pedal all the way to the floor, not working.
I pulled over, and finally, after what seemed like an eternity, came to a stop.

We got out of the car and saw some sort of courtesy officer right behind us.
Oh yeah! I remember I let her out in front of me a mile back.
She had a walkie-talkie and told me what mile marker we were at.
We were 12 miles from the Ohio line.
Son. Of. A. Bitch.

This you need to know: I don’t do well in high-pressure situations.
I freak out when our power goes out.
Or have a hissy fit if I forgot something at the grocery store.
I freak the crap out at the drop of a hat.

Did I cry?
Did I yell at my husband on the phone?
A little.
But as I sat in that cornfield on the side of the Indiana Toll Road, I did something remarkably calm.
I prayed.
A thank you prayer.
To God.
For letting this happen here and not on a five-lane busy road in Chicago.
Or not, as I was passing someone in the left lane.
That it happened on a gloriously sunny and warm fall day.
Not in the rain.
Or in the snow.
That we were alive and okay.
Shaken, yes, but ALIVE.
So I sat back, waited for the tow truck, and enjoyed the sounds and smells of that cornfield.

I called AAA, a tow truck was out there within 30 minutes, the tiny tire put on my car and a state highway patrolman led me to the nearest dealership to get my tires replaced.

So I told my friends and family members who were waiting for me in Ohio all about what happened as it was happening.
I texted a friend who was asking WHERE ARE YOU??, that I was in Indiana.
With a flat tire.
Then I posted the picture of my tire.

Tire o Death

I was then corrected.
This is NOT a “flat tire, Kari. This is a disaster.”
Even the state highway patrolman said, “whoa, this is a doozy!”
For a person whose profession it is to see lots of horrific things, that comment made me sit back and take in the situation.

First, I want to thank the state of Indiana.
For having seriously amazing human beings.
Second, I would like to thank the dealership that took my car, put four new tires on it at 4:30 on a Friday, and only took one hour to do so.
If you live near Angola, Indiana, RUN not walk to Harold Chevrolet.
And tell them Kari Tire of Death from Chicago sent you.

I don’t like to get dramatic here on the blog, but there are two unusual/ bordering on creepy things you need to know about this whole thing.
I was on the phone with my mom last night and we were talking about a terrible bus crash that happened in Tennessee yesterday.
The front tire blew, and the accident killed eight people.
My mom tells me on the phone that she had a premonition about this Ohio trip that Anna and I made.
That something bad was going to happen.
But she didn’t know what to do: if she told me, I wouldn’t have gone or been filled with fear.
Yet she felt like maybe she should tell me.
If I were in her place, I don’t think I would have said anything either.
When I told her what happened while sitting in the dealership that day, she cried after she got off the phone.

This is the other creepy thing.
That “courtesy officer?”
Yeah, I just made that name up.
I didn’t know what to call her.
Because I have never seen a car like that before.
But after the state highway patrol got there, she literally disappeared.
Like I was looking one way and the next second, I said to Anna, “where did she go? I wanted to say thank you.”

My mom said angels were watching over us that day.
I believe that with my entire being.
So thank you “courtesy officer.”
Wherever you are. 🙂

Anna carrying a new table in Ft Wayne Indiana

While waiting for our tire of doom to be replaced, we took advantage of the time to get out and walk around Angola. We found a cute little antique store and Annie got a new nightstand for her room.
I had to take this picture because people were giving us strange looks as we walked down the street carrying a table.
Little did they know that this was the least freaky thing to happen to us this day.

McDonalds Hanley Road Mansfield Ohio

Going through the drive-thru at the McDonald’s I worked at in high school.
I ordered a McChicken sandwich, the sandwich I first had at THIS McDonald’s.
I sat in the parking lot, ate my sandwich, and took in some old memories.

Signs in Bellville Ohio

We got to go to this bitchin’ festival/craft fair in a small town nearby.

Prairie Peddler Ohio
Anna and I walking in Butler Ohio

My cousin took this picture of us. I appreciate the gesture but in all honesty; we were arguing under our breath while she took this. I even remember thinking, if I put this on the blog, I have to tell you what we were doing.
Bickering. It had been a long-ass weekend, and we were exhausted at this point.

And let’s be clear: when you’re a teenager, hanging out with your mom for an entire weekend is a lot.

A whole hell of a lot.

I get it.

He will give you a heart attack

That asshole scarecrow scares the shit out of people.
He’s real, and he just sits there waiting to prey on innocent people.


Did I mention I hate Ohio?

The best caramel apples I have ever eaten
I am recreating this.
Chopped apples doused in caramel sauce.
My 13-year-old and I inhaled this.

Okay, I love Ohio again.

Eating lunch by Gramma's grave in Crestline Ohio

On the way out-of-town we had lunch with my grandma. It’s a “thing” we do. Have lunch with dead people.
My grandma loved McDonald’s, especially the filet o fish, so of course, I had to have one.
We filled her in on the tire o’ evil incident, but I think she already knew about it.

My hand tattoo from the weekend

I didn’t have the heart to scrub the stamp from the reunion weekend off my hand.
It is off as of today.
Geez, people, I loved the weekend but I love being healthy more.

Such a great time, despite Tire of Death.
But on the way home, I ate my feelings the entire way because I feared something bad happening to our car again.

I love Ohio and all but if I ever come back, maybe I will fly next time.

21 thoughts on “How OHIO Turned Into OHEEEEEELLLLLLNO”

  1. I love this post. You are an awesome person, Kari, an awesomesauce person. And people know it. All of these people you mentioned in this post know it – even the 13 year old you are arguing with in that picture.I am glad that you are safe and that you had a great weekend.Ok. One more thing. Scroll up to the picture with the best friends T-shirts. See that girl looking at you from behind? With the pinkish/reddish shirt? She looks EXACTLY like me in the late 80's/early 90's. She's even wearing her hair the same as I did. And has big feet like me. It's weird.Ok. That's all.Love you.


  2. Oh, my!I'm so glad you two are okay!!!But what a neat trip (once the whole tire debacle was over, anyway!). And LOVE those pics . . . the hats, the shirts. WOW.That's fun stuff right there! : )~Hope you have a great weekend, friend! 🙂


  3. Love the denim hat.Love the plaid shorts (I totally would have rocked those).Love the facial expression you have in that picture. Like "what the hell is going on and why are we doing this?".But most of all I love that you and Anna were being watched by angels and are / were safe. Remind me to talk to your mother first before getting in a car for a road trip with you . . . . xoxo


  4. Glad you made it through the Tire Of Death incident of 2013. That's scary stuff. Can you tell me what 6ascap means on the dash? It seriously took me two days to figure out it was telling me there was something wrong with my gas cap! If I have to get out the manual, forget about it!


  5. Oh my gosh. I'm exhausted, terrified, excited and warmed over all in the same post. Yes. Flying is better. Just not with me. I'm a turbulence magnet. I think my size throws planes off. Glad you're still alive…things just wouldn't be the same without you, kid!


  6. So glad you guys are safe and that you didn't let a little thing like a near-death experience put a damper on your reunion!!!


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