Friday, December 19, 2008

Samaritans - you just can't get rid of 'em

The snow has been rather serious here since last Saturday. It started out slowly enough but seemed to increase as we dawdled home from a neighboring town errand.

We were almost home, chatting and observing how drivers "handle" the first snow - too fast, too slow, too much brake, no lights, etc. As we consciously ticked off the check list, we saw the small SUV ahead of us start to skid, first toward the guard rail, brake - too much correction - then toward the ditch........oooooooooh, she's in it, don't turn over! She didn't turn over, just tipped.

We pulled over, blinkers on, with my spouse automatically dialing his friends at the police department. The young woman hesitantly opened her window and took the card that was passed to her. She was hoping this stranger who had stopped was trustworthy. She accepted the offer of a warm seat in our car, along with her daughter, until a police officer could arrive on the scene.

Unable to find her cell phone, then found - unable to remember her spouse's phone number, clearly she was shaken and probably needed a good cry. Before you could say, look here, a guy with a smoke dangling from his lips, pulled his red pickup over and asked if she would like for him to pull her out - thereby avoiding a big tow company charge. My husband and he conferred a minute and then asked her permission to try the tow. My husband, and now the young policeman, rather doubted that it could be done with the pickup but the driver assured them there would be no problem.

I was cynically thinking, oh boy, I hope he doesn't totally wreck the car getting it out of the ditch, and how clever of him to get out and beat the tow trucks to stranded folks in their vehicles. A nice way to pick up some extra cash, but what if he "damaged" a car or two - it was no skin off of his nose and again, he could pick up a few bucks!

They chained up the car to the truck, (I thought there goes the front end) slip, slide, oh no, oh yes - it was upright and on the highway with no visible damage. She was getting out as all of this was happening, thanking us profusely. At the same time, I was saying to my spouse - "how much does he want?" and as I looked up, the pickup was well on its way...gone on down the highway, have a nice day, kindness of strangers and all that stuff. I had a lump in my throat and a little voice, that said, "Oh, ye of little faith! Shame on you - who do you think was driving that truck anyway?!"


  1. oh, i am glad you heard that little voice coming from yourself, so i didn't have to do it :-) "oh, ye of little faith!"

    it reminds me of being lost in texas in the middle of nowhere a couple of years ago (did i fail to mention that?) and backing off the sharp edge of a ditch only to become "high-centered"in my rental van...within seconds - literally - not one but two pickups had pulled over & were delighted to help the little ladies in distress. (i was not offended). chain in hand, "the bubbas" as we (i was with a friend) affectionately dubbed them examined the situation and within minutes, they had cleared the van from the ditch and were on their way. there was no time to even consider calling a tow truck or offering money to our samaritans!

    good samaritans? yep, they're everywhere! (sometimes they even look like retired priests and their cynical wives...) xoxoxoxoxo

  2. I loved this story and lucy's response. I also had a similar experience once with a flat tire and my cell phone dead. A person who owned a towing company happened to stop and changed it for me in a flash and left just as quickly with no whisper of payment expected.

  3. I notice that both your and Lucy's experiences happened in a rural setting, well outside "town". Now that I live in a small town with lots of rural area around it, I must say that helping each other out seems to be a more usual part of daily life here than we experienced in the big city. The "bubba" attitude no doubt plays a part, but that's not always a bad thing. We all should continue to be reasonably cautious in situations like you described, but indeed there are samaritans (angels?) in unexpected-looking garbs out there who simply get a kick out of helping someone in trouble (paying it forward?)...

  4. L - I never heard your Samaritan story - nice! and, yes, I am the cynic or THE mush of all times.

    C - and another positive story. I know we would all help out in times of trouble for others, why is it so hard to recognize that others are willing to help us?

    M - nice to hear from you - small towns do seem to weigh in on the good neighbor stuff. It is a perk to live in that environment.

    Loved your comments, all.


  5. I'm pretty cynical too, and I also would have wondered about the wisdom of the offer; and, had I been the lady, I would probably have declined. But I hadn't thought about the possibility of the fellow trying to make some extra bucks. Given the economic hardship many are facing, I wonder why more people aren't out trying things like that.

    I'm glad it ended well for all.

    P>S> Bill wants to know who you meant was driving the truck.

  6. Wren - to the P.S. re Bill - I think encounters such as the ditch-side one just described are encounters with God/Jesus - the question remains and one must fill in their own blanks. Who was who in this story - was Jesus in the car or in the pickup - did the persons stopping do it because they felt sorry for the poor unfortunate driver or did they stop because their belief in God and in his commandments would not let them pass by on the other side?


  7. He asked me if you meant Jesus was driving the truck. I never know exactly how literally he takes things, so I passed on the question, wanting to see how you'd answer it. You make a good point, about Jesus being in the car and the pickup. It is Jesus who we feed, and visit, etc., as well as Jesus who does the same for us. Right?