Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Grace & Paula

By Bobbi

I ran out of gas today. I borrowed my son’s car to make a quick trip to the store and noticed the dashboard light that read low fuel had come on. Normally, when that happens, there is still enough left to be able to drive another 20 – 30 miles so I wasn’t concerned.

On the way back from the store, I took a small detour around our neighborhood to help clear my mind. It’s a good thing to do, kind of like getting up from my desk while working on the computer and walking around the house. That always helps give me a fresh perspective on things.

It was while I was heading home that the gas ran out. The car died, no warning by sputtering, just quit running. I only had enough time to try steering it over to the side of the street a bit to make sure other vehicles could get around me.

It didn’t take me long to realize I had left my cell phone at home. We belong to an auto club so I knew they would bring me gas if I called them, but how could I do that without a phone? I hadn’t sat there long before an older model car pulled up beside me, the window rolled down, and a woman asked if I needed help. Sure was great to hear that voice!

Well, Paula pulled her car in front of mine and parked it there, in the crosswalk of the intersection. She let me use her cell phone and made sure I had the auto club’s phone number which I had also left at home. I then put the car in neutral and pushed it as far as I could until the front tire hit the curb. After that, even the huge service vehicles were able to pass by without any trouble.

Turns out, we needed each other today. She told me about the overwhelming troubles that have befallen her during the past several years (I thought I had it rough) and I was able to reassure her in a small way. We got to know each other just a little, two strangers helping each other out.

At least a half dozen people stopped in that short amount of time to ask if I needed help but I don’t even want to guess how many more didn’t bother. A few even honked like I was in their way and some only needed me to motion them around the car so they wouldn’t crash into it. How would you have reacted?

I ran out of gas across the street from Grace Church, how apropos.

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