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kindness of strangers (in motion)

It all started with a kindness.  My car died.  Someone very dear to me bought a car, and said I could use it until she needed it.

And I said yes, and thank you.

And I did.

When the time came, she said she needed it back.

Indeed.

And so I told people that I was looking for a car.

And a friend in Boston offered me the car he no longer uses.  Between the T and zip cars, he didn’t need or want it.

So for the princely sum of $1, (and a battery and a few other things) and the time and energy of driving down to get it, I was given a car.  Another kindness.

The person who provided the first car provided support for the trip and expertise (and vice grips) and we got the car running.  (More kindness). With gratitude, I set out for home, five hours away.

Turns out that the cigarette lighter only works sometimes.  So my cell phone died just as I got to the interstate.  I’m lucky I got to the interstate first, or I never would have found my way out of Boston.

And then, about two hours later, the dashboard went wild, and then went dark.

The car stopped.

Completely.

As though the battery was dead, but it wasn’t.

As I checked to make sure it wasn’t any of the likeliest suspects, I thought, “well, the lucky thing is that I have AAA and it’s not dark yet.”

So I stood on the shoulder and waved my arms until a big rig pulled over.  A guy hopped out of the cab and offered me his cell phone.  Yes, please.

Kindness.

And I called AAA.  And I left voicemail for the person who would probably worry.  And I got back in the car, snuggled with the chihuahua, and waited for the tow truck.

Which came.

Before dark.

Now the driver hopped out, got everything hooked up, and then tried to put the car in neutral.

No deal.

So he poked around under the hood….until he found a wire, melted or broken, in the fuse box nestled on the right side.  When he held the wire ends together, the car started.  And shifted into neutral.

He hopped in the cab with me, explaining that it ought to be a simple roadside fix, only he didn’t have the tools or parts.  He drove me to the place where he was supposed to drive me, and then pointed out that I’d be stranded there, especially without a cell phone.  So muttering about how it would be irresponsible of him to strand me, he offered to take me someplace that might still be open.  Kindness. I accepted.  He drove.  We talked.

Nice guy.

Like everyone in Maine, working two jobs to make it all work.

We arrive at garage #2, only to find that it is closed.  So while I use my slightly revived cell phone (he let me plug in) to call my local resources, he pokes around some more and finds a wire.  And fixes my car.

Not a perfect fix, but a fix that gets it running again.

Kindness.  Way way above and beyond a simple tow to a closed garage on the outskirts of the populated part of our state.

So even though my day’s schedule was interrupted, and yes, this isn’t what I had planned, it’s hard to be too upset.

I have been well taken care of today, by the kindness of friends and the kindness of strangers.

 

20 comments

  1. Gile says:

    Tears of gratitude are streaming down my face. Blessings on your most remarkable experience. Thank you for sharing it. I am revived. Human kindness and love make the world go round. Love to you, dear Leela.

  2. Ellie Di says:

    Absolutely beautiful. While it’s uber shitty that the car crapped out on you, I’m happy that the universe sent you so many helpful, kind people to get you going again.

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