so this evening I was driving home from hours of rearranging my storage unit, and I am exhausted and hungry and really needing to hunker down and work…
I was less than 2 miles from my driveway and I passed a well-used pickup with Arizona plates sitting lopsided in the dirt on the side of my very windy road. Also sitting in the dirt are two middle-aged women.
I think, Arizona plates on an old pickup? They’ve got a long drive home.
Just wanting to make sure they were okay, I pulled over to see if they needed help and yes indeed, they did.
Flat tire. Broken jack.
I retrieved my gear from under Elvis’ seat and handed it over to to Rachel, the younger of the two sisters. Sarah, the elder, was busy limping (recent hip surgery) and dehydrated, neither of which stopped her from bending down and lifting up the truck herself.
It took some finagaling; we had to find a bunch of rocks to stack under the lift. Then we had to dig out a hole around the tire to make room to exchange the good for the bad. Super rocky soil and we dug with our finger nails.
I would like to point out that I have a reputation for having everything a girl might need in my truck. Hammer? Check.
Dog food? Check
Neck brace? Measuring tape? p-cord? corkscrew? dry erase markers? a selection of snacks? more tools? mascara? beach towel?
Yes to all of the above and so much more.
But, since I had just been on the river and then emptied my truck into storage, I had nothing useful, so when I stopped to help these gals, I had no gardening spade, entrenching tool, or work gloves, so we had to dig our rocks with our bare hands, while we lay in the dirt in the hot sun.
They’d been sitting on the side of the road for over an hour hoping for some help. I wanted to offer them some sustenance but the only thing I had available were the melted ghetto ice blocks I made out of old running bottles, and had just removed from my river cooler. I had no other water. None of my usual snack bars or chocolate. I pulled out a towel and some Meyer’s soap to clean up but then saw that the towel was covered in black grease so I was absolutely useless.
We got the tire changed. Gave ourselves a couple of pats on the back. Celebrated the power of three women putting their minds together.
We shook our heads and swore a bit about all of the cars that passed Sarah and Rachel, not stopping to see if they were okay.
I thought about why folks wouldn’t stop to offer aid. Too busy, in a hurry, didn’t notice, afraid of being murdered, can’t be bothered.
I don’t pick up hitchhikers, I avoid situations where I think kidnapping and torture could potentially be the outcome of stopping.
But seriously – two middle aged women, in broad daylight, plunked down in the dirt next to their turquoise dodge dakota, with a broken jack in hand?
Not really threatening.
So why wouldn’t anyone stop?
What happened to neighbors helping neighbors?
Sure, it was a bit of an inconvenience to me. I had to come home and shower the dust off of myself and my dinner was delayed by an hour. But think of their inconvenience.
We laughed. We talked about our kids. We commiserated about shopping in these bizarre times.
I showed them where my house is in case they ever run into trouble in the Canyon again.
Then they headed off to Many Farms and I made the short drive home with a smile on my face having had an unexpected adventure with two lovely ladies and wondering why no one, in over an hour, pulled over to assist these gals.
Everyone else missed out.