Or, The Adventures of My Little Red Car
I don’t think too many people have heard this story yet, since I was pretty shell-shocked after it happened.
Car, Meet Ditch
So, I’m on my way to a potluck after church, and the roads are not too great but I’m going under the speed limit (probably should’ve been going slower, though). I realize I’m drifting slightly over the centre line and jerk my wheel, and next thing I know there’s branches hitting my windshield and I’m plowing through the ditch (apparently the cloud of snow could be seen miles away). There’s three thoughts in my head: 1.) Oh God, HELP! 2.) I’m probably not going to die from this, am I? 3.) Well, there goes my car. Then I hit a fencepost and stopped. Practially every single car on the road sees me go in and stops – which is a good thing because my cellphone has just died. And we’re definitely outside the city (the potluck I was going to was at an acreage). One guy yells, “Don’t worry, my wife’s called the ambulance!” and I’m like, “Oh no, I don’t need an ambulance, I’m fine! It’s just my car!” And another lady runs down, helps me out, and insists I come to warm up in their truck.
Random Strangers, Set 1
I’m expecting church people to drive by and stop at any minute, because it seems like whenever I get into situations like this there’s always someone I know around to witness my mistake, but not this time. So the lady who pulled me out offers to give me a ride to wherever I was going (the potluck).
Now, I know perfectly well I should never get into a car with strangers. But several things go through my mind: the lady is friendly, her and her husband are headed home with a screaming baby in their backseat, and there’s a handicapped tag in their windshield. And my cellphone’s dead. I know, I know, that’s probably not good enough. But I get in.
And, coincidence enough, they happen to live one road over from the acreage I’m going to, and the husband used to works with my friends who own the acreage. (A God-thing)
So I get to the potluck, phone my parents (“No, don’t go try to pull it out, it’s so far in you’d need a tow-truck…”) and inform everyone at the potluck what happened. Fortunately, one of the guys at the potluck owns a big truck, and he thinks he can get my car out of the ditch after the potluck is over. I’m grateful. So I sit at this potluck, freaking out over what just happened, and being completely antisocial (sorry, everyone). After everyone leaves, we head out with the big truck to see what we can do.
Man Versus the Ditch
And just as we get out there, the guy with the truck gets a call from his wife. “Harma’s parents have pulled the car out, so you don’t need to go out there.” And I’m like, “What?!”
My parents don’t own a truck. They don’t know anyone who owns a truck. They don’t have AMA or anything, and knowing my Dad, he’s probably not all that eager to pay for a towtruck. Also, I’m not even sure the car still runs at this point, so even if it wasn’t down a steep embankment and in a ditch, I’m not sure they could drive it anywhere.
My friend reassures me. “However it happened, at least the car’s out. At least you had lots of people around to help you out today, including your church family.” And the guy with the truck says he’ll drive me home.
Random Strangers, Set 2
Turns out, my parents were so curious to see what I’d done that they’d drove out to see it. Then they checked if the car still worked, and while they were messing around in the ditch, a random stranger with a truck stopped and asked if they needed help. He had a rope, but it was pretty weak, so another random stranger stopped and offered them a better one. So mom gets inside the car to steer it, Dad pushes all the bushes and fenceposts out of the way, the random stranger with the truck pulls and – it took them an hour and a half to get it out. Crazy, but they did it.
Here I was thinking I’d get a huge tow truck bill, on top of whatever it takes to fix the car, and here I find out that 1.) someone got the car out for free, and I didn’t even have to stand in the cold to do it, and 2.) the car still runs and could drive home (even though it definitely needs fixing). I didn’t know how to thank everyone, and I didn’t even meet all the random strangers who helped me out.
I’m just so amazed there are so many people in this world that will go out of their way to help someone out – not only two sets of random strangers, but also my parents, everyone at the potluck who tried to make me feel better, and my friend who offered the use of his big truck. If there’s any silver lining to this episode, it’s finding out that people care. That God cares.
And, wow, my little red car is sure a trooper. It took on a ditch full of snow and came out with its head held high!