Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Christmas Eve At The Truck Stop

It was late and we were tired and heading out 66 in the dark was the last thing we wanted to do, but it was Christmas Eve and my parents were expecting us. We looked forward to the family time, but the three hours getting there was a bit of a drag, especially since I was pregnant with our first child and had to stop frequently for obvious reasons.

Leaning over to be closer to John in the front seat, I glanced at the dashboard and noticed the temperature light was in the hot range. What to do? We were in the middle of nowhere, in the middle of the night. We drove on looking for an exit that might be helpful...all the time keeping our eyes on the ever rising gauge. The bright lights of Toms Brook truck stop came into view and with a huge sigh of relief, we pulled over and found our way to some men who were hanging around near an open garage bay.

In my mind I was thinking..."We have no money and no way to get any. How will we pay these men anything, even if they CAN help us?" Things were different then. There were no debit cards, no cash machines nearby. Cell phones were non existent, so calling for help was not a viable option. To make matters worse, our new friends weren't repairmen at all, but were the guys who helped replace tires on the big rigs. But, at this point, they were our only hope.

Up went the hood and men began peering and poking, harrumphing and sighing. I sat in the car all pregnant and lumpy, trying to be invisible. They cranked on this gadget and that, and eventually arrived at a solution that, while not perfect, would get us back on the road home. All I could think about was not having any money to pay them.

We thanked and thanked them and offered to send them a check when we got home, but they absolutely would not take anything for their work. I couldn't believe their generosity but it reminded me that good, kind people are out there and will do what they can for others. It's been 21 years and I have not forgotten these Christmas angels or their kindness.

Christmas Eve at the truck stop turned out to be a beautiful thing.

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