Tuesday, October 25, 2011


It has been eleven days since my careless accident.  The swelling is almost gone!  The pain, while at times unbearable if I twist a certain way,  is mostly minimal as I limp around the house.  I feel lucky that this was not as bad as it could have been at my age!

My cabin fever reached a peak yesterday and I asked hubby to take me for a ride in the country side.  Our goal was to reach the mountains which are about 2 hours away, but along the way we encountered a detour.  It seems a bridge had washed out in the last storm and the road had to be closed for repairs.  This was a major state road. I live in an area of meandering coastlines and rivers and marshes.  Some of you know this means there is rarely a straight line between two points.  This a bridge being gone means we had to detour an hour north to find another crossing.  Sometime during the long detour we decided to fore-go the mountain trip and just explore the nearby countryside and visit a few state parks in the lovely fall..

We pulled over to the side of the country road that passed beside neat Amish farms and brought out our road map to see what might be close (the Truthsayer -GPS- was in the other car).  While holding our heads bent close over the map we heard a loud tap at the window on the driver's side of the car.  We looked up and saw a women in her fifties with frizzy hair, casual clothes, and a very tired look on her face.

Hubby rolled down the window.

"Can you give us a ride up the road." she asked in a gravelly voice caused by many years of smoking.

We both looked at the 'us' and her companion was a twenty something girl dressed in a red striped shirt and too large flowing plaid pants.  She could have been wearing pajamas or a costume.  Not the type of clothes most 20-somethings would be caught dead in.  Both looked pleading and the older woman was panting as if she had already walked a long way.  We hesitated only shortly and complied.

I could smell the cigarette smoke as they entered the back seat.  The trip several miles up the road was to reach a friend's house since the woman's car was no longer working.  The woman just oozed stress and was a very sad candidate for living as she explained how her luck had run out this month.  A sister had just died of cancer, her father had just passed away and the house she inherited from him was being managed legally by another sister who had borrowed money against it and had a gambling problem.  This morning the final bad luck was a car that wouldn't start.  (Yes, I have encountered story teller shysters before, but these people did not ask for money and were able to look me straight in the eye.)

We dropped them off at a small rural house with several cars scattered around the open field.  While we felt sorry for their situation, both hubby and I felt more sorry for the young girl who followed her mother up the dirt road to the door.  Already in her short life she was trapped in poverty.  She would probably marry the first economic light that entered her life and if her luck ran out she would be just like her mother in a decade or so following the same mistakes.

These are some of the people that President Obama says live paycheck to paycheck.  They are not smart nor industrious nor understanding that they make some of their own bad luck.  But in earlier times, before this recession, I wonder if their life might not have been so harsh as they got by week to week. 


  1. There are a lot of people in the country that are in truly dire straits. I'm glad you two were brave enough to give them a ride. And I'm REALLY happy that that was all it really entailed. There are a lot of scary things that happen. My heart just breaks for people like that. "There but by the Grace of God go I".

    That is a beautiful picture of the valley.

  2. We once in awhile do give someone a ride but most often offer to make a call to bring help as it's so often been a dodge. If I can see a disabled car or bicycle (even in the distance) or something to give credibility, it makes me more comfortable. My husband does it more often when he's alone. I wish people didn't take advantage of that need to rob, kill or rape others because it hurts those who genuinely need help. Out here I live near a public wayside of sorts and sometimes people get there and run out of gas or something (or so they claim) and hence show up at our door asking for help. That can be scary as once again, you simply cannot know for sure and sometimes passing a cell phone to them is all I will offer.

  3. Sad, there are so many people in dire straits. And with a generation of poorly educated people coming along, one wonders how many more there will soon be.

  4. I've been laying catch-up since my trip, and I've just now done so here! My goodness, girl! I'm so sorry about your accident, but in the same breath, quite glad it wasn't worse!

    I have occasionally given a lift to someone stranded, and I'm always stunned with circumstances that make me feel fortunate when I might have been whining about my own misfortunes before. I never regret the minor inconvenience, for I am reminded we are all in this together and must rely on each other's kindness at times.

  5. I have to guess that they are both "smart" and "industrious" to get complete strangers to give them a ride.

    Cannot wait to hear when you are 100% again and can get back to nature. I know you had to enjoy your ride in the country.

  6. You compassion for others certainly comes though in this post. Interesting turn in your day as you escaped cabin fever.

    Hope your recovery continues well.

  7. Perhaps before the budget cuts, they would have had mental health care. They would have had a job even if it had been minimum wages. They would have had a church to belong to even if they didn't believe.

    I see them here at freeway on and off ramps with their kids and dogs...signs saying please help. We still have social agencies that will help, but now days they aren't willing to give up the drink or drugs.

    So very sad.

    I still wish you had gotten an xray. Then again, you would laugh at me. My right foot is stuck. LOL

  8. I hope your foot heals quickly. Good for you, picking up the woman and girl. Not all hitchhikers are knife-weilding murderers. My grandmother, still driving in her 80's used to pick up everyone. I used to warn her and she ignored me. Once when I was visiting we stopped at a grocery store and there was an ominous pack of leather-jacket hoodlum blocking the front door of the store. But when we approached, they all said, "Oh Hello, Mrs. Cowell! How are you doing today, Mrs. Cowell? And they held the door open for her. I stopped trying to warn her after that.

  9. In a decent society those unable to help themselves are given a leg up by those who should hold themselves responsible, i.e. society in the form of the state.

  10. RYN: Heat helps mine. I've stayed off it most of the day and have a doctor's appointment. Feet that dump you on the floor in agony are not in my lexicon. I'll go to work tomorrow and try not to stand. So hope yours is better.

  11. I am happy that you are mending. That is a lovely photo.

    It is good that you helped those people and I am sure that your assessment is right.

  12. I also picked up a stranded person a few months back. It was actually a family and the desperate Mom sent her 17 year old son with me to get gas.

    All turned out well.

    Such a sad state of affairs. There are still so many more women than there are men and I wish all of them learned how to be independent and responsible for themselves.

  13. Several times I have picked up someone. Do not make a habit of it.
    Sad story, beautiful image and I am pleased you are healing and could out today....

  14. I always wonder if my own life would have been as charmed as it is if I hadn't been born into a specific set of circumstances. Some unseen force in the universe ensured I was born to a relatively secure family in a relatively secure part of the world, that I lived in a relatively nice house in a relatively nice neighborhood, and had access to all the things I needed - nutrition, medical care, community services, education - to ultimately build a similar life for my own kids.

    There but for the grace of G-d go I, I guess. You've reminded me why I can never take any of this for granted. Wishing you a continued and full recovery.


Take your time...take a deep breath...then hit me with your best shot.