Someone holds the door, helps with a flat tire, shares a smile, makes you laugh, or stops so you can make a left-hand turn. I call them simple acts of kindness or everyday heroes.
They are not only soldiers, policemen, or firemen, but ordinary people who, for whatever reason, show up and save me. They are serendipitous—not planned or expected—random.
I am sharing a few everyday hero stories from my early farmwife days.
When pregnant with my third child, I headed out with my two and six-year-old for a doctor’s appointment 60 miles from home. We encountered unexpected blizzard conditions plus a flat tire. Cars whizzed by on Highway 34 as I wrestled the tire wrench in the freezing wind. Finally, a stranger stopped, took us and the flat tire to town, waited for the repair, and replaced the tire before sending us safely to the doctor.
Towing a one-year-old and my now three and seven-year-old, I went to Denver to help my sister, Vicky, after the birth of her baby, Tara. When it was time to go back to the farm, I took a cab to the bus station, and the ticket salesman would not accept a check for payment. After the cab fare, I had no cash, and I didn’t own a credit card. We were stuck in downtown Denver, late at night, in a very sketchy area with no way to go back to my sisters or the farm. The kind bus driver said he would take my check since he knew Ovid Shirley at the Anton Store. Out of sheer thankfulness, I gave him all the money I had, my lucky 1916 Mercury Dime.
There was the time I got stuck in the mud and slept all night in the car. The mailman, Jim McCracken, on his morning route, stopped, and from a neighboring house, called my husband to come to pull me out.
I used to run (jog) for my mental and physical health. Once I was running on Highway 64 between Akron and Anton when communication failed. I thought my family was picking me up after 30 minutes, and they didn’t. I kept running to stay warm, it grew very dark, dogs barked
from all directions, and I was frozen. A friend, Lois Wahl, spotted me in her headlights and took me to my sister, Patty’s.
I can’t forget to tell you about the farmer and his son who showed up at my shattered pickup window after I had flipped over in a ditch on Highway 61 on my way to Otis. They called my husband and took me and my son, Ryan to the doctor in Akron. I thought they were angels.
One last example: I ran out of gas, got the kids out of the car in anticipation of a five-mile hike home, and a CO-OP truck popped over the hill. Voilà, I had a refueled car.
Thank goodness for everyday heroes who will forever be remembered and appreciated to the max. Gratitude is medicine for everyone’s mental health. I hope recollections of my everyday heroes help you remember yours.
Until the next time: Live while you live.
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