farm sunset
HELPING FRIENDS: In the wake of my burnt hand, my friend Pam recommended burn pads from Walgreens, CVS, etc. She says they’re basically a layer of water that goes over the burn and works miracles. I’m stocking up on them.

3 bad days, and then the helpers

Kindness of strangers eases a series of woes.

Ever have a bad day? Or a string of them where, say, the hits just keep on coming?

Like, for instance, a three-day stretch I had recently:                                  

Saturday: Nearly dropped a pizza in the camper on the last night of the state fair. Saved it by grabbing the pan with my other hand, without a hot pad. Instant blisters from thumb to index finger. (But I saved the pizza. Focus on the positive.)

Sunday: Arrived home from state fair and unnamed child opened a purple pen of ink on her carpet. Hours of scrubbing. Still purple.

Monday: Blew a tire on the interstate outside St. Louis. Six lanes of traffic were speeding past. My car was 10 inches from the right guardrail, and I could’ve reached out my window and touched the semis whizzing by. Not ideal.

But here’s what else happened.

When I left the fairgrounds to seek meds with a hand full of ice, the woman at the gate pointed me directly to the nearest Walgreens. She also told me I had 10 minutes to get back before that gate closed, which was valuable information. Then she checked on my hand when I came back in.

When I blew the tire and called the Illinois State Police, they sent a super nice man from IDOT Emergency Roadside Assistance. (Did you know that’s a thing? I did not.) He pulled up in a repair truck with lights, slowed traffic and helped me put the donut on. And by helped, I mean he did it while I asked him a series of questions, like, “Do you always feel like you could die out here?” To which he said, “Yeah, but you get used to it.” Then he told me which exit to take to buy a new tire.

At that exit, another super nice man from Dobbs Tire sold me reasonable new tires. Three hours later, I drove through Starbucks as I headed home; the person in front of me paid for my order.

The lesson? God shows up in the helpers. And in a world that’s often hard and anxious and angry, there are good and helpful people surrounding us every day. The carpet may still be purple, but the people sure are good.

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