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at the mercy of strangers...

Friday, May 13, 2016
...when stranded along a lonesome stretch of Interstate highway in the dark. Pretty scary. And quite dark, as well as very lonesome... all those things piled atop each other at the same time are seriously stress-inducing. So much that I could not report on it yesterday - when it actually happened. But after a good nights' sleep back in the peace and safety of my own bed, I'm a bit more prepared to share.

After laying plans to go to Decatur for the day, and getting organized on Wed. night, I got up Very Early on Thursday morning. Put all the oddments I wanted to take along in my car and was on the road before five o'clock. So it was understandably quite dark out there. Over the years I have done a great deal of traveling under cover of darkness, so I was not particularly anxious about leaving home at such an early hour.

Events unfolded along a completely unpopulated stretch of highway, nothing but trees and wildflowers, that caused me to run off the narrow apron onto dirt/grass. And create a very flat tire. Out there amongst all that nothing. Some years ago the state highway department actually installed some emergency phones on poles along that forty-odd mile stretch of road. Before cell phones became so efficient and commonplace, unless some kind-hearted Samaritan stopped to offer assistance - you were in a serious bind. Those emergency contact phones have since been removed, and if you failed to put your phone in your pocket - that same bind exists today.

After my heart-rate slowed, and I could process information, I called the emergency number on my insurance card. The first question is: "Are You Safe?" And the answer was, thankfully, "Yes". That friendly voice at the service center in north GA arranged for a tow truck to come. I thought I had two flats, as it certainly was not drivable. But it turned out to be only one - so that is also a reason for thankfulness.  It was still thoroughly dark, and I could not really tell. I was concerned that I would be buying two new tires, even though I'd just purchased four less than a year ago. To the tune of over five hundred dollars.

I sat at the tire store for an hour or so before I got on the road again. There are many small details that are part of this story that make me feel blessed. It got fixed, I did not have to buy a new tire, it was easily resolved, the man who fixed it came in very early due to the alarm going off in the wee hours, the man who runs the office came in much earlier than usual so I could pay and be on  my way. I had cash in the right amount.

This whole scenario could have turned out badly, differently, a disaster of great proportions. I am so thankful, prayerful, blessed. And will be on my merry way after returning late in the day, buying another tank of gas before getting home, ready to go again....

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