Yesterday I was driving the home from dropping the children off at school. As I hit the stop light close to my house in the busy morning traffic, I noticed a large, white van blocking traffic. The driver was out of his vehicle trying to push it around the corner of the intersection. Obviously, the car was not cooperating. He was blocking three lanes of traffic.
"There's no way he is going to be able to do that," I thought, especially knowing the direction he was headed has a steep, immediate incline. Just as a I thought that, an old Volkswagen van two cars ahead of me swerved into the parking lot on the corner. "I bet he is going to help him." pause, pause "I'm going to help too," and I pulled my car into the same parking lot. After all, I was just heading home. I didn't have anywhere I needed to be.
Now, I realize that I am not a young, spring chicken, in fact, I'm an old lady of almost 44 and have given birth to nine children and gained 60 pounds from my youth. However, I have always been a strong and sturdy built woman. I don't have the same strength I did when I was younger, but several times over my lifetime I helped people with something physical only for them to remark, "Oh my. You're a lot stronger than you look." So I wasn't too worried that there were only going to be two of us pushing the van. After all, many hands make light work, and two people pushing is better than only one, even if one of them is an overweight older woman.
It probably took the three of us (driver included) about 20 minutes just to move the van out of traffic. Remember, the van now has no power steering either, and the driver was at least 20 years older than me. Even though he was a larger man, turning that wheel was like trying to move a boulder, because he kind of was. In the process of moving the van, the first responder had the van's hood close on his hand, removing a part of the skin. As we pushed from the front to allow gravity to give us a little more space to turn to the curb, the open hood shut right onto the side of his hand. He didn't bleed, but shaved off a layer of skin.
We finally got the van to the side of the road, set the emergency break, and turned the hazards on. I offered the Volkswagen man some neosporin I happen to have in my purse (remember I am a mother of boys....it is kind of a standard necessity). He was impressed that I was so prepared. I did not however, have a bandaid. I usually have one of those too. He said not to worry about it. He just lived over there and motioned up the street.
As we were getting to our vehicles, it hit me! "Hey, are you my Volkswagen loving neighbor?"
Confused, he turned around. "Every time I walk by your house (the one with three Volkswagens) I think to myself, 'Wow, they must really love Volkswagens.'"
"I'm doing pretty well," he said. "I've only got this one now," motioning to his van.
"Oh, well I just live up the street this way. I'm Carin, by the way."
"Nice to meet you! I"m John."
I have been meeting a lot of my neighbors recently. My little Smilely is playing on a basketball team that includes another family from the neighborhood who we didn't know. It has been so nice to get to know our neighbors. They are some pretty amazing people!
Next time you see that someone might need help, take a moment to offer your services, even if they will be declined. You might just meet one of your neighbors, like me!
(Sorry, no photos, the baby is crying and I have to get breakfast ready for the clan :-)