Monday, July 19, 2010

Cloudy with a chance of kindness

Hazy. Hot. Humid. Chance of thunderstorms. Classic July weather forecast said Fox 5 Weatherman Mike Woods.  I laced up my sneakers, grabbed my water and Ipod and headed out. I drive each day to a local park, walk three miles outside of the park and finish up with two miles in the park. It usually goes well, until today.

I was about two miles from the park - and my car - when suddenly the sky turned black and I could hear the distant rumbles of thunder. I had no choice but to keep going, when the lightening lit up the sky. Okay, now I was getting a bit scared. I headed towards a main road - away from trees - and picked up my pace. Then the rains came.  Torrential. Drenching. If I was driving, the type of rain where your wipers seemed useless. I tried to run - it wasn't pretty - but I knew I couldn't run the whole way back.

I tried to think of someone who could come and get me, but I wouldn't be able to see my phone contacts in the downpour. I was totally soaked - shoes, shorts, hat....I kept squishing along the road, desperately looking at the cars flying by me, splashing even more water on me, to see if I could recognize anyone who could drive me back to my car. No luck. Then I started to wonder...would I stop for a complete stranger - a soaking wet stranger - and offer them a lift. Granted I look like what I am - a middle-aged woman, trying to get her daily exercise - not exactly on any one's terror watch list. As I distracted myself with these thoughts, a car suddenly stopped, the window rolled down, and a woman said "hey, do you need a ride somewhere?"

I quickly jumped in her car and apologized for being so wet! She said "don't worry - where can I take you?"  I couldn't stop thanking her and babbled on and on - she kept smiling and said "no problem". She took me to my car and drove off to work.

I'm not sure how you can really thank a stranger who took a chance and did the right thing. I just hope that if I am driving down the street in a rainstorm and see a bedraggled looking woman I won't hesitate to help. Now, if it was a man...not so sure. I am paranoid enough to think the worst...don't want to be a headline on the The New York Post ( mentioned on Page that would be different!

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