This morning, heading for an early morning medical appointment about 10 minutes from my house, the car crapped out. It was the third time in as many months. I was about halfway to my destination, but was stuck on a thoroughfare. I got out and stuck my thumb out since I had no cell phone. A heating contractor stopped, picked me up and dropped me off at the door to the medical building where my wife worked, some 300 yards away. Then, apparently, he or someone who saw me hitchhiking, called the cops, who showed up in the person of a bright-eyed-and-bushy-tailed young man who tracked me to the building.
A small kindness from several quarters.
Which had been duplicated in other ways when the car had crapped out before -- passers-by ready and willing to lend me their cell phones to call AAA and some sympathy into the bargain. Yes, I know -- get the car fixed ... which I have tried to do, apparently without complete success.
The sense of being marooned on the highway and elsewhere is a sinking feeling. I don't walk distances any more and am, like Scarlet O'Hara, left "relying on the kindness of strangers." Which they have been kind enough to give.
Small matters, perhaps, but little-bit-by-little-bit, I am touched by the kindnesses extended. The occasional sense that the world is full of a crusty indifference has been leavened by the knowledge that some people just need an opportunity to extend a helping hand instead of adopting a thousand-yard stare of indifference.
Pretty nice, I think. Despite all the sappy encomiums, pretty nice.