Monday, January 14, 2013

Going the Extra Mile

Here in our little piece of  Idaho which we call home there are small moments when along the highway we travel daily we encounter mini blizzards of dust or snow.  Along a five to ten mile section of this well traveled highway are many large squares of farmland and when Mother Nature decides to get the wind to whipping one will find themselves surrounded by so much dust or snow that all they see is the color brown or white swirling around their auto and in that moment it is very easy for one to lose their navigational skills, especially when they are aware that there were two to three cars somewhere behind them.  In those moments I tend to panic in fear that those cars behind me or cars that are going to be coming at me are going to hit me because I have no idea where I am on the road.
My husband has always stated that one cannot stop in that type of situation but must try and pull off to the side of the road and hope your are far enough off there is no accident caused.
So with my visibility at pretty much zero and driving around 5 miles an hour I attempted to follow his advise.  I had turned on my flashers miles earlier due to the worsening road conditions.  As I was attempting to navigate my Honda car off the road I felt myself stopped by my little car driving into a snow bank.  I had made it off the road; however upon exiting my car to make sure I had made it off the road I was totally surprised to see that not only had I made it off the road, I had crossed the center line and was off the road on the oncoming traffic side with my back bumper just past the white line.
Fortunately oncoming traffic just slowly passed by me.  Of course my first call was to my hubbie to let him know that I was off the road in a snowbank five miles from home.
As I was sitting in my car waiting for him to come and get me I had three thoughts pass through my mind. The first was my poppers telling me to never let my gas tank get below a half because you never knew when you would find yourself in a situation.  As I gazed at my gas tank I was horrified to see that I was well below  half a tank.  I had been so anxious to get home, I hadn't stopped and filled it up after work.
Secondly my poppers had also told me to have a blanket in the car for warmth and a couple weeks ago a local radio DJ also emphasized that point.  I remember thinkin I need to put one of our old comforters in the back seat just in cause; alas that comforter was still at home sitting on the couch.
My last thought turned to the parable of the Ten Lepers found in the New Testament.  As I was sitting in my car watching the snow bury my front tires deeper and deeper there were nine cars that passed me by and did not even slow down but then here come the 10th who stopped to make sure I was safe and that help was on the way.  As I watched this young man and his wife pull back onto the highway this thought ran through my mind, "and the one being a Samaritan turned and gave thanks and the Lord asked him, "were there not ten healed?"  I asked my Heavenly Father to bless that young man and his wife because truly they had been Samaritan's.
Then I seen the familiar blue and red lights flashing in front of my car.  An Idaho Patrolman had stopped to make sure I was safe.  As I visited with him I assured him that I was safe and then explained that my husband was on the way.  He then asked if anyone else had stopped to check on me and I related to him that so far just him and a nice young couple and stopped.  He proceeded to ask me how long I had been in the snow bank which I tried to answer but was unsure; then he asked if I felt my husband was close so that he could help divert traffic as my husband pulled me back on to the road.  Again I was unsure how close my husband was.  He looked at his watch and expressed concern about "Your not the only one off the road and there are only two of us patrolling this stretch of highway."  I assured him that up to this point I had been okay and no one had come close to clipping my bumper.  He then shared his concern that my bumper was out far enough and someone could hit me and how he would hate to see that happen.  He continued looking at his watch and then related to me that he would stay with me a little longer and see if my husband would show up.
Within minutes my husband showed up and pulled me back onto the road with out incident.  My husband then related to the State Trooper that he was going to have me leave my car somewhere and take me home but the officer upon seeing a passing snow plow suggested I follow it and I would get home safely but once I got started the snow plow had left me in the dust.  My heart began to pound because once again the snow started flurrying around me.

The State Trooper with lights flashing passed me and once in front of me slowed down and escorted me until I had safely turned into our driveway.
A day or so later as I was visiting with my husband about the State Troopers actions my husband replied, "That was his job."  I have given much thought to my husbands comment and I can agree with some of what that trooper did as only "his job."  But I believe that he did much more than just his job.
This trooper went the extra mile for a total stranger.  He did not have to stay with me once he had confirmed I was okay and help was on the way, true to his word there were five to six more cars off the road between where I had drove off and our home.
During our discussion he had asked me if I had an operational cell phone which I confirmed (at least I had charged the battery on my cell phone the night before) and he then told how to call the ISP office and they would let him know when my husband arrived, so that he could get back with me; yet he stayed.
The last thing was him guiding me safely through that farmland and making sure I was safe and sound in our driveway before he headed back to the others that were in need.
That is where I disagree with my husband's comment, "he was just doing his job."
He truly went the extra mile.

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