Thursday, February 16, 2017

"It Was A Dark And Stormy Night"

After spending a blest afternoon with family after my brother Eli's funeral last Thursday, we experienced an unusual after-blessing later that night.

Just as we left our gathering I noted the indicator light on my dashboard telling me I had an under-inflated tire. Just what we need, I thought, as it was already dark, extremely cold and windy, and with a chill factor of who knows what. And we had over two hours of travel to get home.

So I dropped Alma Jean and our daughter Joanna off at the foyer of Hotel Floyd where Joanna's husband was to pick her up (after his evening meeting in Wake Forest) and asked the kind lady at the desk where I could check my tires. She suggested the Exxon station just down the street or the Floyd Express a few blocks further away.

So I bundled up and ventured out. When I went into the Exxon to get the quarters I needed to use the air pump the attendant kindly suggested the Floyd Express, where the air is free. Which turned out to be Blessing # 1.

In the back of the Express I found an air pump but one without a gauge, so I asked the pleasant truck driver next to it, who was filling his propane delivery truck with diesel fuel, if he had one I could borrow.

"You'll never believe this," he said with a big laugh, "but this is the third time I've been here that someone has asked me for a tire gauge. Looks like I'll just have to get myself one, that's for sure. I figure the good Lord has me here on this earth to help people, and that's what I like doing. But just let me look at your tires and I can pretty much tell you which one is low and I'll put some air in for you." Blessing #2.

Meanwhile he went on to tell me all about how he had a second job hauling rodeo bulls around the country and that he raised bulls of his own that he had to go home and feed that night. But he insisted he was in no hurry and that he was going to make sure I had the proper air in my tires before we got on the interstate. 

When I told him about our reason for being in Floyd he said, "Oh I know Eli! He's a good man, and I used to deliver propane to him! And is he related to Steve Yoder? He's another good man I deliver to at the mill." He was delighted to learn that Steve was Eli's son, and expressed his sincere condolences to our family. Blessing #3.

My angel unaware then came to the car, eyed the tires and proceeded to add air to the one he thought needed it. "You can tell by the shape and looks of the tire," he said reassuringly. "Now check and see whether the indicator light is still on."

Unfortunately it was. So he added air to the other front tire, while I held his portable light in the cold. The same result. "Well, let's go inside and see if they have a tire gauge," he said.

They did, a cheap one for $2.50, which I promptly bought and gave him. "Now you'll have the tire gauge people keep asking you for!" I said, glad to at least do that much for this kind man. Blessing # 4.

Turns out one of the rear ones was the one that was low, but he insisted on checking them all and seeing to it that each had 35 pounds of pressure (a good thing, since the front ones were by then at around 40). Final blessing.

So there's my angel story, another example of what I've begun to call "Mercy's Law", the one that counters Murphy's Law, which holds that if anything can go wrong it will go wrong.

I so wish I had written down this kind person's name, but my aging brain can no longer recall it. So if any of you down at Floyd run across a propane truck driver who likes to help people and who has a farm where he raises rodeo bulls and transports them on weekends and who has a wife and four children, let me know. I'd like to send him a thank you note and a blessing. And maybe warn him not to trust his new, cheap tire gauge too much, since I discovered when I had my tires re-checked that most of them were over-inflated--certainly not his fault :-)

So there's my latest angel story. I'm still thanking God that on a miserably cold and windy night Alma Jean could be spending some good time with Joanna while I was blessed with the generous help of a Good Samaritan who loved giving people a hand when they needed it.

2/16/17 P.S. I just learned from one of my Floyd relatives that my hero is Wally Galla, who delivers propane for Southwestern Virginia Gas Service Corporation.
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