Monday, May 17, 2010

Weekend Delights

The past weekend has been an interesting and inspiring one to say the least. The magic started on Friday evening, when I went with my son to an art show in Wake Forest where my friend Pam’s paintings are displayed.

It was a lovely evening – we enjoyed browsing around the gallery, and were amazed by some of the talent; after a while, we just sat outside, drinking in the warm air and engaging in a fun conversation. When our friends left, my son and I took a walk on White Street, and were delighted to listen to a band playing outdoors as we were strolling along.

Shortly after, we went back to our car and headed back to Raleigh. As I drove, I could feel my car responding differently, and I made a mental note to bring it in to get checked on Monday; but, when I got into Raleigh – thankfully not too far from home – I began to hear a strange sound, so I turned off the radio and opened the window to see if what we heard was coming from my car or from a different one riding nearby. It was indeed mine, and all it took was for my son to slightly peek his head out before he said: “Uh oh, Mom, you have a flat tire.”

It wasn’t just flat…the poor thing had miserably blown, and the rim was painfully riding over it. I slowed down, and got into my left lane, trying my best to get out of Capital Boulevard before things got worse. I drove a little longer, and pulled into a nearby neighborhood; once I was sure we were away from heavy traffic, I stopped the car and we got out to inspect the damage. There was no way I could continue driving, so I got my cell phone and tried to call home. No signal! I walked little ways down the street, hoping to get a sign of life, and all I got was a big, fat nothing. I had two choices – Michael and I could walk home, since we weren’t too far and it was a pleasant evening, or we could knock on someone’s door, which, being ten-o-clock at night was definitely not my first choice. Right at that moment, I saw something moving, and to my relief, I saw a man coming out of his house to walk the dog. I asked him if I could possibly use his phone, and explained the situation. He handed me the phone, and even offered to change my tire; I deeply appreciated his offer, but gently declined, not wanting to put him out even more than I already had. I got a hold of my husband, and within ten minutes he was there. The tire was too damaged to fix in the dark, so we decided to leave the car there and go back for it the next day.

When I got in the car, my little daughter was waiting in the backseat; she smiled and handed me a little homemade gift she hurriedly prepared before leaving the house to cheer me up. Suddenly, the beauty of it all washed over me unexpectedly. I had a wonderful evening, and because of a small inconvenience I was able to top it off with kindness from a perfect stranger, and awareness that, no matter what, someone is there for me to call upon in a time of need. And all along, even while we were waiting for my husband to arrive, Michael and I enjoyed our time – we pulled down the windows and quietly talked. It wasn’t cold, it wasn’t raining, and we were happy to have a little extra time to chat. Strangely, what could have been an unwelcome situation turned into an inspiring and fun adventure.

If that wasn’t enough, when we got home we received a phone call from an old army buddy my husband met while serving in Italy. He was coming through Raleigh on business, and wondered if he could come by to see us. He arrived Saturday morning, and spent the day at my husband’s shop with him; in the evening, we sat on the deck, grilled steaks, and reminisced about those wonderful days of a summer long ago, when we all met.

What a magical weekend it was, and how unexpected! That’s how life works sometimes…a delicious surprise, one day at a time. And occasionally it might all even start with a tire blow-out.

Side note: I will not be online much this week, as I am trying to help my editor prepare the novel for digital upload, so there won’t be any posts published for a few days. “See” you all when I get back!