Saturday, February 21, 2015

Strangers in Wrong Places

I may have driven to Kentucky on the best day in February, but I came back in the worst. Hoping to get in front of a snow-storm, I left in the early morning hours, only to end up in the middle of it.  I pressed forward hoping the weather would improve, but the conditions of the roads and the weather only worsened. After 12 hours of white-knuckle driving and seeing several accidents I'd only covered the distance that in good weather takes about six.
~Stopped for an accident~
Just as I finished slip-sliding and crawling over the mountains of the West Virginia Turnpike, I became a road-side casualty with a flat-tire.  With no shoulder to pull off onto, I stopped in one of the two barely passable lanes. I'd just gotten out of my car when two young Marines from South Carolina stopped to help me. They quickly changed my tire while a State Trooper and I looked on. The officer told me where to get a new one, and even called to let them know I was on my way.  The Officer couldn't get in touch with the shop, but assured me they were probably still open. When I got there, they weren't. With nearly a foot of snow already on the ground most businesses were already closed as night fell on the snow covered roads in Beckley West Virginia.
I'd not made been able to make any stops for Sheba and Charley since we'd gotten on the road, and I'd run out of water for them several hours before. We were exhausted and hungry and with the spare tire on the car, I knew I couldn't (and shouldn't) drive any farther.  I had to find a hotel to stay for the night. I was turned away at two places because of the dogs and after getting stuck in deep snow more times than I can count, I got really stuck one more time in the parking lot of a hotel that had closed for the night. After trying to dig my own way out, I realized I couldn't.  I hit rock-bottom as the thought of spending the night in my car seemed to be a reality I would face.

It may have been a rock-bottom moment, but another hero would arrive. A young man would come and with a shovel in hand he dug me out. I told him my story and he told me that he worked at a hotel that accepted dogs.  He'd just gotten off work, and knew that they had 3 rooms left for the night. In about 20 minutes I was checking in to the local Howard Johnson's.  Sheba and Charlie were ecstatic to be out of the car and romped and played in the freshly fallen snow. Back in our room I fed them what little dog-food I had and warmed my cold wet feet in the tub.

We were soon all settled in and were asleep by 9. The next morning, I fed a hungry Sheba and Charlie oatmeal from the breakfast bar. Letting my fingers do the walking through the phone book I found an opened repair shop where we made new dog-loving friends who gave Sheba and Charlie lots of attention, and even offered to get them food.  By 10 o'clock with a brand new tire, I was on the road again with sunshine and clear roads!

Three hours later, I crossed the border into Virginia....
and in another three I was home!
Carl did a great job caring for all the dogs while I was gone. Beau and Gus, the two I was most worried about were (of course) just fine!
Todd whined and cried when he saw us -- He's happy to have his pal Sheba back!  
~Sheba and Todd playing in the snow today~
Four days later I am still grateful for the "tender mercies" and a safe trip.  I'm also thankful for the kindness of strangers that were in the right place at my wrong moments.
I'm especially thankful that Sheba and Charlie were kept safe too.  They were perfect traveling companions who were always seemingly happy about the adventure...When they were awake.
Today we've had a full day of snow and I'm enjoying being home instead of driving home! .


  1. What an ordeal, I shudder to think of you driving through the ice and snow, we've had this last week.
    You met some very kind people along the way, it's refreshing to know there are still good souls who are willing to help God Bless 'em.
    Safe and snug once again in the fold, I'm happy to know that.

  2. What a journey. Can't imagine having a flat in THAT! So happy there were kind people to help you. Remember having to do the trip up 81 in an old VW in a storm...had to keep getting out of the car to chop the ice encasing the wheels, I had cats.....

    1. Oh, we're sure Todd was just as overjoyed to see YOU, too.

  3. Thank God you got home safely. Have a blessed Sunday and stay warm. ♥

  4. Angels in disguise, bless each one of them, and specially the dog loving hotel. What a journey after sad days, hugs and love from down here.XXX

  5. Oh my Goodness!! You certainly didn't need that nightmare at such a time. Thank goodness you arrived home safely. How good that you met those kind people along the way. It could have been much worse if not for them. I think, perhaps, your brother was there keeping watch over you.

  6. Oh my...You must be wrung-out. Please take some time to decompress. I can't begin to imagine how you still pushing through.

  7. Wow!! !what a story!!! Thankgodyour home safe and sound!

  8. What a trip! Road trips like that make home very much appreciated...:)JP

  9. Serously - your adventure sounds like the beginning of a novel. I say adventure, but if it were me, I would have been in tears (and cursing like a sailor). I would have to think, after a drive like that, that there would be no greater site (other than a huge glass of wine awaiting you - even if it is morning time - LOL) than that of your beautiful home as you were pulling in.

  10. Oh wow, what an adventure.. I am s happy you met nice strangers along the way and received the help you needed. I am sure having the dogs with you was a relief and great company for your trip.. Thank God you are all home, safe and sound.. Have a happy day!

  11. That must have seemed like a never ending journey home! So pleased for you that people helped you when it was needed....this definitely restores my faith in human nature.

  12. you were sent angels, no doubt. the young man with the shovel who just got off work at a motel that accepted doubt...

  13. Been there, done that. That's why we're in Arizona now.

  14. the kindness of strangers always amazes me. It gives you faith that all is not bad in this world.

  15. What an adventure you have been through. But lucky that kind strangers were their to help out. Nice to know that good people still exist. Happy sunday. get some rest and enjoy the dogs and your home before heading back to work. Ana

  16. So glad you made it safely. Winter driving is my nightmare and I often cancel things to avoid such adventures as you had. Your stories of the kindness of strangers reminded me of the good people can have in them!

  17. You had me holding my breath waiting for the next good thing to happen. Thank goodness you didn't have to spend the night in your car. You had some bad luck but also some good. Glad you are home and safe now.


  18. I'm so glad you made it home safely, Kim. AND that we now have documentation of "the kindness of strangers!"

  19. phew!
    what an adventure. I am glad you all got home eventually and so happy you met people along the way to help you in your hour of need. xxx

  20. Kim,
    That was quite the journey home. I know the feeling driving in white out conditions. Can't even imagine having a flat tire to go with it all.
    Isn't it wonderful how perfect strangers are so willing to help one another. I'm amazed everyday at the concern and overall heartfelt gracious hearts out there willing to help in times of need. Some day's the world is a beautiful place. Glad you and the crew arrived home safe and sound.

  21. Oh Kim, so so happy your home now, safe after all that traveling. Also that Carl and the furry kids were fine. Blessings Francine.

  22. Oh WOW ! What a scary yet fun adventure for you all ! I am glad you made all safe and sound ! Nice to know there are still kind friendly helpful folk out there ! Lovely photos no place like home though ! Thanks for sharing , Have a good day !

  23. A trip from hell, but thankfully, you found angels along the way.

  24. oh my darling girl. i read this with tears in my eyes!
    for your courage and pluckiness... and for the kindness shown to you.
    they knew what kind of heart you have.
    my own marine does things exactly like those two marines. it's that
    "see the hill take the hill" mentality they have. the good ones anyway.
    and the young man arriving just in the nick of time and HAPPENED to work in a hotel that takes dogs??? WOW. the universe speaks.
    i'm so glad you're safe at home. and warm. the pictures are wonderful.
    and so are you.

  25. Bless your heart, thank God for the angels he sent your way.

    Aroo to you,

  26. Phew, what a road trip! So glad to read that you didn't have to spend the night in the car.


  27. OMG Kim! What a trip that was! On so many levels, I know.
    Happy to hear that you met a couple of people who were kind and offered you help.
    Loved the photo of Todd and Sheba meeting up!!
    Good to here you got home safely.

  28. Now that was some trip!!!! So glad that people were out there who could help you and the pups. Can't believe the way Kentucky got bombarded. You all must be very happy to be home after all the white knuckle driving.

  29. As much as I'm sure that you wanted to get home a day earlier, your photos tell how good it was that you stopped. And thank goodness for the kindness of generous strangers!

    I'm glad that you are home, safe and resting, with your wonderful pack.

  30. OMG! I was on the edge of my chair reading this!
    I'm so glad you and dogs made it home safe.
    How wonderful to know there are still good caring people out there.
    You are truly amazing.

  31. I am so glad your all home safe and sound! That was a terrible nightmare..
    and it sure needed to stop getting worse!
    I am so glad for the strangers that came to your aid,, and helped.,
    I know you love snow,,, but I think that was a little too much at one time!

  32. Doesn't it restore your faith in people when you meet such kind strangers? I'm glad the story ended well and that you are home safe and sound.

  33. Oh mates. We felt white knuckled and pawed just reading about the trip. It amazes us that life still has to go on even with such horrendous weather. How absolutely fabulous you met such caring and helpful people. It makes us happy to hear of such caring individuals. Take care and so glad you made it home safely.
    No worries, and love, Stella and Rory (and Carol)

  34. I'm so sorry you had to go through all of that. What a nightmare, but I am glad help came and are safely home!

  35. Oh my goodness mom and I were holding our breathes all the time we were reading this, I finks our mom would have cried, and because she reads creepy books would have assumed that nice guy who took you to the nice motel was really a serial killer, good thing you have more common sense then mom does. we would have froze. stella rose

  36. So glad everything came out ok. That makes me so mad in the weather you were having that a hotel would not let you stay because of the dogs. GRRRRRRR!

  37. It sounds as though you had a few angels along your treacherous and physically and mentally exhausting trip. I am so grateful for the two marines that appeared to change your tire to the young man that dug you out and just happened to work for a hotel that accepted dogs came to your rescue..So glad that you are safely home. I know Carl and all of the dogs missed you. Good to know that Beau and Gus are doing well.
    Again, condolences on the loss of your brother.

  38. I'm glad to hear you made it home safely! We had issues with hotels before, and it always seems to be at the worst time. Thank goodness for strangers!

    Monty and Harlow

  39. I am glad you are all safely home. The small things that strangers do for each other are very special I think. xxx

  40. That was an Adventure! So thankful that kind people stopped to help you in your time of need. I bet home never looked so good!
    My lawn in the front (sunny) yard is all green weird!

  41. And all our winter activities are being canceled for Fur Rondy :(

  42. That certainly counts as a stressful journey.
    Thank heavens for the kindness of strangers, dog lovers and uniformed old school civility from the Beaufort duo.
    Bet Sheba and Charlie thought it was all great fun !

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  44. We moved here in the middle of an ice storm and our SUV decided to start dying during the trip. Your adventure reminds me of that trip. We got the last motel room in a small town as the roads closed around us but they didn't take animals. We were traveling with three dogs and six birds. We drove around back of the building and passed them in thru the window. Nerve wracking!!


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