One year I was driving 6oo miles, from Colorado Springs, CO to Waverly, KS to see my father, step-mother, and sisters for Thanksgiving weekend.
It's an excruciatingly long and boring drive; one that I had made several times. This time I opted to go a new way, away from the major highways. 3 hours away from home, around 6pm, I drove through a little town and as I looked away to adjust my radio I must have hit something in the road and the car spun and flew off the road into a ditch.
I tried not to panic though I was scared to deathand alone on a back road in the middle of "nowhere" (all before the days of cell phones). I gathered myself together, stepped out of the car and began to inspect the damage. The accident shredded one of my tires. Luckily I was just on the outskirts of a small town.
At the edge of town was a farmer's co-op, it looked pretty deserted but thankfully a man was there closing up the shop. The man was very kind and came out to help me get the car out of the ditch and change the tire. I followed him back to the coop.
This time his wife was there. She noticed that I was still shaking despite me attempting to put on a brave face. She insisted that I come home with them, have some dinner, get some rest and go back on my way in the morning.
She let me call my family to tell them what was going on and fed me a real Thanksgiving dinner (turkey, mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie, etc). They also invited me to help decorate their Christmas tree! Their youngest daughter (10 yrs old I'd guess) and I crafted some Rudolph ornaments, played a few games, and shared many laughs. It felt as though I had made it home after all.
The next morning, while she fed me breakfast her husband took my car and filled it with gas (I had been 19 and hadn’t noticed that I was nearly on E!). She also stuffed $20 into my hand along with some gift certificates for McDonald’s. The daughter gave me one of the Christmas ornaments we’d made together.
I hate that I cannot remember their name but I will never forget them.