Skip to main content

A Random Act of Kindness

Today was supposed to an uneventful day, one of the last before I head back to work next Monday. For most of the day it was uneventful until I headed out for PT, and made the fateful decision to take a route to I-4 that lead down Hollywood Way (from Turkey Lake) right onto Universal Blvd, which led directly to I-4 east. It was after I'd just turned onto Universal that a car came very close around my right front and I swerved left to avoid them. I hit a low curb with the left front tire and blew out the tire's sidewall. The other car, in such a hurry to get around me, kept right on going.

And that's the way it was, with heavy traffic flowing around, and no-one bothering to stop (there were a number of witnesses). It didn't take long to see I was going to need to put the spare on, the problem being my healing leg getting in the way. So I decided to use, just this once, my AAA Premier service I pay over $300/year for to see if they could schedule a wrecker over to at least help me change the tire. When I called at 1:45 pm, I was informed by AAA that they couldn't get anyone there before 2:45 pm. I called my wife right after to have her call the PT folks and let them know I wasn't going to make it.

While sitting there waiting for the wrecker, a car came around the front and parked. Out stepped a young woman named Julianne. She works at Universal. She was on her way home from a shift that had started at 5:30 that morning. She was still bright and cheerful and asked if everything was OK. I was able to quickly explain what had happened and she could see the now-fully-flat front tire. When I told her how long it would take for a AAA representative to arrive, she asked if there wasn't some way to change the tire between the two of us. She offered to do it herself if not for the fact she was pregnant. So here we two were, a crippled old man and a pregnant young girl, deciding to change the tire.

I pulled out the manual, then pulled out the doughnut spare and the tools. I managed to get down on the ground, hook up the simple car jack, and between the two of us we got the car up and the tire changed.
And all the time we were doing this the traffic kept flowing around us, non-stop. The only time any traffic did stop was if any cars were trapped by traffic in the other lanes. Then the drivers would sit and glower at us for the temerity of getting in their way, until traffic cleared to their left and they could whip around us.

I was so happy to have Julianne, if for no other reason than to have her standing nearby in her bright traffic jacket, to keep me company and to let others on the road know I had a problem.

It took about 30 minutes to change the tire and have everything put away. When finished she bid me safe travel and left to finish her interrupted journey home.

What struck me about her was her cheerful enthusiasm to help, and her idealism. This is what always causes me to stop and think about our young, especially our children. The majority of our young, of every generation, always start out strongly idealistic and willing to dive enthusiastically into whatever task crosses their path. Julianne was kind, considerate, and concerned. Far more so than her elders who were streaming around the two of us on their way to whatever was that was so important to them. That is what separates her cohorts from mine; we oldsters wind up having our idealism ground down and we develop an attitude of entitlement, that whatever we have we've earned and thus deserve, no matter what. We don't have time for small acts of charity.

I was able to drive (slowly) down to Courtesy Toyota on 436 where I had them order a new Bridgestone replacement for $140. Tomorrow I drive back (slowly) and they'll put it on and check the alignment. I have no idea what I'll wind up paying totally for this little incident.

In spite of the cost and lost time, I came away a good deal richer today that when I started. I started off rather cynically, yet I ended the day with a good deal of hope for the future. Julianne reminded me of all the good that is in people, especially the young and young at heart. Thank you, Julianne, for helping me today.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

A Decade Long Religious Con Job

I rarely write inflammatory (what some might call trolling) titles to a post, but this building you see before you deserves it. I've been seeing this building next to I-4 just east of Altamonte/436 and Crane's Roost for nearly 12 years, and never knew who owned it. Today on a trip up to Lake Mary with my wife I saw it yet again. That's when I told her I wanted to stop by on the way back and poke around the property, and photograph any parts of it if I could.

What I discovered was this still unfinished eighteen story (I counted) white elephant, overgrown with weeds and yet still under slow-motion construction. It looks impressive with its exterior glass curtain walls, but that impression is quickly lost when you see the unfinished lower stories and look inside to the unfinished interior spaces.

A quick check via Google leads to an article written in 2010 by the Orlando Sentinel about the Majesty Tower. Based on what I read in the article it's owned by SuperChannel 55 WA…

first night for the gingersnaps

The first night has passed and the two have managed to survive, in spite of what their tiny hearts might have thought when first arriving. Greebo, the larger of the two, has been in hiding the entire time so far. Ponder has spent the time zipping in and out of hiding spots, checking things out, and learning just how comfortable pillows are for resting your head.

During the night I felt the tiny body of Ponder hitting the bed as he leaped up on the side, and then climbed to the top to run around on top of me. At least once he play-attacked my fingers. He might be small but his claws are still quite sharp.

When I got up in the morning the bowl of cat kitten food was fairly well depleted. It's been refilled and fresh water put in the big dish on the floor. I'm assuming that both Greebo and Ponder are feeding and drinking. I have seen Greebo under the furniture peeking out at me when I went looking for him. I'm leaving him alone while he continues to adjust.

So far the guys h…

cat-in-a-box channels greta garbo

So I'm sitting at my computer, when I start to notice a racket in back. I ignore it for a while until I hear a load "thump!", as if something had been dropped on the floor, followed by a lot of loud rattling. I turn around and see Lucy in the box just having a grand old time, rolling around and rattling that box a good one. I grab the GX1 and snap a few shots before she notices me and the camera, then leaps out and back into her chair (which used to be my chair before she decided it was her chair).

Just like caring for Katie my black Lab taught me about dogs, caring for Lucy is teaching me about cats. She finds me fascinating, as I do her. And she expresses great affection and love toward me without coaxing. I try to return the affection and love, but she is a cat, and she takes a bat at me on occasion, although I think that's just her being playful. She always has her claws in when she does that.

She sits next to me during the evening in her chair while I sit in mi…