I'm home again and I'm tired. We slept in this morning, so I don't have much time to write. There were lots of late nights and early mornings and very busy days at AGC, but it was a great group. It was also the largest camp we've had. Even if we didn't win, we made a difference in the polls and turned out more voters in Jasper County that usual.
Now that AGC is over, I'll be getting back into writing, teaching my last writing classes next week and working on some other projects that I'd had to put on hold until after the elections. We have to clean the house today! It needs it.
I hope you enjoy the next part of this Thanksgiving story.
My Best Thanksgiving
Part - 3
Sure enough, as we crept closer, we could see a car with its flashers on pulled over on the opposite side of the road. I pressed my face to the window wondering why they had stopped.
“Dad, they have a flat tire! We have to help them. It’s some older people!” I had seen an older man trying to make his way to the back of the car. Probably to get a spare tire.
“Ray’s right,” Carol added. “Isn’t there anything we can do?”
Dad didn’t say anything until he had pulled the van and trailer far enough ahead so that there was plenty of room for traffic to pass by and had turned his flashers on. “Lee, Ray, get something to tie over your nose and mouth.”
I was surprised to find myself once again included with Lee. Quickly I pulled out my handkerchief, folded it in a triangle and let Ginger tie it about my face.
“I wish we had safety glasses,” Dad said to Mom as he tied his handkerchief about his own face.
“I think we have one pair in the emergency kit,” Mom replied, opening the glove compartment and pulling out the kit. She was right. One pair of safety glasses was stashed there.
“I have my swimming glasses,” Vicki piped up from the back seat.
“Why do you have swimming goggles?” Carol asked, laughing.
“Case we go swimming.” Vicki’s voice was incredulous.
“See if you can wear them, Ray,” Dad instructed and the goggles were passed up to me. They were a little snug, but they would work. Now Lee was the only one without eye protection of some sort.
That’s when I had an idea.
“Don’t we have some packing tape?” I asked, ripping out two pages from my notebook.
Ginger pulled a box from under the seat and produced the tape. She caught on to what I was going to do and hurriedly helped me.
“What are you doing, Ray?” Dad asked.
“Making Lee some glasses.”
In moments they were ready. True, they looked rather like those square 3-D glasses you get to read comic books or something, but instead of colored plastic in the middle, Ginger had put packing tape on the front and the back. Lee looked really funny when he put them on, but he said he could see.
Dad instructed everyone else to stay in the van and to keep the windows shut. Then, using the side door on the right, we quickly climbed out and made our way back down the road.
The wind was strong, but I didn’t realize just how strong until we rounded the back corner of the trailer. I could hardly keep my eyes open enough to see anything even though I had on Vicki’s goggles, for the dust was blowing so hard that my eyes just closed instinctively. Since there was no traffic, at least none close enough for us to see anyway, we staggered across the road, bending almost double just to make headway against the wind. Lee kept a hold on my jacket and helped me along. Even with our bandanas over our mouths and noses, the dust got in and I started coughing some.
We reached the car and heard really bad coughing coming from the back. There was the man, an elderly man, bent over the open trunk of his car, coughing and coughing.
“Ray!” Dad had to shout to be heard. “Help him back inside the car, get in with him and give him some water.” He shoved a water bottle into my jacket pocket.
The man seemed more than willing to get back in the car, and I climbed in the back and shut the door. The instant relief from the dust and wind was wonderful and I pulled off the goggles and my handkerchief.
“Here,” I gasped, coughing a little and clearing my throat, which felt dry, and handing the water to the older man. “Have some water. It should help.”
The man’s hand shook as he raised the bottle and took a drink.
There was a gritty, grimy feeling in my mouth, and I longed for some water too, but knew the man needed it more than I did.
“Horace, are you okay?” It was the little, old lady in the passenger seat who asked the question.
After another long drink of water, a vigorous blowing of his nose and several deep throat clearings, the man was able to reply. “Yep, thanks to this young fella. But we need to get that tire changed.”
“Don’t worry about it,” I put in, afraid he might again venture out into the dust storm, “My dad and brother are working on it.”
The older couple, Horace and Peggy, fell to talking and asking questions so that it was a little while before I notice the red and blue flashing lights before us on the road and more behind us. From where I was, I couldn’t see if the vehicles were police cars or what, only the eery flashing colors. I wondered how long we would be stuck out there and how long the storm would last.
Eventually someone knocked on my door, opened it and slid in. I couldn’t tell who it was except for the paper glasses he wore, for his face, his hands, in fact everything on him was black. He coughed some and then said, “Your tire is changed and the police are going to see that you make it safely home. They said the storm seems to be lessening. Do you need someone to drive your car?”
“Well, as to that, I’m not sure if they could see any better’n I can, but if some young person wants to try, I’ll not object, will you Peggy?”
Mrs. Peggy shook her head. “I’d feel better if it was someone else and that’s a fact.”
“All right. Someone will be here in a minute. You ready, Ray?”
Comments or Questions?
Will you be back next week?