Friday, October 16, 2009

Rainbows, Diamonds, Trust and Fortunes....

The moody sky outside my bedroom window was dark and rainy as I was getting ready to go to work. While thinking it was going to be a "bad hair day," a rainbow appeared. It wasn't fleeting, but stayed long enough for me to reflect on it's beauty and magic. I was even able to take a picture before it was time to go. I gathered up my suitcase and other bags and loaded them into my trusty car, and drove to the airport for my 3 day trip to Paris. Life in the airline business is full of security checks,

x-ray scans, pat downs,

alarms and armed guards. Often, as a society, trust can't be trusted...and so many seem to be just looking out for their own self interests. We have to mentally check and cross check as we maneuver through our day. I returned home from my trip and had planned to be up at 4am the next morning to drive to Rochester, NY for Family Weekend at my son's college. Setting out into the dark morning, the long drive was brightened by the changing foliage. All seemed well five hours into the trip on the NY Thruway, until alarms started going off in my car. The dashboard panel displayed a dire warning..."STOP THE CAR NOW!" At 70 mph, that is what we did. Large trucks whizzed by, shaking my ailing car. Thank goodness for cell phones and AAA. After about 1/2 hour, the tow truck arrived and towed my car to the nearest town, Herkimer, NY. At 12 noon Saturday, on a holiday weekend, we were informed almost everything was closed, including rental car agencies. There was a small local hotel that might be of service until Monday. Monday? I have to go back to Paris on Monday! But wait, there was one place that might be of help....the Goodyear store was open. Arriving there in the cab of the tow truck, I visualized the rainbow of a few days prior. Eric, the owner of the store dropped everything and had his mechanics assess the problem, while he made phone calls. Sitting in the waiting room, we learned of the claims to fame of this small western New York town. There are mines in Herkimer that have quartz, called Herkimer Diamonds. They are known worldwide for their shape and clarity, with scatterings of the mineral, Goethite. The healing properties of these crystals are used to promote universal love and to teach us to relax, let go of the small stuff and learn to enjoy this journey through life. The inside of them sparkles with silvery light and rainbows. Rainbows?? OMG...I expected Rod Serling from the 1960's TV show, "The Twilight Zone", to appear before me right then...Do...Do...Do...Dooo. OK, back to reality, and hopefully with no macabre twists! Eric informed me the car issue could be too big for his shop if there was engine damage, and that would take more time and expertise. Knowing that we were going to Rochester to visit my son, Eric and his wife Rita, offered to loan us a minivan they owned. My jaw dropped....he trusted us to take his car to Rochester??? "Could I pay you?"....."No, just continue your trip, visit your son, and bring it back when you're finished", they said. My car remained behind in a bay of his garage.

We incredulously were back on the NY Thruway heading west, just a few hours later, feeling the universal love, letting go of the small stuff, and enjoying the journey, overwhelmed by their generosity and trust.
We arrived in Rochester in time for my son to show us some of his photography, give a tour of the  darkroom he uses, to see his room all set up and to meet his roommates. I gave him the treats I brought and we headed off to dinner at a favorite Asian restaurant. The food was warm, comforting and delicious. When the fortune cookies arrived, I was a little apprehensive due to the eventful day. Carefully breaking the cookie in half, the fortune serendipitously read, "Confucious says, don't see through people, but see them through." Whoa!

Fortunately, the parents of a friend of my son's were there for Family Weekend. They kindly met us back in Herkimer the next day, where we returned the minivan and rode the rest of the way back home with them. We chatted the whole way back and we all know each other a little bit better.

It is now a week later and I just received word that my car is finished and I can pick it up. Well, I have to go back to Paris again next week I'll make the trip back to Herkimer, a journey filled with the trusting gems of people, and friends I'll never forget.

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Karen @ Mignardise said...

What a great story! I firmly believe that what goes around comes around. Some day you will do something just as nice for a stranger, and some one will help Eric in an unexpected way.

Glad everything worked out ok.
Enjoy Paris!

Mari @ Once Upon a Plate said...

Oh my gosh, what a story! It gave me a chill to read it.

I'm so happy it all worked out so well. I, too, believe in what some call karma ~ I think you're getting some of that back for the kind things you've done. I hope the circle is endless. :)

Say 'hi' to Paris for me! *sigh* Could anyone ever grow weary of saying "I'm going to Paris tomorrow..." ??! xo

Ju (The Little Teochew) said...

Beautiful story, and you renewed my faith in human kindness! I am so glad you got to meet our son and catch up over good food. Your first photo is breathtaking! :) And like Mari said, could anyone grow tired of going back to Paris?!

Kathy Walker said...

What a adventure. The car loan was certainly an almost unheard of level of trust! How fortunate that you were able to continue your journey to be with your son....and the return trip, equally as fortunate...a rainbow day to be sure.

Lori (All That Splatters) said...

What a great story! This is a perfect example of 'paying it forward'. Acts of random kindness and generosity inspire us to do the same for others. I also love the reminder to have appreciation for things we generally take for granted, just like your rainbow.

Another wonderful post!

food with style said...

what a sweet story, i love faith in mankind~

La Table De Nana said...

I love Eric and his wife:) I love stories like this..and I love that you told us:)
It's A Wonderful Life!!!!

2 Stews said...

Thanks so much to all for the comments :-)) I have been absent in Bloggerland due to dealing with this and my crazy schedule this month. I finally got my car back yesterday!! Yea!

I consider the experience a gift...a gift in the faith of life and people.

Stay well and happy everyone!


Linda@ Lime in the Coconut said...

Just reading this perfect story! Love it on soo many levels. One, I KNOW Herkimer. That is how that tiny community is. Two, I went to school in Rochester...and three I sooo needed to hear a story like this today!

Many thanks!

Larry said...

Hello -

Love the story but have a question.

The airport pics - are they in Paris?

2 Stews said...

Hi Larry....yes, the airport pics are in Paris. Have you been there before? It is a bustling airport that is a sampling of the world.

Glad you enjoyed my post!


Larry said...

Long story short - yes, I've been there.

I, along with my wife and the rest of the passengers on the plane spent several hours in isolation. We visited the Middle East many many years ago with a stop over in Paris. We were flying Air Pakistan (best in flight coffee BTW). Unbeknown to us there had been a threat against the plane. They isolated the plane out in the boonies of Charles de Gaulle airport. The passengers were then isolated in a special enclosure. The closest we got to Paris was looking out the window and seeing la Tour Eiffel. The wife just stood there and cried.

2 Stews said...

Larry...I sensed there was more to your story, hence the question. Having the horrific events of 9/11 originate at my base and on my airline, I can understand what you went through at Charles de Gaulle. I had so much soul searching about life after that. I became resolved to never base what I do out of fear, but also not become complacent or hardened. Every day on the airplane, I must look at people and assess without fear, and trust in life and love. Just a few days ago an incident happened with a couple on the airplane, and my reaction brought a profound affirmation in humanity to them. I hope I can continue to pay this trust forward.

Thanks for your comment and I hope your situation at Charles de Gaulle won't prevent you from returning to one of my favorite cities.

I'm glad you at least enjoyed the coffee on the airplane ;-))

I popped over to your site...good luck on your beautiful renovations!


Larry said...

Thanks Diane -

The kitchen is basically done and I'm getting ready to do a MEGA post about it.

As for Paris...We are trying to figure out how to go and spend at least a month. Even though we have not been to France we are major Fracophiles!!

Right after marriage we had the chance to move to a small village in Alsace-Lorraine to run an inn. We are kicking ourselves for not doing it.