Friday, July 31, 2009

Newfoundland Angels

I don’t know what time it is where you are or where this blog is published but it is 2:30 AM in Newfoundland on August 1. The time is ½ hour ahead of Atlantic Time. Today is HappyThon 2009. Send a happy message to everyone you know. This is a happy story because it has a happy ending. Sorry that I don’t have pictures but angels don’t take very good pictures.

Do you know what angels look like? No, our angels didn’t wear white gowns and come floating to us on gossamer wings. They appeared to be an attractive couple of about 40 years old wearing blue denim, black leather and motorcycle helmets and came to see us riding their motorcycles.

Angels give you messages and help you when you are in trouble.

The accident happened a few minutes after twelve noon on July 12, 2009. We were traveling in our RV about two hours from Corner Brook, Newfoundland when we wondered if we should take Highway 340 or 341.

“There’s a road with a place to park. Pull off and look at the map” I told my husband Terry. He drove on the service road but instead of parking on the gravel area, he pulled off onto a grassy area. Suddenly we heard a loud thump, glass breaking and stuff falling.
My first thought was to get out of the RV. I reached for the door latch. The steps automatically descended and the door and the steps slammed into the soft dirt. Both Terry and I crawled out.

The back wheel was spinning crazily in a ditch, which has been hidden in tall grass. The driver’s front tire was several inches off the ground. The RV continued to teeter. Terry crawled back uphill into the RV and put the jacks down. The RV leaned at a 20-degree angle. There were hundreds of cracks in the passenger side of the windshield and a gapping hole in the windshield on the driver’s side. I had seen a broken cabinet and stuff lying all over the RV before I bailed out.

It was obvious that we needed a wrecker. My camera bag was in my lap when the accident occurred. In it was my wallet and cell phone.

There was no service in this remote area to the cell phone. A gas station was near by. The attendant told me to dial 0 instead of 1 for the 800 numbers on the pay phone to call our road service. I was put on hold for half an hour before I was disconnected. I kept trying to get road service. Terry and the gas station attendant called someone the attendant knew before I reached road service some fifteen minutes later.

Then we waited. The couple on the motorcycle and others asked if they could help. We said that help was on the way. The angels said that stuff was replaceable and we were fortunate that we were not injured.

We waited. I was scared. What were we going to do? Would the RV go completely over when someone tried to maneuver it? We were on day two of a forty-one day trip to Newfoundland. The RV wasn’t just a mode of transportation but also our only home. We have been traveling full time for twelve years in one RV or another and all our stuff for our daily living is inside. What could we selvage? How would we get off the island?

Three hours passed before two men from the wrecker company arrived in a heavy-duty pick-up with jacks and 8 x 8 pieces of wood to use for cribbing. It stabilized the RV but there wasn’t any way it could be driven out.

The motorcycle couple returned with a heavy-duty pickup and their travel trailer. The man lay on the ground and checked the situation out. “I’d pull you out if I could with my wrench but you are too big. There isn’t any transmission fluid or fuel leaking.” He stated. “They look intact.” The couple, who said they were Susan and John, tried to reassure me.

We waited another one and a half hours before the men with the jacks and cribbing arrived with their wrecker. They didn’t have a clue where we should go to have the RV checked or glass replaced.

John and Susan arrived on their motorcycles just as the RV was pulled out. John checked the bottom of the RV and told us that it looked safe to drive.

Susan looked at me and said, “You look exhausted. You need to come to our house. My husband drives a semi truck. We have space for the RV, tools and even a pit if you need to work on it.”

I looked at Terry. He asked where they lived. They answered that they lived about a half hour away towards Corner Brook but not to worry about where. They would lead the way.

Now what are the chances that they would have space, a torch, welder, and other tools to fix the RV? John even had an aluminum strap to hold the muffler up.

Susan invited me in their home.” Have you eaten today?” She asked. I admitted that I hadn’t even thought about food. “Would steak, baked potatoes and corn be all right?”

When I expressed gratitude, Susan just said, “I’d want someone to help me so we are helping you.”

John said that he was broken down with his semi one day when a stranger came along and asked to help. The man returned and said that his wife insisted that John come home with him for lunch but John was shy and told the man that he was okay. A little later the man returned with a bagged lunch for John.

Susan offered to have us sleep in their spare room but we cleared a path through our stuff and crawled into our own comfortable bed. They didn’t want any payment. Both John and Susan hugged me before we said good night.

When we woke the next morning, the house and garage were still there but our angels were gone.


Jerry and Suzy said...

Darlene, what a terrible thing to happen, and then how wonderful to have angels find you and help out! And not even in our own country. Such good neighbors we have to the north!

We are so glad you are okay and that your rig was fixable.

You should put this story on Nick's "Today's Hero" blog!

Sue said...

Oh, wow, that is a fantastic and scary story. And I thought it was scary when we had a "toad" blow out with only a fender and bumper blown off. Yours was the 2nd day of your long trip, ours was the last day of our 3 month trip. But I thanked the "angels" for protecting us as we had our 4 small grand kids riding with us from AR, to CA. So sorry for your loss. Write a sequel to tell us how things turned out.