Strawberry Fields Forever… or It Would’ve Been, if Not for the Kind Stranger with the Tow Truck
This was supposed to be a sweet little story about a Sunday drive with my daughter.
But you know what they say about best-laid plans.
After church today, Norah refused to go down for her nap. So I figured, It’s a gorgeous day. Let’s get out of the house.
likes is obsessed with strawberries, and so I decided to check out Parksdale Market. It’s a popular farmer’s market in the strawberry mecca of Plant City, Florida. Hubby stayed back to watch football and fold laundry.
My GPS led us slightly astray, and instead of finding the market, we ended up at the processing plant, adjacent to rows and rows of strawberries. I thought, Maybe we’ll stop for a photo of the fields on the way back. Then asked a plant worker for directions to the market, which was about 2 miles up the road.
You know when you go somewhere that turns out to be packed, and you think, Why am I the only person who didn’t know about this? Yeah, that happened.
The line for strawberry shortcake wrapped around the building. There were strawberry milkshakes and strawberry cookies and strawberry bread. You name it. Then there was the intoxicating scent of orange juice coming fresh off the conveyor belt.
It was hard pushing Norah’s stroller through the crowd, so I bought a strawberry plant (cashier: “Good luck! I kill everything”), snapped some pics of Norah posing on the strawberry throne, and loaded her back into the car.
I drove back in the direction of the strawberry field so I could take that photo I’d been after. I pulled off the road, snapped a few pics, got back in my car… and nothing happened.
Turns out the shoulder of the road was made of sand. The harder I stepped on the accelerator, the more wet sand flew onto the hood of my car.
I felt like crying, but instead I launched into Mommy Mode. I noticed a car in the driveway across the street, so I unbuckled Norah from her car seat, and we headed that way. An elderly couple answered the door. I meekly explained my situation and asked if I could borrow a shovel.
The husband said, “This happens to people all the time,” which made me feel a little better. Then he said he was scheduled for shoulder surgery tomorrow and wouldn’t be able to help at all, which made me feel worse. The wife was pretty hearty; she and I took turns digging sand from around my tires as the occasional car whizzed by.
I’d thought for sure someone would stop to help an old lady and a woman with a baby. But no.
So we kept digging. After a few minutes, I tried the accelerator.
The woman returned to her house, and I dialed State Farm roadside assistance. I was still on the phone when, like a knight in shining armour, a man around my dad’s age pulled up next to us in a pick-up truck.
His wife had passed us in her car and sent him to help. He said, “I’m going to pull you out.” And that’s just what he did. He rigged a chain (who just happens to have a chain?!) to the back of my little Honda Civic, instructed me to put the car in neutral, and away we went.
“Thank you! You’re such a blessing,” I gushed. “Can I hug you?”
I never even got his name.
But I did get a car wash.
By the way, this is the strawberry plant we bought.
Wish me luck! Looks like I’ll need it.