Monday, May 2, 2011

Raining its pouring...

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It has been storming since Sunday.  The earth is weeping tears of joy for the death of Osama Bin Ladin. Or maybe it is just spring in Texas.  This was so me running into work this morning...well except for the dress, the umbrella oh and I was running into the school building dodging parents in their giant SUVs.

I hate driving in the rain.  Puddles are traumatic.
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When I was 18 years old I drove a sad little beat up Thunderbird.  It was white with a sunroof.  The sunroof didn't latch close, and the headlights didn't really aim straight more cross eyed.  I loved that little bad car.

In May of 1994 I was driving my little darling of a car and working women's retail.  I got a call that my gradfather was touch and go and my mother and I needed to get to Midland.  I was upset, I decided to take  short cut home through a neighborhood.  Did I mention it was a dark rainy night?  Well it was.  And those little crosseyed lights were not doing their job. I didn't care I was an invincible 18 year old.  I splashed through the puddles and was sure the short cut was the right route.  The water got deeper.  I had forgotten about that little creek and the bridge.  It wasn't much of anything, when it wasn't raining.  The water got deeper, scary deep.  There was that moment where I knew the car was about to stall.  I had a choice push it, let it glide forward or try and turn and let it die as I straddle two lanes.  I pushed forward right over the bridge.
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Bad choice.  The card died and in seconds water began pouring through the gas pedals. I panicked. Get out or stay in the car.  Wildly looking around I could see the water cresting over the hood of the car.  The car shifted carried by the current.  I knew in the car was safer.  The car only had two windows both electric.  I knew I only had seconds.  I rolled them down and hopped I made the right choice.  There was a sickening five minutes I was left alone in the car as the water rose.  I tried praying, and decided I would scream.  After what felt like eternity a small firetruck showed up.  I waved frantic to get their attention.  They left.  The truck turned around and left me without a word of "hold on," nothing.

Completely abandon again I knew it was up to me.

Three minutes later, it had to be no more than three minutes.  A beat up truck blaring Metalica came rolling to a shuttering stop at the water's edge.  There was that moment where I hesitated thinking I would wait for the next superman.  Then I knew...I don't get to pick my superhero.  So hanging out of the car window with my dress floating around my chest I waved and screamed in the driving rain like a mad woman.  The scariest trio hopped out of the truck.  Long hair mullet loving tattooed lean men toppled out of the truck and screamed, "Hold on I'm coming."

Fear, elation, and relief gripped me.  I had been holding my purse above my head the entire time...didn't want to get my purse wet.  I know prissy.  But my arm was killing me.  The guys had one of those old fashion tows on the front of the truck.  They wrapped up their buddy and sent him in the water after me.

He shuffled and swam my way, shouting over the storm to stay in my car.  I did, purse in the air and dress gathered around my chest floating. He was there in what felt like a blink of an eye.  He stood waiting for me to get out, stabilize my footing.  He held onto me and made sure my grip was tight on the rope around his chest.  I got to the water edge and the other men held out hands to help me out of the water.  They asked if I needed a ride home.

It was a night of lessons.  Not only about the importance of dressing for anything, and keeping your car in good condition but about not judging others.  Being willing to ask for help and being ready to be turned down, but keep asking you will get it eventually find your hero.

Have you ever gotten saved by an unexpected hero when you least expected it? 


  1. OH MY GOSH!! Crazy story! When I see these flood stories on TV I wonder how the heck people get out. I can't swim so this is one of my worse fears! That's so nice of the guy to come and help. I love when there are little glimmers of hope that humanity is not all bad. I can't think of being saved by an unexpected hero but there are many inspirational people that have come in and out of my life. Some I've met for only minutes and some who will be lifelong friends!

  2. Scary story. I am glad that you have made it. No wonder you don't like driving in the rain after such a story...

  3. Wow! What an experience! So glad you lived to tell the story and were willing to learn some lessons. Your mum must have been in recovery afterwards also!

  4. Holy cow!! I have NO IDEA how I would react!! What a frightening experience!! Thank goodness for those kind, brave people who are selfless.