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Tales of a Hay Hauler: But he didn’t LOOK like an angel

Brad Nelson Published on 14 March 2013

“I noticed a small van slow down beside the cab of my truck while it was passing.  I glanced over and noticed that the occupants appeared to be a young mother and a toddler, who was in a child seat. 

It then pulled on ahead of me, and I made a mental note that I might watch for them on up the road.  I was on I-84, between Ontario, Oregon, and Baker City, Oregon.

The outside temperature was well below freezing. 

“Several miles farther up the road I noticed the same van stopped on the shoulder of the freeway.  It was late at night and very cold, so I stopped to make sure everything was okay. 

I approached the van, and tapped on the window.  The young mother opened it about an inch.  I asked if they were okay, and she told me that the van had just stopped running, no lights, no engine, and no heater, no anything. 

I asked if they had sleeping bags or blankets with them. They had only their coats.  She had called her husband and he was on the way from the Tri-cities area of Washington State, which was better than one-hundred fifty miles away. 

“I offered her the blankets I had from the sleeper in my truck.  She declined, since that would leave me without a warm bed when I got where I was going for the night. 

I told her she had every reason to not go with me, but that I could take her and her child to the all-night truck stop at Baker City, and her husband could pick them up there. 

I was shivering as I stood in the cold wind talking to her.  She gave it some long, serious thought, and then said that she would have to take me up on the offer.

She gathered up her daughter and I helped them into my truck.  She placed the sleeping child in the sleeper bunk and then sat down in the passenger seat, and we left.

“It was almost painful to try and make conversation with her.  She was obviously not comfortable there riding with a total stranger.  Her daughter enjoyed a peaceful nap. 

Nearly an hour later, as we were descending the last grade to the off-ramp by the Baker Truck Corral truck stop, her cell phone rang.  It was her husband. 

I only heard one half of the conversation, but she seemed to be having a real time convincing him that she and their child were really safe. 

“The Oregon State Police had called her husband because another truck had struck their van and had totally demolished it.  It seems the driver had gone to sleep going into the curve where the van had been left. 

We found out later that the on-board electronic recorder on that truck showed the time of the accident to be about five minutes after I had loaded mother and child in my truck and driven away.

“Her attitude and feelings toward me changed.  She had refused any help lifting her daughter into my truck, and had ridden almost the whole hour in a near-panic state of uncertainty. 

Now she allowed me to not only help her child out of my truck, but allowed me to carry her into the warm truck stop café.  I was unable to leave without a tearful bear hug and thank-you.”  FG

This was related to me just this evening, February 26, 2013 by a young hay hauler from Caldwell, Idaho who happens to be my youngest son. I am most grateful that he has learned to pay attention to those around him, and to the whisperings from Above that some would call inspiration, that others would call coincidence or luck.

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