* Long Story

When driving through Kansas we had no idea how barren this ride would be.  Stopping at a gas station we discussed when we wanted to eat.  We decided that we were both a little hungry and we’d put on a few more miles and hit up the first exit that had a food joint… anything simple would do.  Wowza…  We had no idea that it would be another 70 miles before we saw something!  And the only place in the area was Wendy’s, so that’s where we ate.

It all worked out for a reason though.  While snacking away on our fresh food, an old lady approached us.  With short gray hair, round face, and gentle eyes, speaking in a real soft and quiet voice, she peacefully asks, “Do you happen to have a wireless mobile phone I could borrow?”  She looked solemn and honest, and she didn’t look very fast, so we weren’t worried about having to chase her down with the phone.

She made an attempt to call and no one answered.  She mentioned she was trying to call a minister because they help people when people need help.  As it turned out, she was running away from her family and problems after being recently divorced at 65 years old, and is estranged from her kids because ‘I am mom, I am thee mom,’ she stands up straight and puts her hands in the air when saying this, ‘they give too much lip, and kids are meant to listen and obey.’  Wow.

She was obviously worried, preoccupied and looked like she was in over her head in her current situation.  “You wouldn’t happen to be going to Reno are you?”.

“Well, we may be passing through but we haven’t decided yet, we kinda plan as we go.”

“I see.  Would you like to give an old lady a lift?”

“haha, you bet.  You can just hop right on!” – Jerry joked.

“You probably have never been picked up by a lady like myself in a Wendy’s before have you?”, she commented.

A stare-down occurred as we deciphered whether or not she was serious or had a dry sense of humor.  “Umm… are you being serious?”

“Yes. Of course.  I’m driving around in my old 30 year old car and am running out of gas.  I am really worried and feel I shouldn’t have done this.  Now I’m scared and as I get farther away it gets worse.  Which route are you taking?  I could come along and do everything you ask.”

“Umm… well, we actually don’t have much room for a rider, but is there anyway else we can help you with?”

……

This is just a short bit of the conversation where she proceeded to carry her emotions and situation on her sleeve and bear all.  Her life is in her car, and she is really lonely and just wants to feel secure.  She could be our housekeeper, or cook, and would move to wherever we were or wanted.  “Where do you live?”, she asked…  “Oh… Washington, I hear it’s beautiful.  I could come up there and stay at your house and I’m a great housekeeper.”

We were lost for words as she continued to throw possible scenarios, even the possibility of her moving to Madrid with Greg.  We talked for a good 30 minutes and tried to offer hope and encouragement even though we could not provide the salvation she was hoping for.

She wasn’t hungry (because the Wendy’s people were nice and gave her a free meal), and we couldn’t help fix anything or call anyone.  She kindly and softly asked “Would you fill my gas tank?”

Now that is something we could definitely do.  After all she asked, this seemed like a menial thing to do, but we were really happy we could do something tangible for her.   She gets her car and we walk over to the gas pumps.

We proceed to fill her tank as Greg holds the pump into her car.  Soon, the gas started leaking out of the tank and automatically shut off!  Greg starts to apologize about getting the gas on the car, but before he finishes the sentence, she was already grabbing the pump from him saying “Oh, it’s not full yet.  It thinks that it’s full but you really gotta click through the last three dollars.”

"Ya just, ya just, ya just gotta click through the last 3 dollars"

"Ya just, ya just, ya just gotta click through the last 3 dollars"

Jerry and Greg looked at each other and smiled and almost started to lose it laughing as she clicked it on and off at least another 50 times as it tried to automatically shut itself off.  It was obviously full and spilling over the edge of her car, but she wasn’t going to miss this opportunity!  She was a sweet old lady and we really feel for her and desperately wish we could have done something more for her, but she was in a situation where it seemed she may need to figure it out on her own.  We tried to cheer her up and suggest that she should straighten things out with her kids (she is very old fashioned and very stubborn, but so sweet and innocent).  We wish her the best as we part ways.  Now with a full tank of gas we hope it gets her far enough to discover her true reason for her travels and that she arrives at her destination safely.

Greg and Geraldine - All Smiles

Greg and Geraldine - All Smiles

Gerald and Geraldine (funny huh?)

Gerald and Geraldine (funny huh?)