Get Sassy with Sarah: Thanks for the life lesson


Sarah Lentz

It was two and a half hours into what should have been my hour and a half drive back to Wayne. I was listening to a history podcast and learning about Lord Byron and his pet bear. All of a sudden time slowed down.

I hit a patch of black ice and my reflexes kicked in. Lord Byron was fading away as I gripped the wheel; carefully counter-steering while slowly, gradually applying the brake.

It didn’t matter. Within a few seconds, I was in the ditch.

No big deal, I’ve lived in the Midwest all my life and know that sometimes these things happen.

I grabbed my Korean War era trenching tool (a little present my grandfather left in the car when he sold it to me, thanks Grandpa) and started digging out my tires.

Then something amazing happened. The road was not good, obviously. I went in the ditch and I was only going about 35 miles per hour. I didn’t expect anyone would stop. I probably wouldn’t have.

Despite the poor conditions, an SUV pulled over and the driver asked if he could give me a ride into town since I probably wasn’t getting out.

I was surprised that he stopped at all. I thanked him, but told him I’d try to get out or call a tow company if I couldn’t.

Mr. SUV was correct. I wasn’t going anywhere.

As I sat in my car, I was surprised once again.

A pickup pulled up and a young man with a towrope got out.

Before I knew it, he was on the snowy ground looking for a place under my car to hook onto.

After working for ten minutes, it was clear I’d be living in Ditchville USA for a while. Before leaving, Mr. Pickup asked if I wanted a ride into town or for him to wait with me for the tow truck I’d need to call.

Once again, I thanked the good Samaritan, but said I was ok. Before he left, I offered him $10. He was crawling on the snow-covered ground trying to help a perfect stranger.

“I really don’t need anything. I’m sorry I couldn’t help,” he said.

With that I was really shocked. He didn’t know me and stopped to help out of kindness then was taken aback when I wanted to make his wasted time worth it.

Interactions like this make me proud to be a rural Nebraskan. In other parts of the world if anyone had stopped, they would probably want more that 10 bucks.

Winter can make people grouchy and apathetic. The short days and cold temperatures do that to people.

Having a rough time at work in the service industry this weekend bummed me out toward my fellow man until today.

I can’t begin to explain how much people stopping to help me in my time of need warmed my heart. There’s still good people out there and we should never forget that. Thanks for that life lesson, Mr. SUV and Mr. Pickup.