But for the Kindness of Strangers
There are all sorts of lists proclaiming the “best cities in America” based on salary levels, educational standards, cost of living, and the overall quality of life. However, the best barometer of city habitability, in my opinion, is the friendliness factor.
As you probably know, we’ve been doing a little travelling this summer. You’ve been invited to come along in my posts I’m Back Did You Miss Me? , From the Road…Getting There is Half the Fun, and Hotlanta. Our visit to Hubby’s Atlanta office stood out as did our trip to CNN. However, our trip to Austin has stood out in a different way… not so much for the places we’ve been to, but for a couple of chance encounters with strangers.
We’d been on the road a lot. Eating schedules get messed up and motion sickness can get the best of you. While touring an open house, my son suddenly announces that he thinks he’s gonna be sick. Uh oh! Time for a mad dash outside. Luckily we make it to an obscure corner of the lawn just in time. Thank God we got out of that poor lady’s immaculate house. She was very kind and even gave him some soda to settle his stomach.
After the soda everything seemed fine so we continued exploring other neighborhoods and viewing houses. Then a small voice in the back of the car says “I feel sick again”. Uh… not in the car junior!!! So we pull over immediately and once again make use of some unsuspecting home owners lawn. Now, standing on the side of the road with a puking kid is a strange predicament, and a pretty uncomfortable one from a social standpoint.
While holding “rumble tummy’s” head as he relieved his stomach of its contents, a car coming in the opposite direction , crosses over to our side of the road and pulls to a screeching halt in front of us. Gee, I hope it’s not the angry home owner demanding we get away from her house! No, it’s a lady with a hand full of paper napkins! She says “Poor thing, I know how it can be, we’ve experienced this because of the heat lately. I live a couple streets over if you need anything…” I gratefully accept the paper napkins and assure her that we’ll be fine while thanking her for this kind gesture.
I still can’t believe it. She stopped her car to help the strangers with the sick boy. How nice is that?! If the people of Austin are half as nice as these ladies, it must be a really nice place.
(image from here)