Lydia Sheaks
Lydia Sheaks
Lydia Sheaks, education reporter, writes about finding adventure in the everyday, her opinions of current events and trends and occasionally her two cats.

Other Stories by Lydia Sheaks
Reporter Lydia Sheaks writes about education and family issues for the Elkhart Truth.

Getting stuck in snow taught me a few things about myself

I had a little adventure -- or rather misadventure -- on the way to work. It made me not only rely on the kindness of strangers but also reflect on what I know about myself.

Posted on Jan. 27, 2014 at 4:58 p.m.

Do you trust strangers?

I was shaken earlier today when it seemed like my only choice was to trust a stranger for help.

My car slid off an icy highway and into a snowdrift. After taking a moment to consider my options (A. Panic, B. Call 911, or C. Put on my big girl pants and Solve the Problem) I decided I was going to dig myself out.

It wasn't so bad, at first. I had a shovel. I had a bucket. It wasn't too cold out -- or I was too mad to be cold. 

A couple guys stopped to help. They didn't ask if I needed help. They just pulled over and silently joined me in the digging out process. 

A woman also stopped and joined in, waving oncoming traffic into another lane so cars wouldn't hit us.

At last, maybe my car could be moved? I reached for the door handle to get in and try to back out of the snow. 

The door was locked. The car keys were in the ignition. Also inside the locked car was my phone, my bag, and probably my sanity. 

The first two guys who stopped to help bailed, but wished me luck. The woman said she might know someone who could jimmy my car door open. She said she would be right back, and drove away. 

So there I was, standing next to my car on the side of the road. I had some time to think about whether I trusted strangers. 

Would that woman who offered to help me come back, I wondered? What were my options if she didn't? 

While I was thinking, another man stopped and asked if he could help. However, all of his solutions to my problems seemed to involve me getting into his truck. Years of the "stranger danger" lecture have been branded into my brain (thanks Mom) so I turned him down. 

The woman came back, this time in a truck with the word "Snowplowing" and a phone number emblazoned on the side. A man with her unlocked my car door and jerked the vehicle out of the snow. I gave him $40, which is what he asked for. 

I've never been so happy to get into my car as in that moment. I continued on to work with no other incidents. 

Nowadays we rarely have to rely on strangers. But today, I did -- and it worked out OK. 

Have you ever found yourself in a similar situation? 

You can contact me by email at lsheaks@elkharttruth.com or on Facebook and Twitter


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