This morning started out fine. It's always hectic when David's out of town because I have to rush around to get Bug's lunch made, my lunch made, her breakfast made, my breakfast made, get both of us cleaned up and ready to go...by myself and in just over an hour. Not to mention that today is her birthday (my little sweetie is 7!!) and tonight we're having a party for her, so I was also putting the finishing touches on cupcakes for school and trying to keep the house somewhat presentable....when one clumsy move sent my beautiful, steaming hot mocha flying across the counter, drenching some paperwork and threatening the carpet. Bad sign. But I got that cleaned up and both of us out the door and I'm off on my morning commute, driving 40 miles to the Rez. Just about 7 miles outside of town, I notice that my heater wasn't working. So I checked the temperature gauge and it was firmly planted in red zone, as high as it could go. Damn. I pull over, let it cool down and think I can limp along to work. But it immediately shoots right back up and I'm forced to accept that there's a problem. Now, as mentioned, David's out of town and I have no one I can think of to call....except my ex-husband. Not exactly what I want to do, but. I know there's really nothing he can do (he works in Coeur d' Alene, 45 miles in the other direction). Thankfully he answered and was very helpful....chided me for not having AAA but he did make some calls and get me a tow truck which will take me and the car to a service station 4 blocks from my house. What a guy. So they say they'll be there in 40 minutes. And I wait. And wait. And freeze my butt off because it's 41 degrees out and I have only a light sweater on. And no socks, of course. So.....an hour and a half (and much swearing) later, my knight in shining coveralls finally shows up....and he looks like a total crack head. Beady eyes, bad teeth, filthy clothing and wreaking of cigarettes. Here I am, 7 miles out in the country, alone with this guy. Earlier, my sister had asked if I was in a safe place and I'd laughed at her..."I'm in the country for god's sake. At most I'd get attacked my a killer turkey." And then this guy shows up. Now, I didn't used to be skittish in situations like this, that is until I was robbed at gun-point in broad daylight 4 blocks from my house. Now, I'm not so trusting. I could feel my heart-rate increasing, and my "oh shit" instinct kicking in. But there was nothing I could do. And at that point I was just cold and tired of waiting. So I got into the truck to wait until he hooked up my car, keeping a suspicious eye on him all the while. Finally, he got into the truck and we started toward town. Now, I wonder what HE was thinking about ME. "Prissy little soccer-mom, not even smart enough to check the damn oil in her car." But before you know it, we got to talking about where he lives (waaaay out in the country north of town) and that he'd recently moved here from LA. He went on to say how much he loves it here, because of all the wildlife he sees every day: wild turkeys, deer, bobcat, cougar (!) and even moose. Once he started talking about animals, he seemed human and safe for some reason. We shared wildlife sighting stories and he told me about his daughter and how much fun it is being a dad and we just visited all the way back to town.
After he dropped me and my car off, I thanked him and waved goodbye as I walked toward home, thinking what a surprise he was: not at all the hardened ex-con who loved to kill animals that I'd assumed he was. It reminded me that you can find common ground with just about anyone, if you're open to it. And I like that.