You know, as much as I love living out on our acreage out in the country there are times I wonder if kicking the convenience of being in-town to the curb was the right thing to do. There are times I gripe about having to drive for 30 minutes to get to town, even though I know people commute MUCH longer distances and chunks of time than that, Then things like this afternoon happen. After hauling all of the kids to two separate birthday parties (it’s raining invitations, y’all) that were about 45 minutes away from each other and dragging all of them through Target to get the birthday presents, I was exhausted. Between trying to keep my bigger kids from smushing smaller kids in the bouncy-houses and keeping one of them from acting like Slimer of Ghostbusters at the party food tables, I was seriously ready to go home when the second party was over. After extracting my kids from various corners of the party, demanding they out on their shoes, and so on, we walked out to the car to find…. my keys locked in the godforsaken car. Let me begin by saying that I have NEVER locked my keys in this car, and I’ve had it for five years, and being that we are way out in the country with good people that we know, I didn’t lock my car and even left my keys and purse inside. Seriously, no one was going to mess with my stuff; we were behind a Feed and Hardware store (owned by the birthday girl’s grandfather) with the bouncy house and party in the warehouse, which was PERFECT, so when I sent my second oldest out to the car to bring my purse so I could give him some headache medicine, I didn’t think he would lock the car.
Obviously I was wrong.
When we discovered that my keys were, in fact, safely taunting us from my console, my oldest daughter went back into the party and told everyone what happened. Immediately, at least seven men (not exaggerating) came straight out and began to work on getting my car unlocked. Meanwhile, my younger kids and the other children were thrilled the party could continue andn enjoyed getting filthy while playing with a Black Lab pup in the field next to the building.
Now I’m not saying that they didn’t welcome the chance to attack a mechanical problem as a break from the insanity of a kid’s birthday party, but they didn’t even hesitate before coming out there to help us. After deciding that the car had a “good seal” they brought out various pieces of wire and scrap metal and um, re-bar at one point, to try to reach the “unlock button” on my door.
This process went on for an hour as various guys tried their hand at it, including my very mechanically-minded oldest son.
He made suggestions, took criticisms from those that um, had experience with this, and allowed him to try his hand at it when he had an idea.
Did you hear me? People were willing to spend their precious time trying to fix my problem rather than just lending me a phone to call AAA or someone to unlock my car for a large sum of money that I don’t need to spend on dumb stuff like unlocking my car. Oh, and believe me, it’s not because they had nothing else to do. Work is never finished when you live out on a farm or a bunch of land like many of the people around here do, yet they took the time to help me out. For the most part, people are willing to stop what they’re doing and talk with you. Good conversation is becoming a lost art due to the overuse of technology (I’m guilty) and I can assure you that all of them have smartphones the stuff you have, just as I do, but for the most part the people I know down here aren’t as absorbed by it. Refreshing, to say the least.
I have to say, if I had to get locked out of my car I can think of FAR worse places for it to happen, and I thank God every day that I get to raise my children out here. Small town Southerners who use their talents to help others while never expecting a dime still amaze me and have my utmost respect. Since I only live about 30 miles away from where I grew up (inside our state’s capital city) one wouldn’t think people would differ so much between the two places, but they do. I love that my kids are growing up seeing this willingness to serve others out of kindness, and that they live in a place where people aren’t scared to get their hands dirty when the situation calls for it.
Morals of the story:
Gallantry isn’t dead.
If you don’t live in the country, you should.
Let your kids get dirty; that’s why God made soap and water.
Stop and take time to TALK to people. It’s important for a million reasons.
Given time, metal, tools, and beer, small town Southern men can fix just about anything.
Oh… and don’t leave your keys in the car… even if you feel comfortable leaving it unlocked… Unless you’ve got a lot of beer, tools, and gentlemen willing to help you