The Kindness of Strangers

When was the last time a stranger did something particularly kind, generous, or selfless for you? Tell us what happened!

This post is in response to the prompt above from the WordPress editors:

I live full-time in an older RV. At the moment, I’m parked near two different north/south 13,000′ mountain ranges (probably 15 miles apart but I’ve not measured it). If you know anything about mountains, you know the wind blows – a LOT. I am also parked in the sunshine and not shade. At this time of year when the temps are in the 40’s at night, it’s nice to have the sun warm me up in the morning. But . . .

I had been working on fixing my grandson’s quilt and decided that it was too hot. I opened my awning for the first time since last summer. Since it shades the sunny side and a big window, it helps to keep things cooler. On the spur of the moment, my almost 4 year-old granddaughter came to spend the night with the agreement to bring her home in the morning. She and I left the RV early the next day with no winds in sight. While babysitting for my daughter, I went outside to hang up some clothes on the line to dry and the wind had come up and the gusts were whipping through. My first thought was, Oh No, I had not wind tested the awning. Being an hour away from the RV and on the other side of the mountain range to the east of my RV, I was hoping I’d not come home to disaster.

As I came within sight of the RV that evening, my heart sank. The awning was completely down over my door. Some nice RV’ers had grabbed the awning poles that were steadily scraping the side of the RV and propped them down to try to minimize the damage. As I was standing there wondering how to even get into the RV (as the awning was completely over the door), the first couple helpers came over. As I took my stepladder out of the compartment, and we started trying to figure out what to do, another couple (my new friend Lynn and his wife Annie) came over to help, and another really tall man (Ron) came to help. Lynn went and retrieved his taller stepladder and his drill. We worked for about half and hour to get the awning completely off the RV (so I could get in) and Lynn and Ron volunteered to help me the next day, as he thought it was not beyond repair.

It turns out there were several broken parts that Lynn re-engineered. He and Ron and I worked most of the next day and managed to get it back on the RV. When it had come down, the spring had unwound and although we tried three times to get it working correctly, it was not; it was hot, we were tired, and we agreed to meet again Monday. That day it only took about half an hour to get it working.

I believe that goes above and beyond NICE. Lynn wouldn’t accept anything for all that help, said he liked being able to pass along help to others, so I forced Annie and him to go to dinner with me (Ron had gone to Oregon). You know that small world thing? It turns out he and Annie had been living for the past seven years in the same small town I was from on the East Coast. Their daughter also worked as a substitute teacher for the same school system where I ran the system that arranges substitutes for teacher absences! It’s been really nice getting to know them, I’m going to miss them when they get back on the road in June.

A big thank you still doesn’t feel like enough! The pic below is not where I’m parked now, but it is my RV.

7 Replies to “The Kindness of Strangers”

  1. Aren’t RV neighbors the best? A real community! Our awning gave us a fit. We were always worried about the wind and always took it down when we were away from the trailer. However, the only time it was damaged was on I95 when some stupid woman cut in front of us and caused us to hit some bollards which ripped the struts off! The joys of RV ing.


    1. RV neighbors are indeed the best. On Saturday, the wind was gusting up to 50 mph all of sudden when it was down. I watched until I thought it wasn’t as bad and went out to put it down. A neighbor that I’d spoken to the day before saw me struggling and sent her husband over to help. Nice people.


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