Amazing Grace

Crescent City, CA   June, 2010

Travel weary from pulling our 26 foot trailer from Orange County, my husband George and I decided to give in and try and find a place to stay overnight in what seemed like a simple community along the coast, nothing special, but easy to drive into. We didn’t want to unhook if we could find a place that allowed us to stay intact. We also didn’t want to pay an arm and leg in a city of this appearance; that is to say few bright lights and glaring  traffic. It was late for travelers to hunt for a spot unreserved.  However, we did see one that immediately that caught our eye next to the bay and somewhat uncrowded. We pulled in with fingers crossed and were greeted by a man looking about 60, an apparent hippie keepsake, who was friendly and more than willing to take our money. He gave us a spot close to the check-in area, exactly as we had asked for with pull through abilities. As we were setting up, I asked him if there was a store near-by we could walk to as we were short on supplies and needed to buy something easy for dinner. He pointed to a store about a block away.  I sighed a relieved breath to him and thanked him.

George and I continued to set up our rig and were almost finished when we heard a knock on our door.  There was our manager, hands full and aroma beckoning with fresh fried fish, cole slaw, fresh bread, and two slices of apple pie, all on good china (!) standing before us.

“My wife made this for you,” he started.  “She knew you didn’t have dinner things.”

We were stunned.  The delicious smell alone kept us drooling to the point of speechlessness. Finally, we managed to utter our grateful thank you’s as he passed the dishes into our rig.

I had to ask.  “Why did she do this?!  This is just so wonderful!”

He simply said:  “It’s what she does.” And then he left.

Needless to say, we gobbled up every bite as fast as we could.  By then it was after dark and too late to return the cleaned china to their rig.

In the morning, I waited until I noticed stirring about their spot and then ventured over to their site, dishes in hand.  Another woman (a friend?) was standing in their doorway as I approached.  The wife was outside, cleaning things up.  The woman in the doorway saw me coming.  She had a knowing smile on her face, but said nothing as I approached.

I walked up to the wife, dishes in hand, and said, “Oh my gosh.  That was so kind of you to send us dinner last night!  It was really a blessing as we were so tired from traveling. Thank you so much!”

There was no response from the lady.  She simply took the dishes without even so much as a smile.  No eye contact was made.  I looked at her friend in the doorway with a questioning look, but she, too, was silent except she had a friendly look on her face. I reiterated my appreciation, somewhat abashed this time, and  quickly went back to my own domain. I shared my experience with my husband and we both just sat and tried to figure it out. Was she deaf? Was her friend deaf?  Did she not have the ability to speak? Was she anti-social? Was she an abused woman?  Was she extremely shy?  Had she had trauma that left her speechless? Did she just not like me? Had her husband made her make dinner for us? Many of those questions I could not fathom being true after the care she had put in to making our dinner for us.

As it was, we ended up staying two more nights in this place along the bay, thanks to our manager/owner’s knowledge of the other people in the park (but that’s another story). I never saw the woman again out and about. To this day I still wonder about her.  Yet, this I do know: Whatever her dilemma was, it made no difference.  Her and her husband’s kindness spoke soundly of their character, be it silent or deafening.