"Wake up. Wake up, Rick. Our neighbor has been in an accident and needs us." That was the beginning of this morning ... or, more accurately, that was the beginning of the part of the morning when I was willing to become awake. I had been awake shortly after dawn but settled back into sleep - and into one of my traveling or movement dreams, a pleasant one. When the wake-up call came, with soft pinches of toes and rubbing of feet, and a gentle but alarmed voice by my loving partner Holly, I rose readily although gingerly. It was 8:30 a.m., and I knew I had had enough sleep to be able to function as our neighbor needed me to do; but I was a bit stiff and not yet alert.
I got dressed, washed my face to get more awake, then went into the kitchen to heat some coffee to help more with waking up. Holly told me that our neighbor was not hurt, but that her car was damaged; and she needed us to pick her up. So, we drove to where we thought she was, called from the car when we did not find her, and then got to her location, where she was talking to a police officer.
The sky had been grey, and the temperature mild when we arrived. As time passed, while we waited for the AAA man to load her car onto the tow truck, the sky finished clearing, but it seemed a bit cooler. There was no more spattering of rain, so I had left my Cardinals baseball cap in the car.
I watched the tow truck operator, impressed at the skill he showed in his work: one wheel and tire were at a cock-eyed angle, and he had to remove them and guide the car up the ramp of the trunk without causing further damage to the suspension or other under-carriage parts of our friend's car. This took a number of different actions on his part, using a multiple-step process of leveraging the car and clearing space. He was patient and careful, and he did his work competently without rushing. As someone with few physical skills, I admire people who can actually do things, can take something that is not working, or not working optimally, and cause it to function well. This man could.
Holly and I were at the scene for a little over an hour, our friend and neighbor more than three, when we were able to leave and return home. We were both impressed at how calm and accepting our friend was, although we knew that this accident had caused - and would cause - substantial stress and inconvenience to her. For the second time today, I was impressed with the skills of another person.
The three of us talked through the detritus of having been through the accident scene: did she need food; verifying that we would be home all day should she need us, confirming that we would be available to take her to see her doctor should that need arise today or tomorrow. We all expressed gratitude for being one another's neighbor - and friend - there to help when one of us needed it.
Then Holly and I went upstairs to have some coffee and go on with our day. From my point of view the day had started off very well.