With dark clouds promising afternoon rain, I sat on the edge of a remote dirt road, miles from the historic Holmenkollen ski jump visited that morning. Removing my shoes, I cautiously began pealing off the blood-caked socks to glimpse the multiple blisters on toes and soles. Focusing on sock extradition, I didn’t hear her walking towards me from the farmhouse on the hill. But there she was, speaking to me in Norwegian and offering me a worn basket with a damp cloth, salve, and band-aids.
That simple kindness happened over 40 years ago when I was a college student studying abroad. But, it’s still etched in my heart. So is a stranger’s action on a windy, cold and rainy night on the Pennsylvania Turnpike, in a pre-cell phone era.
I blew a tire driving home from a NYC business trip with my diabetic boss as a passenger. I tried to change the tire, but the lug nuts were too tight. So, we waited and waited, me soaking wet and her developing low blood sugar. Sheets of rain were pounding the (continue reading →)