This weekend I have been thinking about memories we store within us that just need a trigger to bring them to the fore. And perhaps some good memories may remain stored deep down in our subconscious and never come forth at all.
This happened to me on Friday when I met up with two old school friends. One friend shared a story about something I did for her of which I have no recollection. Mind you, this was 47 years ago so perhaps the person who RECEIVED the good deed may remember more than me, the person who DID the good deed!
Despite racking my brain, this memory will not appear but other memories come forth more easily, like the one I shared yesterday with some friends who came for a cuppa and a chat, so we could discuss camper-trailers/caravans. Oh, I had almost forgotten all about it … but then the memory stirred …
The year was 2003 and we were having our second trip in the camper. We had travelled to Mackay on the Queensland coast to spend two weeks by the sea, camped almost on the beach overlooking the islands of the Great Barrier Reef. What a lovely holiday we had! All was going well with our new camper … but how could we know that things were about to change.
On the way home to Brisbane we decided to take an inland route which we had never travelled before but it involved navigating a rather steep mountain until you reached the top at the little town of Mt. Morgan when the road levelled out. We were feeling very confident even though we had not taken the camper up any mountains before.
On the way we decided to stop off at a Cattle Market at a town called Gracemere to watch auctioneers selling cattle … for this was cattle country at it’s finest. What followed was a wonderful experience and then a cuppa afterwards where we met a few cattle farmers who were only too happy to chat to us ‘city folk’ . It was something we loved doing.
We left Gracemere and were both in fine form after our wonderful experience at the cattle yards. And so we were driving happily along when we saw the ascent to the mountain which had a large sign at the base warning caravanners to be careful whilst ascending the mountain due to high winds. No problems … yep all good.
In fact, I remember very clearly having one of those great feelings, at that time, that everything was wonderful with the world. The sun was shining, we were having adventures in the country and we had a ‘home’ to put up when we arrived at one of the towns along the way.
I am sure you all know this feeling folks? In actual fact, I am always cautious when this feeling comes upon me … and I should have been on this particular day too … but no I was as high as a kite on life! Nothing could go wrong … surely?
With the mountain now upon us, I remarked innocently to Geoff:
“Wouldn’t it be lovely to met the locals and spend some extra time here?’
No sooner was this said than we felt a bit of a bump. Something was clearly wrong with the camper-trailer behind us as we limped along the road. Geoff quickly stopped the car and got out to look. Lo and behold, a wheel was missing from our camper! While Geoff looked for it in the long grass at the side of the road, we began to be amazed at the number of cars that began to stop offering us help.
Oh no! We were beginning to meet the locals!
Another man stopped and offered to take Geoff up the mountain to get help from the road assistance people in Mt. Morgan. He accepted this offer as we had no phone reception on our mobile phone.
After he left me more people stopped and offered to help; when I said ‘no’ they all chatted to me, asking me where I was from and other manner of questions. I was feeling totally overwhelmed folks, I really was.
Meeting the locals was far far more wonderful than I could ever have imagined!
After about 30 minutes, a woman from Mt. Morgan stopped and insisted I go with her rather than wait endlessly with the car for the road assist people to arrive. She had some connection to the garage and was so insistent that I agreed to go with her. She took me to her home, offered me lunch and then took me to the garage after she phoned to find out that Geoff and the camper had arrived.
What more would these people want to do for us … I wondered?
As things turned out, the garage people were also wonderful, however, the camper would not be fixed for a week, so after a few hours passed, we decided to continue on our journey and find a motel along the way despite the wonderful offers of help. The camper would be delivered to our home within the week.
I think we were actually embarrassed (flabbergasted?) by it all!
So, as we drove along, Geoff and I were still stunned and couldn’t help reviewing all that had taken place in the last few hours. Sure, we had been held up but we knew how amazing this little ‘blimp’ in our day had been. We recapped:
- WE HAD INDEED MET THE LOCALS! This confirmed to us that country people are full of generosity when you are in trouble and they will do anything for you.
- THE TIMING INVOLVED IN LOSING THE WHEEL: If we had continued up the mountain BEFORE the wheel came off, we would have been in a lot of trouble as the mountain range is very steep and winding before you reach Mt. Morgan. What would have happened if we had lost that wheel on the range? We would never know; we felt most blessed.
- WHAT A POSITIVE EXPERIENCE IT HAD BEEN! Instead of this being a negative incident on our journey, it had been a positive. The fact that so many wonderful things had happened to help us … or save us … left us full of rejoicing instead of feeling hard done by. We were buoyed up by it.
And do you know what dear friends? I am so glad I said that I wanted to meet the locals!
Because in doing so we’d had the very best experience. Perhaps you have to say these things ‘out loud’ in order to make them happen? Whichever way it goes, I am still telling the tale ten years later, so I don’t think my memory of this incident – and the good feeling it gave me – will ever go away … I’m sure I’ll be telling the tale in another twenty years time!