Monday, September 23, 2013

Adventure By The Sea.

There were six of us. My sister Shannon, our little friend Wrenna, My Littles and I. We headed west through the valley and across the coastal range. Just as we were about to view the sea Shannon says, "Dusty, what's your plan for gas? Your light is on." My fuel gauge, while in my line of sight for three solid hours, wasn't on my radar. My one goal...get to the beach. At first I mini-panicked, then relaxed. Surely there was a gas station at Dillon's Beach.
In the village, I asked around while anxious Littles salivated at the waves. The answer? Next gas 20ish miles in Petaluma. If I could make it to Tamales, 5 miles south, the fire station MIGHT sell me a gallon. I was fairly certain I couldn't make it out of the beach parking lot but took a chance and drove down a road that promised boat launching/campground. My hope was I could buy a gallon off someone at the campground store. The clerk inside took pity on me but told me she had sold a gallon some time back and didn't have any gasoline at all. 
With a quivering chin I asked her, "Do you have any advice?"
She said, "Ummm..."
When out of the corner a voice said, "How much do you need?"
I searched for the owner of those words and focused in on an old fisherman, in a wheelchair, drinking hot tea next to the Ice Cream case.
"A half gallon." I said weakly.
"I've got some gas." he stated.
My hopes rose, "You do?"
"Yes. Let me finish my tea here and I'll meet you out back." He pulled the tea bag out of his disposable cup and blew the steam away.
"Great." I said. "I thank you so much."
I walked out to the car and brought good news to Shannon, then took all The Little Girls to the restroom. By the time I got back, the fisherman was with a friend telling us where to meet them for the gas. We drove through the trailers and mobile homes and came to a raised boat with a ramp up the side. The fisherman's friend was there to pour and he told his friend to give it all.
"That's 2 gallons. Should get you to Petaluma or beyond."
I pulled from my wallet some money and he wouldn't take it. I was persistent and finally he had no choice. After thanking him and saying goodbye I turned the car around, looked to wave and he was gone. I caught up to his friend who had started walking around the corner and asked him,
"Was that guy for real? I turned around and he was gone!"
He told me, "His name is Tim... He is 77 years old. That man is a great man. He was paralyzed in a car accident when he was 20. He is a commercial fisherman out of Tamales Bay and has lived in that campground for 33 years. He has the best seafood and sells it for a great price. He is a proud man."
I thanked him and we drove down the road towards the beach parking lot.

1 comment:

  1. What a wonderful story...makes you believe in human kindness once again.