Sunday, November 09, 2008

Ruthie On The Road, Update

Instead, I got several rides...from the City of Ontario, Oregon to a highway split out in the middle of nowhere.

The sun set and I was eventually left standing in the a cold rain...on the shoulder of a deserted road. In the desert.

"Oh, shit" I said and slowly turned in a circle, searching for a source of light. I knew that I had to get inside a safe, warm place. Fast.

I noticed a light, shining in the distance, about a half-mile up the highway. I grabbed the flashlight from my pack, switched it on, and trudged with my cane...up the road.

When I reached the light source, I discovered that it was a post office. Yeah, an actual postal drop in an almost deserted area. This post office includes an American flag on a pole (left up at night and in the rain), a standard blue letter box and a white trailer. A house with several vehicles parked nearby complete the outpost arrangement.

I shivered and then raised one gloved finger to wipe the rain off of my nose. Then I followed the flashlight beam to the buildings.

I was almost to the door of the post office when a guy pulled up the driveway in a pickup truck.

"Are you okay?" asked the man, after sliding the driver-side window down.

"Not really, I'm stranded...and chilly" I answered, with a shiver in my voice.

"Well, come on and warm up inside." he suggested.

So, I followed him into the tiny post office.

I sat down inside, next to a row of P.O. boxes and noticed some Snickers mini-bars in a plastic bowl on a counter.

I called to the man and asked him, "Hey, do you mind if I eat a couple of these?"

He said, "Have a few." So I did.

Then a woman, with an angry face, threw open the door.

"These aren't for YOU to eat!" she said and pulled the bowl out of my hand.

"Get out of get out of here NOW!" she shouted, still waving the bowl of Snickers for emphasis.

"Now, wait just a minute, Lady..." I said, getting to my feet, "I'm hitchhiking through and right now I am stranded here!"

She waved a fat hand in my face and replied, "That's not MY problem. Get out...get off this property!"

"It's pitch dark, raining and freaking COLD out there on that road right now" I said.

"You should've thought about that before you came wandering out here to this part of the Country!" she declared.

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