I am sure readers will have many other stories about good Samaritans appearing in this time of need. This story will go down in my family folklore.
My older sister Kate has been living and working in sunny Western Australia for a while but her sons and grandchildren live in the island state of Tasmania — so when she was offered a job back home, she seized the chance to go back south-east.
The plan was for her and her partner Harry to return at Easter. They planned to pack their things on a trailer and drive 1691 miles from Perth to Melbourne, in Victoria, stopping on the way to see another of my sisters, Sally, in South Australia, before taking the 10.5-hour Spirit of Tasmania car ferry from Melbourne to Devonport and driving 60 miles back to Launceston. A leisurely doddle! The only problem was Kate had had eye surgery on one eye but had to wait for the other eye to be done, and she had never towed a trailer even with two good eyes, so she didn’t think she was going to be able to share the driving.
When Kate heard South Australia and Victoria were likely to close their borders, thus preventing them getting from the west coast to the east coast, she had no choice but to cut short her job contract in Perth. Harry made sure the trailer had new bearings and reinforcements, they loaded it up and started the great race across the country.
It wasn’t that fast, given they were towing a heavy trailer and one-eyed Kate had to take the wheel on the 30-plus-hour trip. And it wasn’t quite non-stop. They stopped for showers and a few hours’ sleep at Sally’s. But all the while they didn’t quite know when the border ahead was going to close.
“We were rapt when we reached Victoria but soon the tables turned,” Kate reported.
“Our heavy load finally took its toll on the towing frame. Broken down by the side of the road, we felt defeated.
“I said a silent prayer, then watched a ute pass us, slow down and turn around.”
A young man named Dave got out and asked if he could help.
“Don’t stress, I have a welder,” he said.
What he didn’t have was a generator to power the welder.
So he drove off to find one.
They waited two hours before he returned, and sure enough he mended the broken trailer.
Kate says he wouldn’t take any money at first, but finally accepted some to give to his mate who had lent him the generator and had just been laid off.
Kate and Harry reached Melbourne in time to catch the ferry. Last I heard they were back on Tasmanian soil and driving towards what will be their home for two weeks in enforced isolation. It has no wi-fi or phone reception, so I’m guessing a drink and lots of sleep will be had.
I KNOW I promised some humour on this blog but how could I bypass an uplifting story like this!
I just know there are many more of them out there. Care to share? Why not add a comment to this blog? Don’t forget to tell us which part of the world you are in.
I PLAN to put together two more eBook bundles in the next week — one with five novels from the Windy Mountain series, the other with eight novels from Windy Mountain and Funny Capers DownUnder series— in case people want to stock up on reading. I’ll put a small price on both of these.
I’m also thinking through an eBook short story called Blokes in the House which will be set very much in this time with my three 80-something characters Oodles, Wish-Wash and Jimbo, and I’ll be trying to make that one free. That’s easy to achieve on Kobo, Apple, B&N and Google Play. Amazon is trickier.