Cruising along a stretch of highway, bordered by fields and hills on one side, and lush orchards on the other, we fairly sailed to our destination.
The afternoon sun frolicked with the shadows and I knew it was almost time. At this perfect moment of the day, the whole expanse of the valley could be seen with great clarity. For miles and miles, awash with golden brilliance, the breath-taking beauty of our Central Valley, California was ripe for pictures.
Getting to a certain Vista point on I-5 at just the right time of the afternoon generally takes some planning, but this happened to be a serendipitous, spur-of-the-moment trip.
We were nearly there and the light was perfect! Excitement stirred as my fingers fiddled with the camera’s lens cap.
As we exited the freeway for the short drive up a hill, I rolled down my window to take in as much as I could.
All my senses hushed momentarily! In the grasp of this amazing piece of God’s creation, even my breathing became quiet and shallow. Wow! Just Wow! (with out words)
Apparently a few other people had a similar idea. As we passed a car parked half-way up the incline, I noticed a pair Savvy Seniors pacing back and forth. They looked as if they had just disembarked from a cruise! We drove ahead, but it struck me, somehow, that they appeared concerned about something.
I mentioned it to my husband and made a mental note. Randy parked and I scrambled to get my camera and gear.
The view was sensational! Vibrant colors, orchards, fields, and the glistening water from the aqueducts were made even more glorious by the spectacular light-show from the late afternoon sun! The wind scurried about playing with the tops of the trees below.
These would be some great shots indeed! Focus, click! Focus, click! Focus. . .
It wasn’t a noise. It wasn’t a voice, but something seemed to tap me from the inside. A sudden agitation overtook me and I felt uneasy.
I had been shooting with the long-range lens on my camera, and almost without thinking, I whipped it around to focus on the place downhill where the older couple had been parked. They were inside their car with the doors closed.
Some questionable-looking vehicles with a few unseemly sorts had pulled over in the same area. One beat-up SUV was parked uphill from the couple’s car while the other rattletrap positioned itself a ways downhill.
I focused on their faces. Like vultures gathering, their attention seemed trained on the older couple.
They didn’t see us. I snapped pictures of their faces and then some shots of their cars.
Hailing my husband, I made him aware of the situation. He scampered to the truck, swung it around and positioned it to go down the hill against traffic.
Hopping in, I popped on the radio, found a rock station and turned the volume up until the whole truck thumped. Randy began honking the horn and flashing the lights!
We had driven “Clyde”, our big diesel truck – a lifted F250. The light was fading. With the shadows of the hill on the front end and the light of the day’s-end coming from behind, Clyde’s presence was more imposing than ever.
“Hey Mom! Hey Dad! Come’ere …you gotta see this! “ I called. “MOM! MOM!”
Unexpected honking, thumping beats, and my yelling, added to the intrusion of flashing lights apparently threw those ne’er-do-wells into a confused panic! They couldn’t figure out what was happening!
Hastily hoisting their grimy behinds back into their beater-cars, they split as fast as they could!
As we pulled up, the frightened couple noticed my Dental Assisting signs on the sides of the truck. The shaken woman immediately came up to us!
“I saw your sign”, she squealed, pointing. “I used to be a Dental Assistant – ever since I was 18! I felt comfortable when I saw your sign.
My instincts were good. This sweet couple was driving home from San Diegowhere they had returned from a cruise! Heading back to Stockton, they experienced car trouble, so pulled way off the road.
Doubly frustrating was that they had also lost phone service and had no way to call for help! There was nothing out here. They could have been stranded out there for along time.
We knew we had been sent. They used our phones to call for help. They also notified their worried family.
They couldn’t believe that we had come along at such an opportune time. We stayed with them until the tow truck arrived to make sure any other vultures would be warded off.
Of course we used this opportunity to share God’s love with them. A bit subdued, this precious couple seemed to need a reminder of WHO really had their back.
Although this couple presented as having need of nothing, they found themselves in a totally vulnerable position – all alone and in need of being saved.
All I can say is that they got their sign that day – in more ways than one!