At Thanksgiving, strangers weren't strangers for long

With no other family with whom to celebrate Thanksgiving, I decided to take my daughter to California and spring for a night on the beach. The next day, Thanksgiving, we headed home for Arizona. We managed to get about 10 miles when our car died. I called AAA and about 45 minutes later, the flatbed truck arrived.

He asked where I wanted to go and I told him I don't have any family. When I suggested he take me to a motel, the look on his face was sadness and shock. He was finished working and suggested that my daughter and I come to his family's home. I could see he was a hard-working family man and when we got in the truck, not one scared feeling went through my bones.

His name was Hector, and he lived in Chino. I spent some time around Chino in my younger days and there are a lot of things I remember about it. The people were mostly Hispanic, they were kind, and when you were their guest, you were their guest.

He called his wife before we arrived, and people came rushing out of the house like we were movie stars. Each of them greeted, hugged and welcomed us. All of them were so gracious and happy. As we sat outside on tables, watching the kids play and the delicious food cook, I was reminded of the old days in Chino. They didn't change at all. After a wonderful night of music, dancing and fun, we were treated to a room with a heater to sleep. The next morning we were supplied breakfast, and Hector and his friends fixed my car.

I grabbed him in a huge hug and wept like a baby. In all of my life, I've done good things for people and never expected to get them back. The entire family came out to hug us farewell. I was told, "We are your family," and I was invited back on the day of the Lord.

I cried all the way down the road when I left.

Georgia Marsh