METROPOLITAN DIARY: EAST TEXAS EDITION

Last week, after wrapping up an assignment in Tyler, Texas, I decided I would take blue highways on my way home. I had taken my twin-lens reflex camera with me, and hoped to stumble on landscapes, houses, and signs that would yield fun photographs.

The backroads did not disappoint. And after what had been a cold and overcast morning, the sun broke through the clouds in the afternoon, giving me some fun photographs and beautiful light.

I saw the sign below on the opposite side of the road as I drove through Ben Wheeler. I was going to pass on it, but something nagged at me and I doubled back and took a few shots. Shortly after I started making a U-turn to get back on the road, I slammed on the brakes because several things flew off the passenger seat and the camera almost tumbled onto the car floor.

While I tidied up the passenger seat, a woman had pulled over on the other side of the road, and approached my car. I was surprised to see her, and thought, Oh boy, she’s going to ask me why I was taking pictures, someone saw me taking pictures and was weirded out by that.

But no, that was not it. She wanted to know whether I was OK. I lowered the window and after I told her that I was, she said she and her passengers were wondering if they needed to pray for me. I told her that was sweet and reassured her I was OK, and explained that I had stopped because the passenger seat was a mess.

She insisted.

As she walked back to her car she said, “We’re going to pray for you tonight. We all could use that these days, right?” I laughed, told her that was true, again thanked her for her kind and sweet gesture, and we wished each other a Merry Christmas. Then we both went on our way.