It is a well-known fact that I love afternoon tea, whether it’s with my friends at my home or going to our favorite tea house, Florrie Kaye’s in Carmel.

Several months ago, we decided a tea party was just what we needed and off we went to Carmel, where we’d meet up with more friends. We enjoyed our party: fragrant teas, delicious sandwiches, scones and delectable sweets, lots of “chatting” and laughing. We even snapped a picture with the Queen Mum (a life-size cardboard picture). If you saw these photos, you’d swear she was part of our group. What a charming way to spend an afternoon.

I had parked my car across the street. After goodbyes and air kisses, we left the tea house and made our way to the car, carefuly crossing the narrow road.

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My friend, Mel, spoke up: “Ruthie, there is a white paper on your car window.”

I cautiously walked to the car—the cars are coming in both directions on this tight road.

“Not only is there white paper, but look! The side mirror is hanging down and the mirror is shattered to smithereens,” I fumed, stunned and with a thumping heart. Fortunately, I didn’t see any further damage to the car.

The white paper? There were two pieces of white paper: The first was a note from a deputy from the sheriff’s department explaining that my car had been hit; the second sheet was a completed accident information exchange form. For the moment, I was in shock. As I read the officer’s note, I realized the other driver had notified the police and given her statement, etc. A good Samaritan, indeed.

As we got into the car, Mel and my friends, Sybil and Margaret, suggested I drive up the street to the convenience store to see if there was something we could do to pull the mirror up the bracket and fasten it in the housing.

The gods were working overtime that day: We spoke to a young man who worked at the store and explained our “plight.” In minutes, he was at the car with a roll of clear packing tape and scissors—how could he resist four sweet, helpless ladies with a car problem? He taped the mirror housing to the bracket and the mirror itself back into the housing—another good Samaritan. Looking through the mirror was like being in the fun house at Playland and quite dangerous. A very quick trip to the auto body shop was definitely on the calendar for the next day.

I called the sheriff’s department early the next morning to inquire about the accident report I’d need for my insurance company and when I could pick it up.

“Oh, don’t worry about that. The report is complete and if you give me your email address, I’ll send it right now.”

I’d had a few fender benders in my lifetime and getting the accident report had been like pulling teeth. How smooth and easy was this? Sure enough, within five minutes, the email arrived.

Despite all the drama that afternoon, it was definitely enjoyable, challenging and chocked full of human spirit. Beginning with a conscientious driver, an orderly and professional sheriff’s department, a kind, helpful young man, and good supportive friends, we have the perfect example of humans coming to the aid of humans, folks. It is alive and well!

How about a little laugh? When the auto body shop manager opened the box containing the replacement mirror, he said it was in worse shape than mine!

The second one fit like a charm.

Ruthann can be reached at