Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Random acts of kindness that have to do with food - sort of.

There are some very nice people in Pennsylvania.  I'm not sure why everyone I've ever met from there is so nice...perhaps it's some kind of "happy, happy, joy, joy" stuff they put in the water - but Pennsylvanians are incredibly nice, friendly, helpful.  In the past few weeks, I've had some great random encounters...

My first encounter was in Indiana, PA.  I was bringing Meg home from college.  We took hubby's truck, because it fits more "stuff" than the Subaru. 

Loaded it up - lots of construction driving to Indiana PA, and so I had to put the headlights on - It's the law.  After loading up the truck so full we couldn't possibly fit any more stuff, we headed off to a local place called The Grapevine Restaurant and Lounge.  They actually have good food there.  My brothers-in-laws Bill and Richard found it when they went up to visit Meg.  If you are ever in Indiana, please go there and get the Caesar Salad - it's a must have.  We had a very nice meal, went out to the car...dead battery. 

Turns out it's not a great idea to leave the lights on for 3-4 hours they were on the whole time we were loading Meg's dorm room into the back of the truck unbeknownst to me - the lights shut off with the engine on the car I drive, AND the one I used to drive before that, and the "DING DING" thingie that is supposed to warn  you not to make such a moronic move is very faint in hubby's car.  Just sayin'... I go in, ask if anyone has jumper cables.  Turns out the owner, Joe Medvetz, is there eating dinner, and HE has jumper cables.  He comes out, the car doesn't turn over.  Worse than that, the alarm starts going off, the windshield wipers start going on, and I look like one of those panicky women in a sitcom - trying to turn off the wipers (which were in the OFF position btw), stop the horn from its infernal BEEP BEEP BEEP, and turn the car over all at the same time.  Somehow with some wrangling, we get the horn to stop beeping and the wipers stop wiping imaginary rain off the windshield.  I turn the car over.  Nada.  Joe and I let it charge up a bit, I put Meg in the driver's seat, and we try again.  The horn goes off...This happens off and on (with the wipers making an occasional "Twilight Zone" guest appearance) and the damn engine still doesn't turn over for about a good 30 minutes.  I call hubby.  

Chef says you can't start the car without the remote (I didn't bring it - it was 200 miles away on Owen's keychain), because the alarm needs to be deactivated - hence the possessed windshield wipers and battery draining horn beeps.  Chef says call home, try and activate remote through phone, hence the call to hubby.  No luck.  Joe calls a local Nissan dealer, I explain situation to hubby who says it's BS that you need to start the car with the remote, he's jumped the car before, but then I pointed out to him, he HAD THE REMOTE.  Hubby calls a Nissan dealer.  It's over an hour now, Meg is gone (she had a dessert date) luckily there was a friend on campus with a car to pick her up.  Hubby calls back when Joe is on the phone with a local Nissan dealer, we compare notes.  Very similar, but a subtle difference from the Local Nissan Guy.  We have to charge the car, shut ALL the doors, lock them with the key, then unlock them, and that should shut the alarm off.  We do that...Success!!!  Right now, I am loving the local Nissan guy even though I never met him. Now the battery is even MORE drained from trying to protect the car from thievery like thieves could get it to GO anywhere at this point So we let the battery charge up for about 20 minutes.  I cross my fingers, say a prayer, and WALLAH!!!!!! WE have IGNITION!!!!!  Joe suggests getting a new battery, since the battery is 7 years old, hubby concurs.  He suggests Sears or Walmart.  Joe has me follow him to Sears, then to Walmart, which were both closed, because it is now just after 8 pm (2 hours into the ordeal)  He follows me BACK to my hotel to make sure I didn't get stuck, waits to see if the car will start up again (it did) and gives  me his phone number and says to call him in the morning if I had any problems. 

To say he's a sweetheart is an understatement.  Terri, you have a wonderful hubby, and Joe, you have a saint of a wife that let some strange broad from MD interrupt a family dinner.

I wrote them a thank you note, and sent them (of course) Salazon Chocolate for being so "sweet" - get it? Besides, I figured they enjoyed good food, and I better stop right here before this turns into another "OMG I LOVE SALAZON CHOCOLATE" post...

So Joe and Terri - I know you probably will not read this, nor the Chef at your restaurant, but thank you for being the kind, helpful people you are, and I am so happy to have met you, and so grateful for your time that you unselfishly gave to me. 

And if anyone is every visiting Indiana PA, again, stop at Joe and Terri's place - the Grapevine Restaurant and Lounge - it's a nondescript storefront on the outside, but cozy and classy on the inside - and the food is great! :)

I should really put a recipe in here...but this post is long enough - look for parts 2 and 3 - I'll give you a home made Caesar Salad recipe that ROCKS, and my adventures in Philly with yet more Pennsylvanians :-)


  1. this is a CRAZY and awesome story...you should have a freakin' sitcom. and what sweet people. doesn't stuff like that just warm your heart and give you chills and stuff?

    also " I put Meg in the driver's seat," made me laugh. i dunno why but i pictured her as a big grown up baby with a diaper in a car seat. even though that wouldn't be the drivers side. i guess it was the "put her in" that got me going. hehehe. okay, done now.

  2. LOL You should have seen me trying to turn off the windshield wipers (when they were already in the OFF position) when Joe was saying "Turn off the wipers!" LOL zomg. I kept turning every single switch, lever, whatever on that steering wheel :-P

    Ahahahaha that mental pic of Meg...hilarious :)

  3. Chris, that's a KRAZY story. Thanks for the shout out in that post. Bill

  4. Bill, it was insane. I needed some ETOH when I got to the hotel, but settled for a movie and an ice cold Pepsi. I reeeeeallly wanted a cosmo, but was too exhausted from driving, moving Meg, packing the car, and trying to start it to go to the bar and get one. I was sorely tempted to call room service.

  5. Haha, Chris, we DID get to read this. A whole year later!! A customer stumbled upon this somehow and gave us the link! Thanks so much for the kind words....AND the delicious chocolate! It was fantastic! I actually still have your address "sticky noted" here next to my computer! Hope to see you soon and hope your car is behaving itself! :)
    Terri & Joe