We drove around McDonald’s. Nothing.
The whole time the snow was falling, an ever-thicker blanket was steadily being created.
We called the motel again. “Where are you?” my sister almost cried in desperation. “You’re nearly here,” the less-than-helpful night clerk said. “But where do we go? We’re at McDonald’s, but we can’t see you anywhere.”
“You’re just a few minutes away from us,” he continued, annoyingly. “Yes, but a few minutes to the left or the right, north or south?” By now my sister was almost hysterical and shouting into the telephone in frustration.
It was 2:30 a.m. She had been driving for almost seven hours in terrible conditions and was exhausted.
Suddenly, we saw a taxi driving along the deserted road. Thank God, we thought, British cab drivers always know their way around. We waved him down and showed him the piece of paper with the motel name and address. We asked him if he knew where it was, describing to him our unsuccessful attempts at getting proper directions from the motel clerk.
He looked at the name and address and shook his head. “Never heard of it. Sorry.”
Defeated, we turned back to the car.
Suddenly the cab driver called after us. He must have noticed the dejected look on our faces. “I can’t leave you stranded on a night like this.” He took the piece of paper with the name and telephone number and called the motel.
“I’m not leaving these poor people out here. You will explain to me clearly how to get to you, I’ll drive and these poor people will follow me. I’m not leaving them until we get to your motel.”
Relief warmed our cold bodies as we thanked HaKadosh Baruch Hu.
Their conversation went back and forth for a long time. The cab driver then got in his car and signaled us to follow him. He drove off slowly down the long road. We came to a “No Entry” sign that he drove right through. We followed him down the deserted lane, thankful there were no other cars around in this terrible weather.
Soon after we came to another lane with a sign reading, “For Buses only.” We followed him down that lane for some distance.
Suddenly he waved his right hand out the window, pointed to a small building and disappeared into the distance. And there on our right was our little motel. We almost wept in relief.
According to Jewish tradition, Elijah the Prophet has been known to come in many unusual guises over the centuries to help Jews in distress. Why not as a British cabbie?
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