A Great Surprise


We’d been camping for two months for my health. Someone had given us an old RV (somewhat offgassed but not moldy!  🙂 ) in addition to my aluminum camper (which was not big enough for all five of us). All of our stuff (that didn’t fit in the RV) was in storage until we figured out where we would live after the RV.

With three young children and the youngest in a wheelchair, it wasn’t terribly easy. Multiple Chemical Sensitivity brings daily challenges no matter where you are living. Special needs are a constant no matter what else is happening. But we were trying to enjoy the adventure, make the best of the situation.  But, we were weary.

One day we found the RV needed to have the brakes fixed. We’d have to take it to Rapid City (South Dakota). I couldn’t even go into the city limits without getting sick, so Steve set me up in my camper, in a quiet, hidden spot in National Forest that was open to camping. He arranged to have a friend bring me ice every day and be “on call” if I should need anything. I was pretty disabled at that time. He hitched the camper to the van should I have to drive out in an emergency like a forest fire. Then he and the kids headed up to the city.

Steve explained the situation to the RV repairmen, and they promised to get right on it so we could have our “house” back.  🙂   A relative graciously housed and fed Steve and the kids for the night and next day.

The next day around suppertime, Steve & the kids went to pick up the RV. Somehow a couple of the repairmen seemed to be acting funny, like schoolgirls with a secret, holding back smiles. Steve paid the bill and went to the RV and opened the door to help the kids inside.

There sat bags of groceries, canned goods, soda pop, napkins, and hot pizzas!!

This was 5 years ago, and it still touches my heart and brings tears to my eyes to think of it. How did those guys pull this off, and why did they go so out of their way to bless a little family? They might never know how much it meant to us, but I hope they did. A huge gesture of caring from strangers, a balm to our tired souls.


Christa Upton   Black Hills Picture Books    Edgemont, SD  57735



About Christa Upton

I am a wife and mother of three children ages 11, 14, and 18. I used to be a stay-at-home mom (teaching piano & dance, volunteering, etc). From 2007 to 2010, I suffered accidental Toxic Injury (also called Multiple Chemical Sensitivity or MCS). MCS has had major impact on our family, but the forced time in bed has given me time to write. So far, I have published 4 children's books (2 in e-book format on Kindle, one in Print-on-Demand at CreateSpace, and one printed by a local printer). Sometimes I miss my old life, but I love writing for children!
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