Town Day III

December 15 – (You can read installments I and II in our earlier posts if you wish) Once we arrived at Discover Vision Center, I talked with the representative about buying another pair of glasses because I haven’t done anything about the big scratch at the top of one lens, and it’s been there for a long time. The friendly lady answered my questions about the problem and helped me choose the frames I wanted. After checking on my insurance plan and zipping along the numbers, she told me how much I would have to pay. How good it is to find employees like that who are more interested in you than in your payment.


[ Nuts and Trail Mix ]

Finally we arrived at Walmart where Dale planned to buy large jars full of cashews and nutty trail mix for a treat for folks at Christmas. After searching from one end of the shelves to another, he came up with those that caught his eye and would also please the recipient of the gift. At the check-out counter, he wrote up a big check to cover the nuts and various other needs. The friendly young lady, after spending time checking and re-checking, announced that his check would not be accepted. She didn’t know why. He didn’t know why either, and customers were lined up behind us much too far for my liking. “Oh, well, I guess I’ll have to pay cash,” Dale announced, but he wasn’t too happy about the situation, since his check was accepted there not too long ago.

Feeling bad about those poor waiting customers, I slipped behind Dale to the first ones, a mom and young daughter. After I had apologized, the mother said, “That’s OK. We have time to wait! My daughter doesn’t mind either!” “Well, you must be teaching her in the right way,” I said. “I remember back when I was teaching, some kids wanted to get going right away, and others didn’t worry.” When she asked me where and how long I had taught, I told her of my teaching in several cities in the US, and some years in Africa where I had met Dale. “Oh, how old are you?” she asked. When I said eighty-eight, she gasped and said, “Well I hope I can keep on doing things at that age and not look any older than you do!” Well, now, I think that called for a big hug or two!


[ Another tin from the Thrift Store ]

As we talked with one lady at the Thrift Store during our long day, she mentioned the town of Kingsville, which is about 10 miles from our house. “Yes, I know Kingsville,” I said. “I volunteered at the school there for over 15 years. In fact we didn’t even have our stuff unpacked before I began those fun years of helping the kids.”

When she heard that, she said, “Several in our family graduated from that school, and we live not too far from it today. My mom lives near us there!” Small world, right? Jan continued, “Do you mind if I ask you how old you are?” Of course, I didn’t. I’m still going strong even if I am old(er)! When I answered, “I’m 88,” she gulped and said, “You can’t be!” “Well, just ask Dale,” I suggested. When Dale nodded his head and agreed with me, she just shook her head in disbelief. Giving me a big hug, she said, “Just keep going. I hope I’ll be able to get around when I’m that age!” I’m sure she will!

We finally did get home that night! After leaving that morning, we were busy going and doing and hugging for over eight hours. Time for our first meal of the day, except for the good treats at the Putnam home. I didn’t even feel hungry. Good thing, too, because by the time we had sorted out our purchases and put them away, another hour had gone by, and it was time to eat the meal-breakfast? lunch? or supper? All of the above!


[ When Dale Retired ]

It’s funny; when we moved here from Pennsylvania more than seventeen years ago, we didn’t know anybody except for our kids’ families and some folks they knew. On the other hand, just this last week in a conversation in one of the stores, a number of folks greeted us with smiles and hugs as we continued talking with the lady who owns the Thrift Shop. Her reaction to all of those friendly folks? “You know so many people and have so many friends everywhere, and they’re always glad to see you and get your hugs!” Now that’s a comment that I will try to remember always, both because of the warm feeling it left in my heart, but also because there are so many, many people who need to be hugged and patted on the back because they don’t have much of a good life! – CHRIS

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