March 8 – (continuing from our Part I post, we are still at the Thrift Store…)As we are checking on our lady friends who work at the Thrift Store store, we find many customers whom we love and appreciate as well. Lois, (2 of them), Carole, Jan, and many others whose names I can’t remember. However, that does not lessen in any way, the love and kindness they show. Some bring their young grandchildren along with them, and how they enjoy looking through the farm and garden and barn toys, the lovely dolls, and stuffed animals: bears, lions, tigers, lambs, and all the rest.
Then out of nowhere then, comes Darlene, one of those who work with the clothes that folks donate to the Thrift Store. After a big hug, she too asked, “Where were you last week? I didn’t see you, but I really did miss you! I’m so glad that God takes care of you, and we need to thank Him for that right now! After her short prayer of thanks, she said, “Now don’t go home right away because some of my family and I made dozens and dozens of cookies, and I want you and Dale to have one of the full plates. We took a long time to make them. Even my husband helped!”
An interesting item about Darlene. Since my memory isn’t quite as good as it used to be, I sometimes have a problem trying to match names with their owners, especially if it is a more common name. But Darlene? When someone introduced her to me for the first time, I chuckled, gave her a hug and said, “Well, I’m going to remember your name, for sure! Know why? Darlene is the name of my one and only daughter-in-law!”Normally we enjoy a friendly chat with Susan who works in the big back room that holds books, games, puzzles, and many other items, too numerous to mention. Susan has been helping out at the store for a number of years, even before Dale and I began to check out our specialty, books. Actually, that’s the first thing I check out when we are in the store. Not books for adults, but those for children. There are several shelves full of good books, and every week I go through them to find the special ones for good friends of ours who have several children who have learned to appreciate those books.
In the small back room of the building, I found, as usual, Joyce, who is always busy sorting out and checking the clothing donated, before walking out to the main room to hang it on the line. She has told me a number of unusual stories of things that have happened to her and to her grandson. Sometimes when I walk into that room, she and Darlene are just waiting to hear the answer to their question of, “Well, what have you been doing lately, and where were you last week? We know that you are always into something!” With their cheery spirit and happiness galore, they always make somebody happy!As we drive down the highway after leaving Thrift, we pass Tom’s Auto Repair where the owner takes care of problems we might have with our car or truck. Always smiling and exuding joy, he does a great job. Farther on, Bebe and her family have taken care of us as well. It’s great to know that business folks have love in their hearts and hugs with their arms, even though we may be “just customers.” Business people have the right and privilege to pass out hugs just as we do.
Now just a little side note about those hugs! When we first moved out here from Pennsylvania, I kept up the practice of closing off my e-mails or other correspondence with “Luv ya,” before signing my name. At first, I think the people must have thought I was just a little crazy, as people then did not send me the same words. However, after awhile, they seemed to think it was OK to write “Luv ya,” just as I did, and were glad to know they really were loved. These days I hardly ever receive an e-mail from anyone who hasn’t written “Luv ya,” or “Luv and hugs,” or “Luv you lots.”
Interesting story about that. Recently we received an e-mail from one of our friends who has been teaching in the field of Self Defense. Though he is a big brawny man, he still wrote his note and then added, “Love YAH.” Now that might not sound like a big tough man, but inside a big body there can still be a heart of gold with love for others! – (to be continued…part III coming soon) – CHRIS