While driving around in Marion County on a beautiful fall morning, I turned onto a narrow country road north of Mannington, just because. Because I’d never been on it. Because I wanted to see where it went. Because I had nothing better to do. In the distance, I saw the cutest little cabin sitting back from the road. The porch was overflowing with baskets of fall flowers and autumn decorations that would have looked chintzy had I put them out, but here, in the green grassy yard by a sparkling creek, they only enhanced the little house’s attractiveness.
Let me make it clear that I love my house and I never want to move. Now that the kids are grown, I do, however, find myself thinking that it’s much too big. But, as I slowly drove toward that appealing little house, I found myself thinking I could live there. When I saw a woman standing in the yard, I took just a few steps beyond normal for me, pulled into her driveway, threw open my car door, and yelled I love your house!
I’m sure she thought a crazy lady was on the loose but she just laughed. Unbelievably, she asked me if I’d like to see the inside of it. Even more unbelievably, I said yes! The interior was a work in progress with insulation and wiring, but it still radiated charm. It had a big enough kitchen, a cozy wood stove, a gorgeous, big bathroom, and a small deck, perfect for an early morning cup of coffee and a sunrise. Well, maybe a sunrise. I had no clue what direction the deck faced but it was a fantasy I was willing to speculate on.
We talked like we’d known each other for years. When I mentioned that I had been going to yard sales to buy puzzles for my 90-year-old mother, she pulled out a garbage bag full of puzzles and insisted I take them to her. I thought desperately about the contents of my car, wondering if there was anything I could gift her with in return. The only thing I could come up with besides a bottle of hand sanitizer, was a paper bag containing 8 mini pepperoni rolls which were still slightly warm. I insisted she take them, said my goodbyes, and drove away, laughing hysterically. I, the slightly OCD paranoid person that I am, would never eat an already opened bag of food thrust at me by a complete stranger! What was I thinking?
When I finally stopped laughing, I continued to smile. It’s good to know that kind, generous people still exist. I may not visit there again (I’m not sure I even remember where I was) but I know that I made a new friend that day. When I watch my mother enjoying her puzzles, I will always think about the kindness of a stranger.
2 thoughts on “The kindness of strangers”
That is such a funny story ,I sure your mom loved that big bag of puzzles .I haven’t worked a puzzle in a long long time, I should get on out & work on it sometime soon.
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I always have a puzzle on my dining room table. I work on them when I can’t sleep.