Even though I wore a heavy sweatshirt, blue jeans, and a heavy coat the wind went through me as I trudged across the parking lot to the post office. Already under the effects of some sort of virus, I felt worse as the wind whipped across the lot.
A man wearing a work uniform walked toward his vehicle. Abruptly he turned, walked back to the post office and held the door open for me. Startled, I thanked him, twice.
That little incident occurred last week, and I still marvel at his kindness. He did it not like he was going back to the post office because he forgot something, and he just happened to hold the door for me. No–he did it as though it was important to him to do it for me.
His kindness inconvenienced him. At the very least, it cost him a few minutes of time. No law told him to do it. Yet he did it anyway.
In a world where speed and selfishness are so prevalent, his act stands out for me. It also gives me an example to remember and follow.
For me, yesterday was the first day of winter–the first day snow fell on the ground and accumulated. And though my reaction when I looked out and saw the fluffy stuff was “Snow! Yuck!”, I realize that we are fortunate to get snow this late. Some years, this area received wet snow in mid-October. One year six inches of snow fell on trick-or-treaters; another year, children going trick-or-treating walked in a mild 70°.
It’s not as though I didn’t see the possibility of snow coming. Most of the trees shed their leaves. The maples that still have their green-turning-yellow leaves are the kind whose leaves are last to change; when I see those trees changing, I know it’s November. The woods across the creek have that “November-ish” look about them: the bright colors of fall are gone, and the only colors left are the somber black, grey or brown tones of tree trunks against the green of the pines and other evergreens. The constellation Orion is back in the night sky after going away on summer vacation. Our area had some frosts; I’ve scraped ice off the car windows two or three times now. So I’ve had fair warning.
Yesterday was a variably-cloudy day. One minute, the sun shone brightly in a beautiful blue sky; ten minutes later snow fell so heavily it was close to dangerous white-out conditions. During milder periods I threw some black-oil sunflower seeds out for the birds (another sign of winter for me), brought a swing in from the back yard, and put two winter tires in the trunk of the car for my appointment today to have winter tires put on.
Why all the anguish about the snow, when I knew the time was coming? I guess it’s because Monday was 60° and beautiful, and I’d like to see the warmer weather hang on for awhile longer!
Today is a day in the country I live in to honor veterans who served in the military. Men and women went overseas (and are still going) to serve, not knowing whether they would ever see their families again.
This day brings memories of my father, who served in the US Army during WWII. Like so many other people, he was just 19 or 20 when he left his small-town home and traveled thousands of miles to Germany and France. He saw and heard sights and sounds no person should ever have to see and hear, as he experienced a part of the inhumanity of man towards man. While he was proud to wear the uniform of a US serviceman, he said that the service took the best years of his life. Beyond that, he said little about that time; I am sure he preferred to put it out of his mind, as much as he could.
I write this post in an attempt to honor my father, and by extension, so many other men and women, who gave up hopes and dreams to serve, often in horrendous conditions. They gave up a lot, more than I (not being a veteran) can ever express. I salute you.