Yesterday we got back to Denver after our quick trip to Cambridge for house inspections, and decided to go to a local fast food place for lunch before we went to the grocery store for some needed items.
While standing in line to place our food order, I noticed a pleasant though somewhat disheveled older lady standing by the door. We acknowledged each other with a nod and smile which is a lot more notice than you normally get in the city.
We sat down, and the older lady soon sat down near us looking out the window whispering to herself. I don't know how the conversation even got started, but she asked us where we were from, and a couple other questions as we ate our lunch, then asked if I had 50 cents I could spare.
I didn't hesitate, though I've become pretty crusty towards panhandlers over the years, to dig into my wallet and give her a buck. I had it, could spare it, she obviously to me needed it, helping others is something I like to do, and it's Christmas. She thanked me and sat back down looking out the window for a few more minutes, then headed to the counter with her new treasure and ordered a baked potato from the "dollar menu".
We finished up our lunch and as we pulled out of the parking lot on our way to the grocery, we saw the lady kinda wandering around as if lost. I'm afraid she is one of those folks that needs outside help. Many people do in our prosperous country unfortunately.
The other part of this story involves the self checkout at the grocery store. Now if you are not familiar with self checkout stations, they are like an ATM machine hooked up to a UPC scanner so you can scan your own items, pay with cash or credit card, and get change returned. We waited for the next available self checkout station and when we walked up, the customer in front of us had forgotten her $10 bill change in the machine and was halfway out the door. I grabbed the ten spot and quickly caught up with her before she got to her car. The look on her face was worth 10 times more to me than the $10 bill could have ever provided monetarily. The "thank you" was delivered with disbelief.
So I hope that I passed a bit of Christmas spirit to a couple people that needed a lift. This holiday season, take a moment and remember that there are a lot of folks that don't have what you do. I know I did the right thing for a couple people, and I bet you can too this season.