The weather was sunny and dry when we left home, but clouded up on our way to the grocery store. It was drizzling when we went in, and pouring when we came out. People were racing to and from the store holding umbrellas over their grocery carts and themselves.

“You wait here,” my husband said. “I’ll go get the car.”

There was a long line of people with full grocery carts waiting near the entrance to the store, and I joined them. There was also a long line of cars pulling up to the curb, ready to pick them up.

A man came out of the store and stood next to me for a moment, looking out at the parking lot and the pouring rain. He had car keys in one hand, and was holding on to his grocery cart with the other.

“I don’t think anyone’s going to pick me up and drive me to my car,” he joked. I shrugged and smiled back at him.

“You never know,” I said. “If you wait long enough…”

Another man, umbrella and groceries in hand, was just walking by, and heard the exchange.

“Would you like a ride to your car?” he asked.

We both looked up, thinking he was just adding to our light-hearted exchange. But the earnest look on his face indicated he was a genuine Good Samaritan, asking a sincere question, and waiting for an answer.

“No, I’m good,” the man said. “But thank you.” He then hunched his shoulders and raced out into the parking lot.

The Good Samaritan then turned to me. “How about you?” he asked.  “You okay?”

“I’m fine,” I said, pointing toward our car. “My husband’s on his way here now. But thanks. I appreciate it.”

He nodded and left. My husband pulled up to the curb, and we were soon headed back home.

This entire exchange was quick and inconsequential in the whole scheme of things. It happened in less time than it took me to tell you about it, and I could easily have forgotten it by the time we had our groceries loaded in the car. But it stayed with me.

In this day and age, when it’s hard to turn on the radio or TV news without hearing people fighting, screaming, and accusing each other, it was so refreshing to have a different kind of experience. And it was nice to be reminded there are people – many people – in the world who will chat and joke with a total stranger, or offer a kindness that could make someone’s life a little easier or more comfortable.

By the time we got home from the grocery store, it had stopped raining, although the day remained cloudy and overcast. It didn’t matter to me though. I had a warm smile and a sunny disposition that stayed with me for the rest of the day.

July 20, 2018
©Betty Liedtke, 2018

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