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thedrifter
01-17-07, 11:27 AM
Pass it on
Peggy Goodrich Commentary

Aren’t people wonderful? Think about it.

Jim and I stopped by a hamburger place recently and had an enjoyable, quick lunch. When we got up to leave, I took the tray to the waste bin to empty it. I accidentally dropped the napkins off it on to the floor. My hands were full with my purse, the cups and the full tray and I was keeping an eye on Jim as I was sliding the tray cover into the bin. Before I had a chance to retrieve it, a nice young gentleman quickly bent over and put the dropped napkins in the bin himself. I thanked him and was so grateful for his kind gesture. In a second he was gone. I bet he is that kind all the time to everyone because he acted like it was no big deal. Well, it was to me. There was no way I could repay him except to pass the kindness on to someone else.

We were in Albuquerque several years ago and had stopped at a service station. We asked a lady who also was filling her car where “Old Town” was. She told us to follow her, that she was just going that way and she would show us. We followed her and she took us right into the square of Old Town. She then slowed down and pointed to a parking place for us. We pulled in and she drove off to find another place to park. What a delightful taste that left in our mouths for everyone in Albuquerque. We picture everyone there being just like this special lady who was so kind. There may be thugs in that town, but we never met any of them. All the people we met must work for the Chamber of Commerce or be ambassadors because everyone we encountered was so nice, friendly and helpful.

It seems these young Marines stationed at Vance Air Force Base have taken it upon themselves to take care of Jim since he is an old Marine. They run errands for us and check on us during inclement weather. When Jim was sick, they hauled me to and from the hospital, ran errands for me and made sure I was safely home. Other branches of service also may take care of their own, but we are keenly aware of the way Marines treat old Marines. They truly care for their own. And we are grateful for their friendship and loving care. They are all wonderful people.

Several years ago on one of the coldest and windiest days of the year we were on our way home from Pawnee and had a blowout (the first I had ever experienced). We tried to get the jack and the spare tire out of the trunk with no luck. Then Jim called our friendly service station man who used to own East Maine Conoco, and he left his cozy home, came by his station and picked up a huge jack that lifted the car real easily. He changed that tire in a few minutes. Isn’t it surprising what the right tools and kindness will do? C.A. was a life saver. He still is. He comes anytime we have a problem or need something done. We are blessed to have friends like him.

People who are fortunate to be from large families always have known how wonderful people are. I was surrounded by parents, grandparents, brothers, sisters, cousins, aunts and uncles who protected me and cared for me and made life a pleasure. They saw only good in people. We shared and cared and they did, too. We gave and did for people without thought of being repaid.

With families scattered, we have learned to rely on our church families to be concerned for us and check on us whenever we are sick or bereaved. The friends we have made over the years also go above and beyond being kind when we are under the weather. My friend, Mary, has called every day this past week while Jim and I had bouts with respiratory crud, offering to bring in groceries or run errands. Thankfully, we did not need anything, but it is so comforting to know we have such sweet friends who care and are so willing to come to our aid.

We read all the time of people who get rewards for bravery and kindness shown beyond the call of duty. In every case, the recipient says they were just doing their job. That sense of duty is what makes them elevated and makes this the greatest country of caring people in the world.

I think I have told this story before, but I repeat it because I think of it often when I think of wonderful people. Years ago I was visiting Phillips University to see if that is where I wanted to attend when I graduated from high school. While I was here in Enid that weekend the worst storm blew in, blocking roads and knocking out power lines. Knowing that my parents were expecting me, I boarded a bus to go to Pawnee where I lived. The roads were open, but nearly impassable and many cars and trucks were off the side of the highway. By fortitude and sheer luck, that bus got through, but arrived in Pawnee in the wee hours of the morning. I got off the bus and there was no phone service. Some nice person gave me a ride to a friend’s house and I knocked on her door to be put up for the night. I was nearly frozen and she stayed up the rest of the night thawing me out.

When Mother and Daddy got word of the bad weather they gave me credit for thinking and thought I would remain in Enid until the storm cleared. Thinking the folks would worry and expect me, I felt compelled to get on that bus. By the next day I was able to call them and got home. To shorten an already too long story, my concern was how to repay the lovely lady, Miss Nellie, who had taken me in. She said, “The only way to repay something nice is to do something nice for someone else.” I have never forgotten her nor her story. Aren’t people wonderful?

I am convinced that it is not what we do for people, but THAT we do for people that makes this such a wonderful world. Make something as simple as this to share with a friend.



Dump Cake

1 large can crushed pineapple

1 can cherry pie filling

1 package yellow cake mix

1/2 cup chopped pecans

2 sticks (one cup) butter

coconut, if desired

Dump undrained pineapple and pie filling into 9-by-13 baking dish. Sprinkle dry cake mix on top and sprinkle with nuts. Dot with butter over top. Sprinkle with coconut if desired. Bake in 350-degree oven for one hour. Serve warm with ice cream.

If someone does something nice for you, pass it on. Keep the fire glowing.

Ellie