Kind Strangers save my sanity

Focus on a man's smile, nose and chinI’m a barista and work mostly in the middle of the weekday.

This means you get all crying toddlers, the babychinos that take forever to make and the mothers who will only drink half skim, half soy, decaf, quarter strength, extra hot cappuccinos. (Sometimes I wish I could scream as loud at some of those babies without being fired.)

I was sweeping up after an especially excruciating shift when I found my internal monologue turning into my own personal speech about how I hate the world (I say this internally, out loud of course; 10 hour shifts make you go a little crazy) WHEN SUDDENLY I look up and a stranger working in the Newsagent next to me is just finishing sweeping up my dirt pile about 2 metres away.

I stop panicking about closing on time and the preschool kid  running around screaming behind me and smile back. For a second; that young man has made my world beautiful. We both continued on with our lives probably never to make eye contact again.

Thank you kind stranger.

Samb Bowles

Thank you eperales for sharing this photo.

Stumped at the petrol pump

A gas (petrol) pump showing the sale

Image courtesy of Andrew Taylor

Travelling home from Brisbane one day, I had my petrol light on. I think I had left my wallet at home or spent all my pay (pretty sure it was the day before pay day) and all I could fathom was a handful of change only making up a few dollars.

I asked the man at the counter whether it would be enough to get me home to Palm Beach. He said ‘probably not’ and tried to explain the shortest route to get there (from Nerang – in peak traffic). Meanwhile, a man had appeared in line behind me, disappeared, and come back again. He gave me another $5 and said, ‘that should be enough to get you home.’

It wasn’t much, but I’ve been forever appreciative and have wished for him plenty of good karma. Thank you kind stranger!

Palm Beach, Qld, Australia

We Can Love It….

Received as an email message and touched my heart soooooooo much!

An gray haired man dressed in blue helps a gray haired woman climb a trail through the woodsTheir marriage was good, their dreams focused. Their best friends lived barely a wave away.

I can see them now, Dad in trousers, tee shirt and a hat and Mother in a house dress; lawn mower in his hand, and dish-towel in hers.. It was the time for fixing things. A curtain rod, the kitchen radio, screen door, the oven door, the hem in a dress.

Things we keep.

It was a way of life, and sometimes it made me crazy. All that re-fixing, eating, renewing, I wanted just once to be wasteful. Waste meant affluence. Throwing things away meant you knew there’d always be more.

But then my mother died, and on that clear summer’s night, in the warmth of the hospital room, I was struck with the pain of learning that sometimes there isn’t any more. Sometimes, what we care about most gets all used up and goes away…never to return.

So… While we have it…. it’s best we love it… And care for it…. And fix it when it’s broken….. And heal it when it’s sick.

This is true… For marriage…. And old cars…. And children with bad report cards….. Dogs and cats with bad hips….

And aging parents…. And grandparents.

We keep them because they are worth it, because we are worth it.

Some things we keep. Like a best friend that moved away or a classmate we grew up with. There are just some things that make life important, like people we know who are special…. And so, we keep them close!

With love…


It’s a Short Drive to Kindness

A couple months ago – in January I believe, it was pretty cold and harsh. I was running a few errands at the grocery store that is pretty close to me and was on my way home, just leaving the parking lot of the store. I saw a lady walking along with a bag of groceries.

I checked to be sure it was a lady – and I stopped and offered her a lift. Turned out she didn’t live very much further down the road from me and was ever so grateful for the ride on a bitter cold day. It was a small but easy thing to do – something I’d hope someone might do for me if I had to walk on a cold day carrying a heavy bag.

As it turned out I had the opportunity to do this again the next week for another woman. She, too was very grateful and we had a nice chat for the 5 minutes I had her in the car. Both these ladies lived fairly near to me, so they were, in truth my neighbors and I was glad I could help them out.

I think too often we are afraid to do little things like this, but the times that I have, it’s turned out to be a good thing and I’m happy I reached out.