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Debbie Sharp Loeb, teacher by training but full-time mom to a disabled son, craftsperson, bead artist, great cook, creative homemaker & terrific spotter of cool new products for everything under the sun, presents Hodgepodge: recipes, household hints, stories about children, friends & relatives, cool stuff, music, & much more.

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Monday, May 30, 2005

A-Pass-Along (A Small Gesture of Thanks)

"Great opportunities to help others seldom come, but small ones surround us every day." -Sally Koch

Last Saturday, we were beginning to make plans for this upcoming 3 day weekend. I mentioned to my family how my parents used to call this holiday 'Decoration Day'. I shared with them that when I was a kid growing up in Northern New York, near Canada, my mom and dad would gather us all up, throw bags of dirt in the trunk of the car, including a trowel, a small utility bucket, and a flat of geraniums and off we'd go to the various cemeteries to visit our dead relatives. We had to decorate their graves for Decoration Day.

As I sat out on my errands on Saturday afternoon, I smiled to myself as I saw a local Veteran selling paper poppies at a major intersection in my town. I knew summer was on its way. As I gave this very hearty, yet elderly gentleman a few dollars for a poppy, I noticed his face was quite flushed under his Veteran's hat. I commented that I wish I had a bottle of water for him besides the money. He responded how he could sure use one. I smiled and drove away as the light turned green.

One of the joys of my town is a drive up Welsh Farms; you don't get out of the car to purchase your items. You inform the clerk what you'd like, they tell you the amount, you give them the cash (they even make change!) and you get your items. I pulled in and got two bottles of water, one for him and one for me (I'm trying to drink more water and be a little healthier!) I turned my car around, drove back through the very congested intersection to give this man a bottle of water. To my surprise, he wasn't there! I turned around on my street and as I was driving back to the intersection, I saw him in the Friendly's restaurant parking lot talking to another Vet. I pulled into the lot, got out and ran over and gave him his bottle water. He thanked me and called me his angel. I told him he was most welcomed and I thanked him for what he did to help our Vets and for keeping our country safe. As I drove out of the lot, he was back at the intersection, collecting money for his fellow Veterans. As I drove by him, he waved and blew me kisses. They were the sweetest kisses I got that afternoon!

I have found God to be disguised in a variety of ways in my life. I just have to be open to the fact that he is everywhere and shows himself in the smallest of ways. Last Saturday, he was a Vet.

-by Diane Waugh Oliver Copyright © 2005


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