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Sunday, May 1, 2016

Gray Matters:Thank you for your kindness

Monday, April 7, 2008

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There may be times when you readers think I dwell too much on this business of getting on in years. Well I'm at it again, so just skip on to the sports page if you find the subject too boring. Hmm!

These last months when there has been so much ice underfoot, often accompanied by gale-force winds, I still tried to get out and do as much as I could for myself. I have family and friends who would run errands for me if I asked, but I still like to stay as independent as possible. Consequently, I've been deeply touched by all the kindnesses that have come my way. More often than not when I approach the door of the Post Office, whether going in or coming out, some kind soul will be there to open and hold it for me. Sometimes I know them, sometimes I don't -- of course, just between us, there are times when the face is familiar but I can't for the life of me put the name with it.

If I get a package too bulky for me to handle, the kind gals behind the counter will obligingly carry it to my car unless there is some other good soul there who offers to do it. Just today, when the wind was really fierce, a young man (well not that young, but as I have said before, all contemporaries of my kids are "young" to me) offered me his arm, escorted me to my car, held the door against the wind, and made sure I was secure inside. On a particularly icy day a few weeks ago, another fellow who grew up with my sons, practically carried me from the Post Office door to my car. I have been treated similarly at many local businesses. People are so thoughtful in helping us older folks get around and in carrying things for us. In other words, they are easing the burdens age seems to lay on us.

However, not all of my peers feel quite this way, so right now I would like to address that difference. I recently shocked one friend when I asked a perfect stranger to help us. She seemed to feel I was imposing, especially since it was a much younger person. On the other hand, I looked at it as a teaching moment. Lots of parents, in this busy world, don't seem to take time anymore to teach their kids such niceties. So I find it satisfying to see the look on a youngster's face after he/she has responded to a request for help. It has given them a nice little introduction to that unfamiliar concept that it is better to give than to receive -- one of those "light-bulb moments."

I've been told, too, that there are others watching from a distance who would be right there if one of us were to fall. So, despite the nasty weather, this long severe winter has proven a source of satisfaction and appreciation for many of us, and we are all grateful to every one of you kind souls who has been there for us.

P S -- After she'd read a Gray Matter I wrote some weeks ago about Carl Zehnder, who once coached here in Marcus, a niece of his contacted me. Among other things, she told me that Carl's wife, June, had passed away last September. She also gave me some information which some of you might like to have. That is, that Carl will celebrate his 94th Birthday on April 27 and that his address is:

Carl Zehnder

302 Christopher Drive

Branson, MO 65616