Thursday, November 28, 2013

A Thanksgiving blessing

It was cold this Thanksgiving morning here in North Florida. A hard frost on the cars and not an ice scraper in sight. This transplanted Alaskan was enjoying it. I went to my Alaskan wear tub and pulled out my gloves and stocking cap and went to the far end of my closet to find my winter coat. Then, before sunrise I headed out for a walk in the 30 degree morning chill. I stopped at the local convenience store for my newspaper. It was a huge one full of Thanksgiving ads. Wow, I said to the clerk at the register, that's a lot of paper for $1.07. Oh, he said, today's paper is the Sunday price, $2.14. Oh, oh, I said, I only brought enough money for the daily paper price. Guess I will have to stop back later. I'll pay the rest, a gruff voice behind me startled me. I hardly noticed the old guy when I walked in. He was back in the corner of store where the "Best Coffee in Jacksonville" sign is. Like so many of the early morning customers at this convenience store I figured he was on foot or bike and just stopping in to get warmed up. His stocking cap and Carhartts coat were as worn as his face. Surprised at his offer and quickly calculating that his discretionary income was limited and thinking, why should he pay for my paper which was not a necessity, I said, Oh, no, you don't have to do that. I know that but I want to; he said it like he meant business. So, I swallowed my unease at taking his money and told him Thank You! As I was moving toward the door he shot me a sideways glance and said, Now you have a blessed Thanksgiving! Receiving his blessing, I left with much more than a newspaper.