Wednesday, March 25, 2015

The Provider

The woman inserted her quarter and the grocery cart was released from it's line of inmates. 

So we meet again she thought as she walked through the Aldi entrance. There was a sale on butter so her objective was to buy an entire case, as well as other things discovered in the Sunday flyer. 

She waited behind a couple to get a gallon of milk. They were deliberate in their choices, marking each with discussion as they crossed items off of their list. The woman couldn't help but notice that they didn't appear to have much; by the way they were kept and dressed. It was far too cold this March to leave the house wearing thin t-shirts and no coats. 
They were polite and apologized for standing in her way; the woman didn't mind. This was her day off the farm

Fifteen minutes later the woman made her way to the check out line and found herself once again behind the same couple. The man had his wallet out and was reviewing the groceries they had placed on the belt. 

In a deflated, quiet voice he whispered to his wife, "I don't think I have enough money." He continued to leaf through the folds in his wallet, and then his jean pockets. The wife watched with worried eyes. "Do you have any money on you?" he asked.

The wife searched through her purse and pulled out a couple dollar bills. They paired their money and both looked at the food they hoped to buy.

The woman behind them suddenly felt a bit of anxiety on behalf of the couple. 

The cashier scanned the items quickly, dropping them into the cart at the end of the belt. He read them the total and the man handed him the bills. "We're short."

The cashier counted the money. "You're short $1.40," he let them know, quietly. The couple reviewed their cart and quickly discussed what item they could do without that week. 

"How much are you short?" the woman behind them asked. The cashier repeated: $1.40. 

"Well, I've got that, I'm certain of it," said the woman. She dug into her purse and handed the cashier the exact amount. Both the man and his wife were incredibly grateful and thanked the stranger multiple times. They left with their cart full.

The woman visited briefly with the cashier as he rang total. He and she both agreed that we've all been there. 

"Like butter?" he asked. 

"You have no idea....," the woman replied. 

She packed her bags, returned her cart and retrieved her quarter. Then she loaded her car and settled in to drive to the bank. "This car is such a mess!" the woman said aloud as she tried to get things organized on the seat and console so she could even operate the Ford. She lifted a tablet, her calving notes  from the farm that morning, and stopped. Instantly. 

Under the stack of records:

$1.40 sitting on her console. 

Across town, my phone rang.

"Hi Momma."

"Boy do I have a story for you!" she said enthusiastically across the phone lines. 

"Oh my, what happened?" I asked, then listened to her tell the story.

Plenty left over to share with others. Mom got her $1.40 back, somehow. 

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