Sunday, July 17, 2005

Village Market Story - thanks Mom!

In 1970, when I first developed M.S. symptoms, I lived in Shillington, near Reading, Pennsylvania. My employer's fear of chronic illness ended my career, but I still coordinated the cook and the housekeeper, drove my car and did my own shopping when I could.
There was a little market near home. The first time I went there, my balance and dexterity were affected and I dropped a can, which rolled across the floor. I had considerable trouble retrieving it, dropping it several times in my struggle. Once I had the can firmly in hand, I couldn't get up from my knees! One of the "bagboys" helped me.
I continued shopping but when it came time to "check out", the lines were pretty long. Well, wouldn't you know it, I lost my balance and those racks of candy and gum always placed near the check out lines was knocked off on the floor -- candy and gum scattering and rolling everywhere! I tried to pick it up, but kept losing my balance and dropping or spilling them again and again.
Seeing my distress, the owner/manager helped me up, got me through the checkout line and bagged my groceries. He took my car keys and drove my car right up to the door and loaded everything into the trunk for me!
I was so pleased that I returned again and again to that store.
Always, someone was there to help me. As I pushed the cart, and looked at an item, things appeared in it as if by magic. My helper checked me through the line immediately and always helped me to the car - often bringing the car up to the door for me.
Some years later I moved 10 miles away but I continued to come back to the same store regardless of the long drive. I always felt special there because of their help and courtesy. I told lots of friends about the little market but none reported the special treatment and made me feel almost as if I was making up a story. But over at least 12 -15 years I'd enjoyed shopping there.
About that time my teenaged daughter began to date a young man from town.
I heard them laughing in the other room and she called me, saying "Mom!
You've got to hear this!" The young man (I've forgotten his name after all these years) was beet red with embarrassment, spluttering:
"No, don't tell you mother! Please, don't!" She told me anyway, and much to his relief I fell to the floor laughing till the tears ran down my cheeks!
It seems that he'd just gotten a job at the little market where I liked to shop. Recently I'd been in and he was stocking shelves when the manager came over and said to him:
"See that lady over there? No matter what you are doing, leave it.
Help her. Open a new cash register. Take her groceries out of the cart.
Help her to the car or bring the car to the door."
"Why all the special care?" he asked his manager.
"Son, she's the town drunk and we want her in and out of here as fast as possible!"
Did I go back there to shop?
You bet!
Would you give up that kind of service?
Author Unknown

Anyone can count the seeds in an apple...
but only God can count the apples in a seed.

-- Author Unknown --

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