There are as many different cultures in the world as there are breads and if you’re a baby boomer you’ve at one time or another called bread-dough.
Some people (usually your teenager) think that money grows on trees, while others know it comes from sweat, tears and hard work.
Do any of us have enough and does it really make us happy? Is it something that allows us to acquire the lifestyle of our dreams? Does it just put a roof over your head, or are you like most people, that as long as there’s enough to go around you’re happy?
I’ve seen the poorest people give what they really can’t afford to give and the richest, hold onto their pennies.
One late winter evening years ago, I was baking and had run out of corn syrup so I ran out to the corner store and met up with a man standing at the counter, wearing a spring jacket. He was buying one can of tomato soup and as he counted out his quarters, found that he was short 15 cents. The person behind, leaned over and dropped the difference on the counter and off he went into the night.
The following spring I saw this ‘tomato soup man’ walking over to the Square with a bag, which he then deposited into the Agape drop box. I stopped dead in my tracks and watched him walk away smiling.
I think of that day once in a while and maybe that’s why I can find something to talk about with strangers, or where my sense of wonder comes from. Maybe some people are doing the best they can at any given time and maybe, that someone is you.
There’s my friend who gives me hugs every Thursday morning that makes my day. Another friend worked at the Pavillion and would take a bowl of fresh strawberries in to all the patients, who were dying. My friend Ronnie was one of those people and when he walked into her room, she thought she’d died already! There’s the young man who, every Saturday shows me his bowling score and even though he has a hard time with numbers. All the cookies I’ve bought on camp day at Tim’s, for the girls to give away to the little ones in secret-so don’t tell anyone. There’s my neighbour who has no family in the area that I somehow, in my mixed up knowledge of clothes buying, manage every year to find the right size for her birthday and Christmas. Mixed in amongst this entire village of people that have travelled the journey with me are lifelong friendships, crazy stories and good fun.
I think my all time favourite giving back story has to be the summer I had my bunion removed. My partner’s cousin came over and took me for flowers, then dug out the bed behind the garage like a superhero. The neighbour two houses over not only gave me some of her tomatoes, but planted all of mine, then weeded and watered them all summer. It was an overwhelming experience met with a few tears. On the evening of the planting I somehow hobbled over to my friend’s house for a coffee and helped with her garden. We talked about how everything seemed to have come full circle with me on the receiving end this time. What an incredible gift.
I’ll probably never have lots of money but as my friend Ronnie would say “The best gift you can give anyone is your time”. It’s had an amazing effect on my life and I have to say that my ‘bread basket’ is full.
Lisa Gray Copyright @ April 2016 I would love to have feedback from my stories…Please email me at: [email protected]
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