Monday, April 16, 2018

UH--YOU WANT ME TO DO WHAT??


Rerun from 2012. Only a few of you were with me then. Hope the rest of you enjoy this post as I  relive a strange, fun and rewarding day. 

It was in the early 1980's. I had my vehicle in the shop for repairs and the only loaner available was a humongous van with several rows of bench seats and side opening doors. I was not use to such a large vehicle and was a bit nervous about driving it. 

I needed to pick up my dry cleaning on the way home so I illegally parked in the fire lane of a strip mall to protect the loaner from crashing grocery carts and quickly ran into the cleaners.

I had the side doors open looking for a place to hang my cleaner bags, when someone gently pushed me aside. Startled, I watched a little old lady climb into the van and sit down wearily. Need to state here that at my age then, anyone over 60 was OLD. Today I look on 60 is a still a youngster. 

Back to the story. My mouth was still hanging open when the next wave hit. One by one, five more seniors climbed into the van, using my shoulder as a hand rail.

"We missed the bus." an elderly gentleman informed me as he squeezed beside two ladies and looked for a place to put his cane.

"You will take us home." he partially questioned, but mostly stated.

I looked at my little group of passengers and tried to push thoughts of law suit out of my mind as I asked,"Uh, where do you live?"

They were from Century Village which is a huge retirement village in Palm Beach County. Today over 6000 people live there. The Village supplied bus service to grocery stores and shopping complexes. This group had stayed too long and had been left on the curb. The last bus of the day was history.

Against my better judgment but not knowing how I could possibly throw 6 seniors back on the curb and still sleep at night, I made sure there were no more stragglers. I then told them to buckle up and headed for the Village which was several miles away.

I was curious why they had no shopping bags. Man-with-cane explained that they went a couple of times a week to the book store/coffee shop that was part of the strip mall to read and sip while the rest of the bus load grocery shopped.

I asked where their books were and he explained that they never bought a book except as a gift. They just read inside the store while sipping coffee. They would then write down the stopping page on a piece of paper so they could pick up where they left off next time.

Being a book and coffee person myself, I could see where that might be the perfect day out for seniors. The price for their entertainment certainly fit into a retirement income.

Now Century Village had over 2000 condos. It would have been nice if they all lived in the same unit but each one lived in a separate building. Kind of wondered how they all got together. Perhaps they met at Bingo.

At each stop, I got out to open the sliding door for the departing senior and was rewarded with a quarter and a sweet smile or nod for my efforts. Even in those days, twenty five cents was a pittance.

I tried to smile and refuse the change but they almost got ugly insisting. I quickly learned that little old ladies will not hesitate to slap your arm with their bony hands if you don't agree with them. So I just took the money and shut up.

I was really getting tickled at the absurdity of the situation. However with each successful unload, I breathed a new sigh of relief. I was beginning to think that this might work out after all.

Man-with-cane was the last to depart. He demanded my name and address. He did NOT offer a quarter. I was tempted to give a false name but I wrote my real name and address on the piece of paper he offered.

Ah, I thought, here comes the law suit. Perhaps I had taken a turn too quickly and caused a whiplash. I was living by the creed at that time that no good deed goes unpunished.

I was delighted though in a few days for I got a lovely card from Man-with-cane. He thanked me very nicely and there were TWO quarters scotch taped to the card. No lawyers ever called.

Still today,  thirty five years later, that ranks as the strangest, scariest, yet coolest buck seventy five I ever earned.

41 comments :

  1. What a sweet story. And good to know I am now at the age when I can slap those who don't agree with me. That's still a thing, right?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Olga,
      Ha ha, I think we both are though I haven't tried it yet. I do have the bony hands for it though.

      Delete
  2. Great story! I'm glad you re-shared it, so I could read it and smile, thinking about those seniors. And you. :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Djan,
      Thank you, it a fun revisit for me and glad it was for you too.

      Delete
  3. That's a great story. One of those 'good Samaritan' stories. I have one too that I will share one day... only I wasn't the good Samaritan but the recipient.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Rian,
      Thank you and I do hope you post about it soon. Would love to hear it.

      Delete
  4. What a wonderful story and what a big heart you had/have to have taken the motley crew home. Did they know you weren't an actual service and were just picking up your dry cleaning. Thanks for making me smile today.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jean,
      Ha ha, I doubt they even cared if I were an actual service. My hesitation should have given them a clue but think they were too tired to care. I'm just glad I was there. Thank you.

      Delete
  5. What a great story. Sometimes doing a good deed is kind of forced on us (or so it feels at the time). This one certainly had a great ending.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Barbara,
      Ha ha, yes "force upon" pretty much describes it but there was no way I could have left them there after I knew they were stranded.

      Delete
  6. Dear Patti, what a wonderful story. You write so well and each time I read one of your stories--gathered from your life--I think, "Why doesn't she write a book of humor? It would delight us all." Now, having gone through the self-publishing route, I understand why people/writers tend to shy away from publishing. The process is not for the faint of heart. Only because of my niece was I able to do it.

    But oh, I enjoy your sense of humor. Really, it's a sense of the ridiculous that surrounds us all at times. Thank you for making me smile today. Peace.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dee,
      Thank you for thinking so but I have trouble enough coming up with weekly posts. Can't imagine the work involved in producing an actual book. My hat is off to you.

      Delete
    2. Dear Patti, the truth is that writing for me used to be much easier. I got more done. But my energy level has declined and so it's takes much longer to do everything now. Peace.

      Delete
  7. What a lovely thing to do and what a great story it makes all these years later.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Inger,
      Would have looked better for me if I had instigated the ride instead of being roped into it. Still it did give me a great feeling once it was safely completed.

      Delete
  8. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I think I was “with you” in 2012, but I must have missed this story. I love your stories! You have the gift.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sally,
      I think you were also. Glad you liked it and thanks.

      Delete
  10. Love it and laughed, but what else could you have done?

    ReplyDelete
  11. This is such a wonderful story! Bless you for your kindness!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bonnie,
      Thank you so much. I was kind of roped into it.

      Delete
  12. This is a great story, and you are a wonderful storyteller.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Linda R,
      Thank you so much and glad you enjoyed.

      Delete
  13. I wonder if they assumed you were a substitute bus sent to collect them?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. River,
      I am afraid that place didn't do pick ups for stragglers. I think that is why they were so brazen. They saw it as their only chance and it worked.

      Delete
  14. What a wonderful experience. :) And too, thanks for all your notes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mage,
      It was and stayed with me. You are most welcome. Enjoy your blog.

      Delete
  15. Oh, sweet Patti I love this story. Thank you so much for sharing it. I wonder what those dear people would have done had you not been there with that van and took them home. I would loved to have seen the look on your face when they began streaming into the van. I so enjoyed this and it sure made me smile. Hugs

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Maggie,
      So glad you enjoyed it. I often wondered what they would have done but surely there would have been someone they could have called. I hope so anyway. It would have been a long walk.

      Delete
  16. And the Arkansas Nice Good Samaritan award goes to Patti. And well deserved it is...:)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ray,
      Ha ha, I only wish I deserved it. It wasn't like I volunteered, I just didn't have a choice.

      Delete
  17. You have got to be one of the kindest people on earth, or the craziest! LOL. Great story.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Buttons and Quilts,
      So glad you liked it. Ha ha, you might want to substitute wimpy and pushover into that description.

      Delete
  18. I think I've been with you pretty much from the start but I don't remember this great story ... but then I don't remember much anymore unless I write it down !!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ginnie,
      Glad you liked the rerun. I was kind of hoping 6 years was long enough for most my followers to forget:))

      Delete
  19. Like the other I don”t recall it but I sure did love it today. I can visualize the scene as they climb in rather bravely. Seems you did a great job of handling that big van since all were prepared to tip . Cool job writing it too.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Oh Patti, I'm so glad I got back from Europe to read this. You are just too awesome!!! I wish you were my neighbor. I really do!

    ReplyDelete
  21. I say again, Patti... You are awesomesauce! I had to read this story again to Art. I wish you could hear him chuckling. You write the BEST stories! AND I say again, come and move in next door please.

    ReplyDelete