A few months ago, my husband visited his ailing mother. And what was the first thing that crossed my mind? Yes, you are correct! Freedom at last! When you’ve been married for as long as we do, a mini vacation away from each other is like winning the lottery.
I spent a great time with my sister, Lucy. She took me to my first ever yard sale. I hesitated at first because I didn’t know what to do. But I quickly learned how to haggle. I bought a figurine from this guy for a dollar and he even gave me a few things I don’t even need for free. From then on, I couldn’t wait for the weekend to come to start my garage sale hunt.
One morning, I was getting my breakfast at McDonald’s on Katie and Maryland Pkwy on the way to work. It must have been 6:30, and it was still dark. As I was getting out of the drive-thru, a homeless old man standing in the corner holding a cardboard sign, waved at me. My first reaction was to ignore him and roll up my window. It was still dark out and who knows what would happen? You can never be too careful. Always pay attention to your surroundings. But I looked at this man, with his dirty clothes and faded thin jacket, he was shivering. With his crooked teeth showing, he smiled at me.
I used to have coins in my car to give to a homeless person, but ever since I bought this pink piggy bank from a garage sale for twenty-five cents (I was so happy about that by the way), I have been feeding my friend since. I felt bad telling the man I had no cash with me. To my surprise, the man smiled at me, and with his crooked teeth showing again, he said, “it’s okay, Miss. Maybe next time. Did you know that your lights are out?” He stood in front of my SUV and pointed at the lights. I thanked the man and drove off.
The man couldn’t care less about me because I didn’t give him any money, but what he said and done hit me hard. Two days later, with $10 in my hand, I went back to the same McDonald’s location and looked for him. He wasn’t there.
A month later, it was raining, and I was back at the same McDonald’s again. As I turned to get out of the drive-thru, I saw a homeless man standing in the same spot and recognized my homeless friend. I searched my purse for money and I still had that $10 with me. I guess I knew I would see him again. I rolled down the window and called him.
“Do you recognize me?” I asked.
He frowned and said no.
I said, “Do you remember telling someone that their lights were out?”
The man frowned again but said, “Yes, I did!”
“That was me!” I blurted out.
He looked at me and smiled with his crooked teeth. He said, “Now, I remember you. I see you replaced it.”
I handed him the money apologizing that I only had $10. The man took it from my hand, and with the brightest smile, he said, “This is worth a lot more than you think!”
We waved each other goodbye before I drove off.
I’ve learned a few things over the course of my husband’s trip. I relied on him too much. I took it for granted that the car will always be fine. My husband did all the work to keep it up, and all I know is to turn on the ignition and pump gas.
I still know nothing about fixing cars, but when my husband returned from his trip, I told him I don’t want to be home alone again and would go on his next trip wherever that may be.