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Paying it Forward

April 27, 2014

I stood in line waiting to order my favorite brew, surrounded by a group of lively women to whom I was not acquainted.  These were obviously close-knit friends.  They chatted animatedly with one another, asking about children, husbands, and jobs.  One by one they ordered their lunch;  soup, a sandwich, or both.  Some treated themselves to ice cream.  

Each wore a smile as they carried their lunch to a table.

All of us, this group of seven and I, were Boomers… just on the cusp of middle-age.  Old enough to have grandkids but still young enough to play.  Laugh lines and crow’s feet were etched on our faces.  Some of us sported a bit of gray hair.  We wore it proudly.

I stepped back and invited four of these women forward to join the rest of their bunch.  “Oh, no… we’re fine right here,” they said.  “You stay right there, but thank you all the same.”  And with that simple statement, they made my day.  One even asked about my grandchildren.  Kindness needs no introduction…

We continued to talk as we waited our turns, discussing our favorite coffee and, after this endless Minnesota winter, whether we thought the grass would green up before Fathers’ Day.  With a sigh of resignation, we all agreed that snow and cold beat earthquakes, wildfires, and mudslides.  

Still, we longed for Spring.

I stepped up and ordered my Highlander Grogg, extracted a few bucks from my wallet and handed them to the barista.

“Nope.  You’re good,”  She said with a smile.

I was bewildered… and apparently, it showed.  “A gentleman has paid for your coffee today,”  The brunette added.

“Oh!  What?  Who?”  I stammered as I scanned the room for my benefactor.

“I’m sorry, I can’t tell you that.  He wishes to remain anonymous.”

“Umm… well… tell him ‘Thank you,’ for me, please.”  

With that, I walked away wearing a smile, identical to that of my new found friends, making a mental note to ‘pay it forward’ soon, in much the same way.

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