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Drive-by

Posted on: August 1, 2008

I almost didn’t notice her as I drove by. At the last minute, I saw her standing on the exit ramp holding a battered sign made from a piece of a cardboard box. On the sign, she had written “Please help. Need food.”

It would have been so easy to ignore her. Plenty of other drivers had passed her without a second glance. But the image of the woman standing in the heat under a blistering sun, humbly waiting for someone to help, stuck in my head.

I drove on to the gas station, my reason for even being on that overpass. And as I pulled into the gas station, I thought I could just run in a pick up a few things to bring back to her. It wasn’t a big convenience store, but they had a few essentials like bread, peanut butter, and water. What about some fresh fruit? There were bananas in a basket display by the counter, so a couple were added to my meager finds. Back in the car, I grabbed a bag and put my purchases and a couple of peaches that I had already in it. Hoping that she would still be there.

She was still standing where I first saw her. She heard me call over the traffic noise and ran over to get the bag I offered through my car window. We exchanged a few heartfelt words. Mine of good luck and wishes for a better time of it. Hers of blessing and thanks.

I should have thanked her for stirring my compassion and giving me a chance to help someone in need. She gave me an opportunity to be better than I usually am. Which is really worth more than $15.00 worth of food.

We’ll likely never meet again and wouldn’t recognize each other if we did. I don’t know why she was standing on that ramp today. Life obviously is difficult right now. Maybe it was the loss of a job or an illness or a divorce. No matter what, she was a other person in need.

I don’t write this because I think I’m a good person for doing this. I just encourage you to recognize those opportunities to “pay it forward”. This was one of those for me.

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1 Response to "Drive-by"

Jillies,

Wow – what a beautiful thing you did. You’re right – we all need to look for more simple ways to pay it forward. I loved reading your account, and I’m proud of you!

Also – I’m sorry to hear about Jeffe’s deployment. But by now, I have absolutely no doubt that you guys will get through it just fine. You two are truly admirable! Happy anniversary.

Amies

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August 2008
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Upcoming

Mar. 10 - Photography Class

Mar. 11 - Quad Cities SnB

Mar. 12 - Lincoln Reenactor performance at BHE

Mar. 13 - Annual budget due

Mar. 14 - SnB trip to Galena

Mar. 16-21 - Spring Break

Mar. 16-18 - On the Front Lines library conference in Springfield

Mar. 19-22 - In Kansas

Mar. 23 - Orientation in Quad Cities

Mar. 24 - Photography Class

Mar. 26 - Spring Break for Academic Librarians workshop in Peoria

Mar. 27 - Supervisor Development in Quad Cities

Apr. 2 - Using Social Technologies in Library Instruction workshop

Apr. 6 - Weight Watchers

Apr. 6 - My birthday

Apr. 7 - Photography Class

Apr. 9-12 - In Kansas

Apr. 10 - College Closed

Apr. 12 - Easter

Apr. 13-19 - National Library Week

Apr. 13 - Weight Watchers

Apr. 14 - Photography Class

Apr. 16 - Evening Instruction Session

Apr. 17 - Information Literacy Summit

Apr. 18 - A Day of Books and Quilts at Toulon Public Library

Apr. 20 - Weight Watchers

Apr. 21 - Photography Class

Apr. 22 - Renegade Reference meeting in Bloomington

Apr. 23 - Illinois Library Day

Apr. 24 - Quarterly Supervisors Meeting

Apr. 27 - Weight Watchers

Apr. 28 - Photography Class

Apr. 29 - Supervisor Training in Quad Cities

May 5 - Photography Class

May 12 - National Library Legislative Day

May 25 - Memorial Day - College Closed

June 4 - RSA Users' Group meeting in Peoria

June 6 - SIL's birthday June 6 - Brother and SIL Anniversary

June 8 - Nancy Pearl at Bradley University

June 13 - WWKIP train trip to St. Louis

July 3 - Holiday - College Closed

July 4 - Independence Day

July 10 - Mom's Birthday

July 10-15 - ALA Annual Conference in Chicago

July 17-19 - Midwest Fiber & Folk Art Fair in Crystal Lake, IL

July 31 - 10th Anniversary

Sept. 7 - Labor Day, College closed

Oct. 6-9 - Illinois Library Association Annual Conference in Peoria

Nov. 23 - Brother's birthday

Nov. 26 - Thanksgiving Day, College closed

Nov. 27 - College Closed

Dec. 7 - MIL's birthday

Dec. 18 - DH's birthday

Dec. 25 - Christmas Day

Dec. 26 - Dad's birthday

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