Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Generosity of Strangers

The best thing happened to me on Saturday morning. It was early in the day, a cold morning, and I was headed to the farmer's market to get fresh apples and brussels sprouts for Thanksgiving. Our farmer's market is located downtown and parking is tricky, so I parked maybe 5 blocks away and started my brisk walk to the market.

I walked by our church, and the historical society, and the library, and as I passed over to the next block something sitting on a stoop caught my eye.

It took me a second to register what that little homemade sign meant. If it had said "free" I wouldn't have thought twice but for a second it occurred to me, "Maybe this sign is for someone specific?!" Hmm. But there is a flower shop next door to this doorway, I noticed. And the greens had been sitting out all night (the water in the bucket was iced). So I eventually figured that they were indeed meant for whoever spotted them first and felt shameless enough to pick up this giant bucket and tote it home.

I decided that was going to be me. 

I needed to get to the market first so I sort of glanced around casually to see if anyone else had noticed the awesome free thing I'd just come upon. Shopkeepers opening up, a few people milling around. There didn't seem to be a ton of interest in my stoop.

So I bought my apples and brussels sprouts and on the way back I quickened my step because the downtown mall had gotten a little busier by now. Surely there are lots of people who would see the potential in this nondescript bunch of greenery, right?!

But no, I guess not, and I have to admit I was ridiculously pleased and giddy to see my treasure still sitting where I'd left it. I heaved up the bucket and made my way back to the car.

I grinned all the way home and couldn't wait to tell my husband the story. (I created a whole narrative for him using the photos I'd snapped.) And then I rolled up my sleeves and set out to turn that bucket of leftover leaves into something seriously beautiful. I knew they wouldn't disappoint me.

And that, dear friends, is a Thanksgiving story if I ever heard one. This bit of good fortune completely made my day. All because of a stranger's generosity and some leftover flower shop greens. 

(And maybe a tiny bit because of my tendency to find silly amounts of joy in unlikely places.)


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