The following story needs no commentary: ‘They huddled inside the storm door; two children in ragged over-sized coats. ‘Any old papers, lady?’ I was busy. I wanted to say no; until I saw their feet. Little sandals sopped with sleet. ‘Come in and I’ll make you some hot cocoa.’ There was no conversation. Their soggy sandals left marks on the hearthstone. I served them cocoa with toast and jam to fortify them against the chill outside. Then I went back to the kitchen to work on my household budget. The silence in the front room struck through me. I looked in. The little girl held the empty cup in her hands looking at it. The boy asked, ‘Lady, are you rich?’ I looked at my shabby slipcovers. ‘Am I rich? Mercy, no!’ The girl put the cup in its saucer – carefully. ‘Your cups match your saucers.’ Her voice was old, with a hunger not of the stomach. Then they left, holding their bundles of paper against the wind. They had not said thank you. They did not need to; they had done more than that. Much more. Plain blue pottery cups and saucers, but they matched. Potatoes and brown gravy; a roof over our heads; my man with a good steady job – these things matched, too. I moved the chairs back from the fire and tidied the living room. The muddy prints of small sandals were still wet upon my hearth. I let them be. I want them there in case I ever forget how rich I am!’
Written by and used with permission from Tim Hetzner, LCC
Thank you Tim Hetzner for reminding us all that we have so much to be grateful for. I am too blessed to be stressed and your story said it all. Thank you so much. It’s short and sweet and says it all.
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