Sunday, January 27, 2013


This afternoon a stranger showed up at our front door with a very lovely bouquet of flowers...

Well, not quite a stranger.  Here's the story: Last weekend I was up in the park with George.  It's his favorite occupation because it's usually a safe place to let him off the leash and allow him to run free in pursuit of his tennis ball.  Great exercise, and great for his doggie psyche.  It's a moment for him to shake off the lethargy of approaching age and regain his youthful vigor.

On this day, toward the end of our playtime, my eyes happened to light upon a pair of socks left on the ground by the baseball dugout, and beside the socks, a wallet.  It was crammed with credit cards and those other things one stuffs into one's wallet--driver's license, insurance certificate, and so on.  I looked around to see if the owner might be close by, but there was no one close enough to be keeping an eye on it, so I brought it home with me and checked through the contents to see if there might be a card, perhaps, with a telephone number.  No.

But the owner's name was on the credit cards, so I called down to the local police station and asked if they might be able to locate him.  Soon enough, they had him on the phone and I relayed my address so that he could stop by and pick it up--which he did, later that afternoon.

So today there he was, a week later, on the doorstep, with a very lovely bouquet of flowers.  The card read: "One good turn deserves another."

What a delightful surprise!  He told us that it had been on his mind all week, and here he was, with a generous expression of gratitude, quite unexpected, but no less welcome and heart-warming for that.  I had started out the day with a grumpy note posted on my Facebook page to the effect that, for the first time in memory, I could not bring myself to open up the New York Times.  Things seem so grim on almost every front.  But here was ample proof that good things do still happen in this world, and a reminder that gratitude--his, for my action; and mine, for his--is a much, much better feeling than my grumpiness.

So this entry is to say thank you, Rod, for your thoughtfulness and generosity.  They will not soon be forgotten.  And take good care of those boys!

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