Today got off to an interesting start. Just after midnight this morning, the blog received its 1,000th visitor! I was sleeping when it happened, but I had a little celebration this morning. Then when I checked the news this morning, I read that a train had somehow crashed into a Holiday Inn hotel in Helsinki, Finland. Shivers went down my spine (not just because my apartment was freezing this morning) when I realized I stayed in this very hotel the last time I was in Finland. Weird.
Early this afternoon I was walking on U Street when I spotted Almena. Almena is a beautiful 76-year-old woman. She was braving the cold today as she walked slowly down the North side of U Street, using her cane to help her along.
I stopped her and asked if she would be able to help me with a project that I was working on. “Well, I don’t have any money” she gently replied. I laughed and told her about the irony of what was about to happen. She gladly accepted my $10.
It was so cold out and Almena’s neck was not well covered by her coat. I almost recommended that she buy a scarf with the $10 to keep her warm on blustery days like today. But, I didn’t want to influence her decision of what to spend the money on. And although she might have been cold, I am telling you that she emanates a personal warmth that is just beautiful. She thought for a moment and said she would buy some food with it.
Her soft words were orchestrated with a soothing albeit slight accent. I am not sure from where, but it was the kind of accent that just radiates goodness. We talked a little and I learned of some of the generous things she does regularly. Just about then two women passed us on the street and said hello to her. She lifted her head and shot back a pleasantry. They lived in the area she said. I bet Almena is quite the social butterfly.
I explained to her more about what I was doing and then I said goodbye. We only spoke for a few minutes, but she seemed like someone who I had known for many years. I felt like I should have given her a hug when I said goodbye.