Three more days…
Today’s blog post is from Day 346 which was Thanksgiving. I was in Mechanicsburg with my father. Dad cooked a delicious turkey and I handled some of the sides. My favorite is the stuffing. In fact I made two stuffings. Dad prefers cornbread stuffing, but I’m more of a bread stuffing guy. I make sure to add a little sausage and plenty of sage like my mother used to do. I also added pine nuts which I don’t think she did.
After the tasty spread was consumed along with a blurry amount of wine, I decided that I should try to go and find my recipient of the day. I decided to walk, note the reference to wine above, and headed out toward downtown Mechanicsburg. I was going to head to the CVS at 30 East Simpson Street. It’s probably less than a mile from the house although I bet people rarely walk there from my father’s neighborhood. Most people here drive everywhere. Dad decided to stay behind because of his knee – at least that’s what he said, maybe it was because there was still some wine left! “I don’t think CVS will be open,” he shouted down to me as I opened the front door.
The town looked abandoned. The streets were empty and rather dark with a hint of precipitation making everything glisten ever so slightly. I could peek through the windows of several homes and see families sitting down to Thanksgiving dinner. Several houses already had their Christmas lights on.
I got to the CVS and saw that it was in fact open. There were two cars in the parking lot, one of which had just arrived. A couple with a small child got out and disappeared into the store. “Maybe I’ll give it to them,” I thought. They ended up eluding me and I shifted my focus to my cashier: Kristen.
The 19-year-old is originally from a place called Troy, Missouri, “about 45 miles north of St. Louis.” She’s the shift supervisor and had been there since 4:00pm – it was about 7:00pm.
“Can I donate the $10?” she asked.
After explaining that she could do anything she wanted to with it she grabbed a piece of paper near the register that said, “St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.” Each card is worth a $2 donation. She swiped it five times. I looked at the card more closely and it said, “Help fight childhood cancer.”
Children are probably on her mind these days. Kristen, who lives with her boyfriend, is expecting a baby in May. “We don’t know if it is a boy or girl yet,” she started, “and I am not sure I want to know.” She has an appointment December 30th and they will know then if they choose to.
We were joined then by a co-worker, Atle, who coincidentally has a sister named Reed! Wow…I almost never find someone named Reed – although I did give my $10 to a guy named Read on Day 280 – much less a woman. The store was dead and they looked bored. They had another two hours before they could go home to their families.
As we chatted Kristen’s boyfriend’s family was probably just finishing up the big meal. “They had dinner at 6:00pm,” she said looking down slightly. “But this was really special – I’ll remember this Thanksgiving because of this – otherwise I’d just remember coming to work and going home and eating leftovers.”
Kristen and her boyfriend live in a one bedroom apartment and live on a modest income. If you would like to help them through this financially difficult time, please drop me a note. “We could use pretty much anything for our baby.”