Eight Cents

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This morning, on the snowiest of snow days thus far, with only the tips of Mary’s and Joseph’s head visible, the 6 pound baby Jesus now fully buried in the snow, I shuffle past them rushing to my garage to head off to work. I’m rushing because it’s still snowing and because I’m late (even though I resolved to NOT be late ever again) and also I just have one quick stop to make . . . for a gallon of milk. Lucky for me the local gas station/convenient mart/gang and drug trafficking hang-out is just two blocks from my house. And as luck would have it I’m on E, as in empty, as in out of gas. Okay milk and gas and I’m off to work. Is today Monday? What is today? Suddenly, it occurs to me that I haven’t shoveled and my garage is pretty much snowed in so am I even getting out of the garage to get the milk and gas? Yes. I got out and I made it to the gas station. A woman in a small vehicle is parked quite literally between the door of the “store” and two gas pumps. I slide/skid into a space next to one of the pumps and she turned to give me a dirty look. Excuse me for needing fuel this morning lady and by the way the concrete right directly in front of the door is in NO WAY a parking space. Anyway, the snow and wind are whipping around and I’m waiting for my debit card to clear so I can start fueling. By waiting for my debit to clear I mean I have to enter everything down to my home address, DOB and SSN. After this I make my way into the store for my gallon of milk. How much is a gallon of milk? I know it will cost more at this convenient store. I happen to have four singles. That should be enough. I hope. I turn off my car and lock it and all I have on me now is my four dollars, my cell phone and my car keys. The cap on the gallon of milk says $3.99. Ugh. I’m going to have to run back out to get the change! I should’ve just grabbed my whole bag instead of the $4! I bring the milk to the counter and ask the cashier how much the tax is on the gallon of milk. She says it’s $4.08. I tell her okay I have to run back out for the eight cents I’ll be right back. To my surprise she tells me it’s okay that she has the extra eight cents! Don’t worry she says I have it here. Bonus! Thanks a lot I tell her and run out of there as I still need to now drop the milk back off and THEN go to work. Yes, I would’ve rather hung out with my whiney kids today and dry and re-dry wet snow clothes all the live long day but I had to return to work and that person offering up the eight cents made my treachorous drive downtown just a little bit worth it. There IS good in all of us. I don’t know what it took for that cashier to get to work this moring or what kind of Christmas she had or if she had kids at home she had to leave behind on this school break but she was there to offer me eight cents when I needed it. I hope she got off early and I hope she bought a lottery scratch off and that she won $50,000 a week for the rest of her life. My second day of the new year. I am grateful to be grateful.

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