Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Kindness of Others

It happened as I was shopping last Sunday (I just realized that most of my recent posts start in the setting). I boarded the bus with a bag full of groceries handing from the back of my wheelchair and the driver secured me in. "You're leaking somewhere"- a guy behind me got my attention. As I noticed a tiny stream making its way towards the front of a bus I knew it had to be the big, gallon jug of milk. I thought, "Wow, it's going to be a great day".  It was the last run of the route, so at the next stop the driver went back, to look through my bag and assess the damage. He moved the groceries a bit and turned a milk a bit because it was on the side. He couldn't really see, because it was wrapped in the plastic bag, but if it was leaking from the cap it would have help by getting it upright. For the duration of the ride it seemed OK. And then- it started to rain. I didn't have a rain coat or an umbrella because the weather app on my phone told me with great certainty that it was not going to rain for hours. Luckily for me, it's a 20 minute ride home, so by the time we got to my area it pretty much slowed down. Still I asked the driver to drop me off one stop earlier- just in case the rain picked up again, I could seek cover by the Starbucks building. From that point on it's pretty much open space with nowhere to hide. Then a couple with an umbrella caught up with me. "I'm just gonna walk with you for a little bit and put this above you, if that's OK"- the woman said- "Where do you live" and I pointed to my building. With rolls of toilet paper on my lap and having to balance them so I wouldn't drop them, I couldn't roll very fast, excuse the pun. I asked them to see how bad the leak was. The man just grabbed my groceries and took out the milk and walked a long with us. As it turns out, the kid who was bagging my groceries at Publix didn't do a very good job putting it back on my chair and he hung it to low. The bag was dragging all this time and it now had a big hole. As did the milk jug that was right on the bottom and dragged rubbing against the sidewalk, and it caused a tear on the bottom side corner. I picked up the paste a bit as I wondered if I should just toss it. They suggested I find a container I pour it over to. Such nice people, going out of their way to help me. It was interesting watching them as she seemed to be the leader of this operation, bossing him around a bit. I do love my milk. I got a gallon, thinking it'd save me time and effort having to do this again soon. I picked up this very British habit of drinking it in my Earl Grey (Something my mother didn't understand as I visited home last year and wouldn't do for me as she made tea)  As we approached the apartment they suggested  they go in and set the milk in my refrigerator. I wasn't too keen on having strangers over, so I asked them to set it on my lap. I needed to know if I can set it safely anyway, so I'd get a sense of how to handle it and needed be- toss it. I found a plate to secure it in my fridge with and then an almost empty jug of apple cider. And that's how I got home- almost dry, with an an almost full, (well 3/4) gallon of milk. All thanks to the kindness of others.

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