08 July 2010

Never Pass Up An Opportunity

It's story time.  I'm still mid project due to the holiday weekend and some weary weather putting me in a holding pattern.  So today I'm going to share a recent experience with you that I think you'll enjoy. 

With my ever growing love of seeking out old things and bringing new life to them my husband has quickly become caught up in the glory of treasure hunting with me.  Last weekend we took a piece I had created to the local consignment store since I wasn't having any luck selling it on Craigs List and it was taking up real estate in my home.  The response was overwhelming.  The shop owner listed it at a beautiful price that we would be happy to walk away with even at our 45% cut.

As we rolled out of the parking lot my husband and I were all grins.  Who doesn't love a little (okay a lot) of kudo's on their work?  Mr Garden was in the mood to go find some new treasures we could be proud of so we headed north toward another consignment shop we don't frequently visit. 

As we pulled in to the parking lot in the big white expedition with our three children in tow we saw three men about two spaces over measuring the trunk of their car.  The owner of the car was obviously the older man with the help of the store employees.  As we exited our truck we could hear them discussing the fact that the trunk simply wasn't large enough to accommodate the piece the old man wanted to purchase.  The look on the mans face was sheer disappointment. 

My wonderful husband walked over to the men and asked the older gentleman if he needed hand hauling something home.  Now you really should have seen the look on the old mans face!  Sheer delight as he says "Oh would you?!" and of course the answer was yes.

We browsed the store full of over priced used items while the old man paid for his furniture.  In the meantime I fell in love with the perfect chandelier for my front porch knowing I would never pay the asking price for it.  Then once the boys loaded up the truck we followed the old man out of the parking lot toward his home.

Now I know what your thinking because I was thinking the same thing at the time.  This is going to be the longest drive of my life following this old timer lol.  Let me stop that thought before it starts.  This man had to be a nascar driver in his past life!  I think he even ran a red light because there was a point where he pulled over to wait for us while we were stopped at the intersection lol.  I don't really recall if the light was yellow or not though.

When we arrived at his house I was helping Mr Garden carry the furniture up the front path when the older man insisted he did not want me doing that.  I insisted back that I do this all the time!  Then he took over as they moved it through the house.  Once it was in place he says to us both "Do you know how old I am?" in which we replied no.  He says "My name is Sam and I'm 99 years old".  We were both astonished.

The thoughts started racing through my head as he invited us all into his home to show us all the things he makes.  Can you imagine being born in 1911?  Living through both world wars, the great depression and all the things he's seen in his life.  Sam is a designer like many of us.  He designs decorative perpetual motion artwork.  He makes all of his own templates out of thin steel sheets.  He paints them, moulds them, cuts them and makes the most amazing things out of them.  Windmills, mobiles, free standing motion machines etc...

After our visit with Sam as we were heading to the door he slipped a $20 into hubby's hand and thanked him for the visit.  Not for delivering the furniture but for staying and visiting for a while. 

I thought about Sam most of that afternoon.  About how alive he is at his age.  How his face has grown old but not his mind or his creativity.  And I have to wonder... what will I be making when I'm 99 years old?  What will you?

So never pass up an opportunty to help someone... you just might learn a little something about yourself in the process.


Ruby@Ruby'sMusings said...

I think this is my most favorite post ever!! Since life has been upside down I have been missing my seniors in TX. My walking buddies, ranging in age from the 60's up to 90's! How they inspired me daily, showed me love, gratitude, acceptance, and taught me all of that and so much more. I just know if I was there right now, it would really ease all my fears and worries...and I met them all because a gent named Charles started to say hello to me and let me go ahead of him in the coffee line, and a man named Bob , who was a recent widower asked me to sit with him one day when I was all alone after the mall walk and so was he....never ever do I look the other way, or offer help or friendship when and where I can .

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