I sat in my truck and silently wept…
Yep. I did. And for a lady that never really cries my emotions got the best of me. As I sat there trying to hide my falling tears, from Jax (who was happily singing in the back seat) behind my large-framed sunglasses, a gust of wind blew a tear off of my cheek (windows were down), and I smiled.
In that moment, a stranger, a man whom I never met changed my entire outlook for the day. The week. The month.
It had been a rough
day, week, month, past couple of months on the homestead. Since we had just recently moved into our homestead (which has been vacant for a couple of years) there was lots to be done…
And I mean lots of work. Hard work.
When you move to a new farm that has not been used as a farm in decades, there is lots of prep work that falls into making it an actual working farm/homestead.
Day after day, over the last 3.5 months, Beau and I have been slowly planning, building, and maintaining the necessities.
These things include:
- Building Chicken Tractors
- Cleaning our 100+ year house that was a former tobacco plantation
- Ridding the house and surrounding areas of animals that have taken shelter in more than one of the buildings on our property over the years
- Caring for our three wild homesteading kiddos
- Caring for the animals we moved here with: 11 ducks, 14 chickens, and 2 pre-adolescent goats 😉
- Preparing and caring for the 300+ chicks we ordered (for eggs and meat)
- Installing 10 miles of electric fencing using hand tools for the majority of it
- Planning and starting seedlings for our garden that hasn’t even been dug yet
- Digging our 1200+ sq ft garden by hand. With a shovel. The third one because they keep breaking and we lack large farming equipment (all in due time)…
- Unpacking boxes (still in the process 120+ days later. Please don’t judge me…)
- Preparing the majority of our meals from scratch
- Getting prepared for our new goat Silkie (milk goat)
- Beau having to work outside of the home
- Me having to work inside the home
- Planning to build an egg-mobile (which has been put off until further notice)
- Enclosing the barn area with new wood
…and we are doing these things alone. Just the two of us and the kids watching and “helping.” And that folks is r-o-u-g-h.
So, as I ventured out with only one child to go to the market it was like a big break. Having to tote three kids to every single place that I venture to can be overwhelming, so I jumped at the chance of only taking one.
But, as I zipped through the market, in a frenzied hurry, pushing the cart down the aisles I was still overwhelmed. Overwhelmed with life in general, which happens to us all. I had a thousand thoughts running through my head. I was scatterbrained like I am every single day. I couldn’t help but think if I was forgetting anything, if Beau was at home finishing up electric fencing, if the other kids were playing safely outside while Beau was installing the fence and I was away at the market, if I remembered to pay the bills that were due that week earlier in the day, and if I remembered to water the seedlings and turn on their lights that morning… just to name a few…
All while trying to cross things off of my list, both my paper and mental list.
When I was done I hurriedly paid the cashier, hurried to my truck, and unloaded Jax and the groceries into the truck.
As I was loading my last bag of groceries a stranger approached me in the parking lot. An older gentlemen.
Do you want to know what this stranger, a man I had never met did for me?
He walked over to me in the parking lot and asked “can I take your cart back for you?”
You see, this wasn’t just any man or any cart for that matter.
This man was older and had no children or grandchildren with him. My cart was one of those race-car carts that stores have just to annoy us parents.
You know, the ones that will not fit all of your groceries but your kids demand to “drive” that one around the store?
Yep. That one.
My response to the older gentleman: silence…for a few seconds.
I was taken back.
Some people might not think it is much but it was everything to me that day.
Why? Because he wasn’t taking my cart to use it for his invisible children or grandchildren. He was simply taking it for the mere fact that he wanted to help me. Whether that be by me not having to leave my child in the car to walk my cart to the cart return corral in the parking lot, or just because he was simply wanting to do something nice.
Us folks (yes, you and me) are so concerned with our every day lives (guilty), that sometimes we forget that a simple act of kindness is easy to do. And it can change someones life, or at least their day.
Let this be a lesson.
To all of us.
Yes. You may be having a rough patch in life, we all do, it’s life. Just remember that there is someone out there that is going through something rougher than you are.
Or you know what? Maybe someone’s simply having a long, frustrating, wanting-to-start over type of day.
Maybe someone who loves their kids very much just needs a 5 minute break to gather their thoughts.
Whatever the reason for their long, hard, frustrating day, just remember a small gesture from you can change their day. Completely. In its entirety.
So, thank you to whomever you were in the grocery store parking lot that day. Just simply asking “can I take your cart back for you” made me silently weep behind the steering wheel of my truck.
Let the lesson to all of us be: Do small things. For anyone. For everyone. A stranger. A friend. Even people that you see every damn day. Do it.
You won’t regret it and you could change their life, even if for a moment, it will put them in a better place.
It’s the small things folks…
Photo Credit: My Sis Jess. Pictured in photo Jess and my cousin Cam.
RIP Cam: Feb 23, 1992 – Jan 24, 2015