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The Leavenworth Times - Leavenworth, KS
  • Down Home: Drive-through lane incident put it in perspective

  • I was in a hurry, which seems to be the current mode for most of us, most of the time.
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  • I was in a hurry, which seems to be the current mode for most of us, most of the time. Pulling into the drive-through lane for a quick lunch while trying to maneuver cash out of my purse and talking on a cell phone, I nearly plowed into the back of a truck. Some guy had stopped 10 feet from the speakerphone and was getting out of his truck.
    My first instinct was to honk the horn and wave him back into line or lock the doors in fear of being carjacked. All I wanted was to order my food and be on my way.
    He walked in front of my car and all I could do was to be thankful there are still those among us who will put away their haste, to do the right thing.
    An older woman was trying to make her way from the fast food restaurant to her car. Her walker wasn't working properly and she basically was at a dead stop in the middle of the parking lot. With the helping hand and smile of this stranger, you could see and feel her sense of relief as he helped her into the car. Shame on me, I thought, to be in such a hurry I didn't notice this woman's struggle and to instantly think the worst of the guy holding up the drive-through line.
    During the holiday season, it's easy to get wrapped up in everything that is fun and good about Thanksgiving and Christmas. From family gatherings to buying gifts and sharing meals – it's these times that make memories last a lifetime.
    This past week we observed National Homeless and Hunger Awareness Week. It's sad to think, in this country, which is known as the land of opportunity, we have over 2 million people who are living on the streets who need the simple things in life so many of us take for granted – food, clothing, heat for their homes. It seems Mother Teresa had the right idea: "If you can't feed a hundred people, then just feed one."
    One person can't help everyone – although everyone could help at least one person.
    It's not hard to find a civic organization, agency or shelter that wouldn't accept a helping hand, blankets, coats, clothes or cash.
    I want to avoid getting sidetracked throughout the hustle and bustle and forget to give thanks for what I have and then to share it with others. I admit I'm guilty of focusing so much on the superficial components of the holidays that I forget to slow down, be thankful, count my blessings and celebrate the holiday for its true meaning.
    Happy, thankful Thanksgiving.
    Sandy Turner lives in the Kansas City area and writes this column for GateHouse Media.
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