Janet's Jargon

Fun lifestyles, charitable acts, great fiction, author support, Patrick and Grace Mysteries, Keith clan trilogy,

Thursday, September 22, 2005

When you dare to give a little

A couple of nights ago, as usual, Ivan and I went out for supper. I know, you big city folks call it dinner, but we live in Farmland, USA, and here it's supper.

We had only been at our table for a couple of minutes when an elderly, white-haired woman was shown to a large table by the hostess. She was alone, but she asked the hostess if she could add two more chairs, as there would be seven women joining her for her birthday.

A few more minutes passed and the waitress came over and asked her if she would like something to drink. She ordered an iced tea and she sat there, still alone, sipping slowly on her tea, hoping it would last until her friends arrived.

As time wore on, I wondered if she was delusional and she was just hoping some of her friends from bygone days were going to join her, and they had no clue it was her birthday or that she was sitting there waiting for them. I thought about saying something to her, but something stopped me, so I just smiled at her. She smiled back.

When the hostess came past after almost half an hour, I asked her if I had heard the woman right when she said it was her birthday. She said that was what she said. I took the copy of House Call to the Past out of the clear plastic pocket on my purse and asked the hostess if she would take it over to her after I signed it. The hostess smiled and said she would be glad to. I signed it, leaving a little message and wishing her a happy birthday in it, and sent it on its way. As the hostess handed it to her, she told her "That's a famous author who eats in here a lot. She wanted you to have this."

The woman's eyes lit up like a night sky on the Fourth of July. She thanked me. I told her I hoped she would enjoy it. She said she had just gotten acquainted with reading again. Her eyesight had been failing her for several years, and not being able to read was the hardest thing for her. She had surgery about a month ago, and she said, "When I rediscovered books again, it was like a long lost friend."

And then two of her friends came in. She introduced them to me, by name, like we had been friends for years. She showed them the book, the autograph, and the list of my other books on an inside front page. They asked where they could buy them, and I told them that the local Barnes & Noble store had all of them.

When we left, it was just the three of them. They all bid us farewell, all chattering gaily about the thrill of meeting "a real live author" and promising to buy some of my books.

Talk and promises come easily, I thought as we left. And then, the next morning, a gal I know from the Barnes & Noble store called me. She said there was a group of eight women who came in last night, looking for my books. One of the women said she wasn't buying any, and she told about the incident at the restaurant. "I have my own copy--and it's even autographed!" she boasted loudly.

Each of the other seven bought a different book, agreeing to pass them around to each other as they finished their own book.

Remember the old adage, "Give until it hurts"? I don't think that's possible. Every time you give, you get something in return. It's sort of like trying to outgive God. Some things are just impossible!

Make it a great day, and give something to somebody, even if it's just a smile. You might be surprised at the returns.

12 Comments:

  • At 8:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

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  • At 8:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

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  • At 9:35 PM, Anonymous billie said…

    Janet,
    You always have the most amazing things happen to you - but then you are an amazing loving person who is the model we should all emulate. I know for a fact you give, give, give - you deserve every return you get for your graciousness. I'm so glad I got to know you! Best of everything dear friend.

     
  • At 9:11 AM, Blogger Myriam's Muse said…

    As usual from the heart brings you the ultimate success. What is it you say (or someone just as wise) do what you love and the money will follow. I love you so I hope the money will follow.

     
  • At 8:24 PM, Blogger Terri Pray said…

    A wonderful thing to do, and I hope luck and success follow you always.

     
  • At 5:09 AM, Anonymous Annie said…

    Spirit does work in mysterious ways. You don't need to share a million dollars. Sometimes just a smile can cure someones pain, I believe this causes a chain reaction. You have a Heart Of Gold!, Janet, and at the same time you get to market and sell your books.
    I like your site, very well developed.
    You have the contagious gift of love and sharing.

     
  • At 8:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    what a sweet, sweet story...God bless you!!

     
  • At 7:49 AM, Blogger Rayne Forrest said…

    What a wonderful story. It's so true that when you give you get back tenfold. - Rayne Forrest

     
  • At 9:08 PM, Blogger FTS said…

    I just picked up the latest issue of Writers' Journal and found your blog via the link you noted in your column.

    This is indeed an example of "Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together..."

    I am bookmarking your blog and will be visiting again. :)

     
  • At 11:59 AM, Blogger crissachappell said…

    That is so sweet.

     
  • At 7:36 PM, Blogger Penelope Marzec said…

    Okay. Now I'll have to carry one of my books around with me all the time. The handbag is going to get heavier.

    I loved your story.

     
  • At 4:50 PM, Blogger Queen Jaw Jaw said…

    Goodness begets goodness...Kudos!

    JJ

     

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