Everybody has a story. That's a given.
You've just got to ask.
Monday after lunch, instead of leaving the restaurant, I sat down with Marlene Davis, assistant manager at Fazoli's, to ask what she was making. She had a bag of variegated yarn and a crochet hook and had just started her first row.
It will be an afghan.
She usually keeps an afghan in her pickup, but a while back on her way to work from Harcourt, she witnessed an accident - a van skidded on the road and ended upside down in a field, its window broken out, its driver hanging upside down waiting for paramedics. It was one of those cold days, so Davis used her afghan to block the wind blowing into the van.
Now she's making another.
While she was telling me this, however, it slipped out that she had her own run-in with car problems Monday morning. On her way to Dodge to open the store, a tire on her pickup went flat. She was near Otho, so limped into that town, stopping at the convenience store to call her husband, Sonny.
Since they have just one vehicle, he couldn't do much at that time, but she had offers of help from people at the store.
Well, one offer was to ride the handlebars of a guy's riding lawnmower, but that might not have been a viable offer, even in summer. Still, he offered.
"Such good people in this world," Davis said, sighing and shaking her head just a bit. "Such kind-hearted people."
She did accept the offer of someone who promised he'd get her to the store by 8:30, when she was to open. He did. She gave him gas money and a free meal coupon for the store - she keeps them with her all the time, she said. But before she could get his name, he was gone.
She and Sonny already had been overwhelmed by the kindness of a man who gave them a set of four tires for their pickup when they needed new tires but couldn't afford to buy them.
The tires were about a year old, she said, but with plenty of tread.
After Monday's flat, that same man offered another almost-new tire, and another friend, Berry, offered to get the pickup, change the tire and take the pickup back to Harcourt.
So, as Davis sat in her booth waiting for her lunch hour to end, she crocheted, and with each stitch a smile and sigh went into the work. Each time she thought of her day, she couldn't help but smile.
"Such kind-hearted people," she said.
Then, the lady who crochets, knits, embroiders, quilts and does woodworking said this afghan likely would be given to someone.
Oh, and don't forget baking. She often bakes and gives her sweets away.
She likes to give.
It's one of those what-goes-around-comes-around type of things, me thinks. Davis herself is giving and caring - it just makes sense of the universe that she reaps good rewards.
So long friends, until the next time when we're together.
Sandy Mickelson is retired as lifestyle editor of The Messenger. She may be reached at email@example.com.