Sunday, November 22, 2009

Gobble, Gobble, Turkey Day Poll

So as we approach the holiday, some questions popped into my head and I wondered what everyone's Turkey Day preferences are:

1. Turkey: white meat or dark meat?

2. Mashed potatoes or sweet potatoes?

3. Pumpkin Pie or Other pie?

4. Homemade gravy or McCormick's packet gravy?

5. Bakery rolls or Pillsbury Crescent Rolls?

6. Cranberry sauce must have the can lines or you look for the crushed, ground, fresh stuff?

7. Dinner prayer or round the table, "I'm thankful for..."

8. After dinner, unbutton the top button or "I wore the elastic fat pants."

Friday, November 06, 2009

Second Chance

Three weeks ago a friend of mine called and asked if I'd meet him for a round of golf in NJ. I checked the weather and saw it was going to be 75 degrees and sunny, "WINNER!!! AWESOME!!!" I took the day off and went on my merry way leaving the house at 5:45am so I would make a 9:00am tee time at Neshanic Station, NJ. I was about three quarters from the course and nature suddenly came knocking. It was one of those, "Wow, I really need to stop and go" moments. Fortunately, I was near a shopping area and found a 24hr Shoprite to stop at and "figure things out." I bought a bottle of Gatorade and went to my car to continue my journey to the links. On my way out of my parking spot an older woman flagged me down. I stopped and she asked me if I could take her to "Golden Acres" or something close to that. I looked at my watch and it was 8:15am. There were other cars around, so I told her I wasn't going that way and apologized for not being able to give her a lift. I was not familiar with the area I was in, I didn't even know where she was talking about or how far away it was; I was worried about not making my tee time, and I figured with all the other people in the lot she would be OK. So I drove away, but when I pulled out of lot it bothered me. I felt like I passed up a chance to do "the right thing." It is almost like one of those situations where "if you do this for the least of my people you do it for me."

Last week I had another early tee time at 7:50am about 1/2 hour away from my house. I left at 6:00am to get something to eat along the way (McDonald's...ahem), fill the tank, and get to the course early to warm up and putt. Mind you this is my idea of a "perfect" day. I stopped and got my #1 extra value meal with a medium coffee, 2 cream/4 sugar and then stopped at Sunoco to fill up the car. When I was finishing the fill, a young guy came walking up to me from out of nowhere and asked if I would drive him to a local town about 3 miles away. I looked into his face and something "clicked" inside of me. There was a look of "lost" in his eyes and his disposition told me, "please help." So I told him to hop in and then took him to the next town. On the way I talked with him a bit. He did not have anywhere to go and was looking for a shelter. I asked where he had stayed and he told me he had slept outside of Walmart, but they had asked him to leave and go to the next town for a shelter. We got to the town and I drove through, but was not sure where the shelter was so I took him to the fire department, which was open, lit up like a beacon and manned. I was pretty sure they would be able to get him help. I dropped him there, gave him a little money and told him God bless and take care. He looked back and thanked me and the look on his face had changed to "relief." I went on my way to the golf course and I was thinking that this was my second chance. Now I know that reading this, you probably will point out that it is dangerous to pick up strangers and that I really took a risk in doing this. I agree. I also wouldn't want Sharkey doing what I did because of those same reasons, but that morning I found something genuine in this young guy's face and disposition that compelled me to act in this situation, where common sense dictated otherwise. I also felt because of my previous inaction a few weeks earlier, there were other things going on that morning that put another opportunity in front of me to do "the right thing." In a way, I felt this was a matter of faith. I said a prayer for him after dropping him off, hoping he would find his way and in some small way, my actions helped him a bit to know hope, kindness, and a little faith still exists in these difficult days.