Friday, 29 October 2010
Friends & Random Acts
I hate winter, hate short daylight, having to wear boots and a coat, hate the horrible squeaky sound snow makes when it's really cold and hate bare trees. But I love the people around me in this little village, year-round.
My ice house has a furnace and its own oil tank. The oil business is highly regulated here and tanks are inspected when new and tagged with an expiry date. The store tank is good for another few years but the ice house tank expired in 2009 and had to be replaced. I procrastinated because it had enough oil to last until this spring and I didn't want to shell out the $1500 it would cost to replace it and have another one installed, inspected and tagged. And standing in the store talking to people, it came up in conversation occasionally.
Neil comes in for coffee every morning and we talk about everything under the sun, mostly about how hard he works and how sore his back is. He knew of a tank that was fairly new and should be available, so he'd check with Brian, up the road. Next thing I knew, the tank was delivered, installed and ready for oil. Neil and Harry picked it up, delivered it, dug up the old one, laid gravel and a concrete base, scrounged up some proper oil tubing and installed the whole thing. He won't accept a cent. He won't even let me give him free coffee in the mornings, throws the money at me and leaves it on the counter if I won't take it. Brian won't take a cent for the tank or the tubing. He just laughs and says, "what goes around, comes around; you'll do something for someone else." And I will.
People like Neil and Brian practice true kindness, not expecting kudos or anything in return, just the quiet satisfaction of doing something nice for someone else. In this case it was a big something but so many people here do small somethings in the same way. When they say to you, "Let me know if there's anything I can do," they mean it. I'm very humbled by the kind of friends I have, and hope that not only do I deserve them, but that I'm never the shore where those ripples of kindness stop.