This afternoon, while driving home after running some errands, I saw a neighbor scooping leaves from a few huge piles into bags. I had a little free time ahead of me and happened to be looking for something active to do. The thought crossed my mind, “I could grab some gloves and go help him.” (Thoughts like these don’t usually come from me…) While deliberating internally, I pulled into my apartment complex and parked my car. I hopped out, ran into my apartment, grabbed some gloves and my longboard, and headed toward my neighbor’s house.
When I got there, I said, “Hi! How are you? Would you like a hand with those leaves?”
He looked up, and said, “No, thanks!”
I asked, “Are you sure?”
He said, “Yes.”
I assured him that I was just looking for something to do and that I didn’t want money or anything.
He thought about it and finally agreed to let me help him!
I took a big black trash bag from him, put on my gloves, and got to work. While filling bags with leaves, I was able to learn that he had been in the neighborhood about a year, had grown up near Lubbock, and co-owned a local coffee shop and roastery with his brother. We were able to connect through coffee a bit and the conversation ebbed and flowed while we worked. Within about half an hour we had most of the leaves picked up. Satisfied with the progress we had made, I got ready to head home. Before I left, he said, “wait there for just a minute.” He then went into his garage, opened his truck, and came back with two white packages. He asked me if I had a coffee grinder at home and I, slightly ashamed, said, “no.” Switching the packages he was holding, he offered me a bag of freshly roasted, single-origin (ground) coffee beans!
I accepted the gift, thanked him, jumped on my longboard, and smiled a goofy smile all the way home.