Off The Grid

Living off the Grid on a west coast island

a little harder

6 Comments

She came through the door of the Starbucks at 7 AM. I noticed her as I sat with E at the Davie Street coffee shop last month as we waited to go into the hospital for testing.

She was well dressed, if you can describe expensive coordinated jogging clothes as well dressed. Her dark hair, although slightly damp from her run, attractively accented her complexion with blonde highlights. Around her neck was a lime green lanyard attached to two cards and a fob. She was tall, beautiful, and in an understated manner, confident. Maybe thirty years old.

Trailing closely behind the jogger was a woman. She had been sitting on the sidewalk outside the Starbucks as we entered. I think she was a woman. It was hard to tell. She wore so many layers of coats. A dirty baseball hat barely covered the heaping mass of matted hair around her (?) face. On her back she carried a large filthy knapsack. A damp sleeping bag, recently rolled up, had been hurriedly attached to the bottom of the pack.

The two women walked up to the counter of the Starbucks. While the jogger stood patiently with the credit card on her lanyard displayed to the cashier, the obviously homeless woman slowly chose her breakfast. Minutes passed as careful attention was taken to the ingredients of the bottled smoothies. She finally chose three and then meticulously placed them into her knapsack. Along with the vegetable smoothies she chose a breakfast sandwich and one cake on a stick.

The smiling jogger passed her credit card on her lanyard to the cashier to pay for the strangers breakfast. She wished the woman a great day and they both left the Starbucks out different doors. I watched as one woman walked West on Davie in the rain, her pack a little heavier.. The other woman waited at the corner for the light to turn green. Her pace returned to a sprint as she headed East.

I consider myself to be a kind person. But it would never occur to me to stop in the middle of my morning run to buy a stranger breakfast. Well, first of all it would never occur to me to run in the morning or ever, unless I was being chased by a bear.

But you get what I am saying…, it would never occur to me to stop what I was doing to buy a stranger breakfast. Sometimes, when I leave the island I am reminded of the goodness which still exists out there in the real world and I am inspired to try

a little harder…

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6 thoughts on “a little harder

  1. What a beautiful story! Thank you for telling it.

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  2. What a wonderful story. ❤️

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  3. Good! You should. And it needn’t be onerous. Simply saying hello, cracking a joke or asking after them is huge. I worked for years in skid row and, after awhile, I was seeing the multi-layered, matted haired folks as normal…..which they weren’t….but we got along fine anyway. Some were too crazy for that but most weren’t. Man, have I got stories…..
    Bottom line, a little humanity is easy and goes a long way. Especially with the shopping cart set.

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  4. One morning when I was entering a Starbucks in Los Angeles I saw a woman dressed as if she was homeless. She was sitting at one of the tables out front under the overhang during a rare rain storm in LA. She looked wet and cold and was obviously not enjoying a beverage out doors. I got the two coffees that were the reason for my going to Starbucks, then I got a third and an extra cup for cream. I reviewed the food offerings and picked one with meats and cheese for a bit of protein and got a toasted bagel to go. I then slipped a $20 bill into the bag. On my way out I gave the woman the bag and coffee. She accepted my offering gratefully and now had a reason to sit at the table for as long as she could stretch her breakfast. I much prefer to give people food and things than just cash on the corner. – Margy

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  5. What a beautiful story and lesson. Thanks for sharing.

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