The Hula's rang the Salvation Army bells today. Me, Hubby, Teen Angel and Sissy manned the doors at the local Wal-Mart for two hours ringing the chimes of America's favorite Christmas charity. We had a fine time. It's always fun to meet and greet people and get into the holiday spirit, but the sight seeing is a blast, too. As mama says, you see a little bit of everything if you stand there long enough.
There were plenty of cute kids. They all wanted to put money in the kettle, and most parents let them. Their stubby little fingers reaching up to drop in change just melts my heart, especially when they give me a big toothy grin. We saw happy kids, grumpy kids, short kids and tall kids, even kids with other kids. Several were coming to the doors dressed in their finest red outfit, no doubt headed for the photography studio. Others were just there to shop and take in the wonder of the mother load of toys within those concrete walls. Their excitement made me smile. Oh, to capture that wonder again. Where does it go when we grow up?
We saw a standoff over a primo parking space. Both cars sat there, nose to nose, daring the other to back away. It lasted for several minutes, and about the time I thought one of the drivers was going to bail out and start a fight, the other car slid into reverse. Ho, ho, ho. We watched another woman drive around the lot ten gazillion times, searching for a parking space close to the door. She could have walked across the lot, made her purchase and been on her way in the time she spent circling for a landing. We flagged down a city bus for two shoppers who didn't quite make it to their stop in time. Five birthday cakes left the building while we were there, and lots of wee ones must be getting Mega Blocks for Christmas this year.
We made conversation with an eccentric man who explained how he'd given away all of his money to his kids, and then moved away so they couldn't find him. As he was locking up his bicycle, he unknowingly dropped a rock of crack cocaine out of his pocket. I didn't know what it was, but my former law officer husband did. "Crack? That's crack?", I hollered liked a hick when he was gone. We watched as the maintenance man swept it into his trash bucket and waited to see if bicycle man realized his rock was missing when he returned. Apparently, he didn't. He was too excited about his new tennis shoes which he put on before heading home. We watched twin boys get an attitude adjustment for their temper tantrum. We saw roughly half of Hubby's former parolees. They might be a tad embarrassed if they knew he can read lips and "read" what they said about him. Ho, ho, ho. We also saw a lot of friends.
Mostly, we were impressed that it was the poor who seemed to have the most generous spirit. It wasn't the folks in BMW's and nice clothing who donated the most. In fact, those people seemed to give the least. It was the people who looked as if they could use a little help themselves who put the most money in the kettle. Perhaps, because they understand the need. I've seen it time and time again, whenever we've rung bells for the Salvation Army and collected canned goods at a Christmas lighting display. I always walk away, shaking my head, amazed at the generosity shown by the poor. It makes me dig for those quarters and dollar bills when I walk by the kettle. I don't want to be the well dressed woman in the nice car who just keeps walking. I have to answer to Grandma when I get to the pearly gates, and she would thump my head if I didn't help. Ho, ho, ho.
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