6/10/2005

White House Flash

We are going to have to fast forward soon, as I have a friend I hope won't screw up her life as much has I did mine and I need to get to the year I was 15. I will back track and fill in as often as I can. For today we are going to have a special memory from the white house, a few more when I can find time, and then we will begin moving to the Red House. So 6 to 12 is going to be hard and fast.

One of the first things I remember from the white house is Mom sending me to the store one night just before dark. You could give a 7 year old a ten dollar bill and do that back then.

Every Friday, because by now both the parents were working, we had pizza and pop for supper. It was usually followed by popcorn and a movie, if we had been good, that we got to stay up late to watch.

I was sent for an 8 pack of pop in 16 ounce bottles, a gallon of milk, for breakfast, a loaf of bread and a bag of pop corn. Obviously, Mom wasn't thinking straight or she would have realized that I was going to have a pretty heavy load for a kid. I certainly never thought about it!

I trotted down to the little store, the kind with candy by the pound and that cut their own meat, got my groceries and went to the check out. The nice man there bagged everything but the pop and sent me on my way.

I started out well enough with the bag on one arm and carrying the 8 pack with the other. Then the bag started to get heavy. I switched them over, quite a juggling feat. It didn't help much. It was getting darker, my arms were aching, I couldn't walk too fast because of the load and THEN...I heard footsteps behind me!

The street lights snapped on and my shadow made me jump! The mystery walker was getting closer! I hurriedly put the pop down, got both arms under the bag, picked up the pop, quickly, with both hands and tried to walk faster. The stepper behind me walked faster.

My arms were giving out again! Now what! I thought about leaving the pop and coming back for it, there was only one more block before home. Someone (the walker) would take it and I would be in trouble. I couldn't go any faster and he was RIGHT BEHIND ME! Oh, cripes! I was in a panic and almost crying.

Then this nice voice behind me asked, "Can I help you with that, little girl?" His hands reached toward me.I almost peed my pants! I stopped and looked up to see an older, new neighbor boy. He took hold of the carrier of pop bottles and lifted it out of my hand. I got both arms under the heavy bag, gave it a heft to settle in and looked at him again. I didn't really know him but I always liked him after that. Still do.

I didn't know what to say. "Uh........," was how I started, "Thank you," was the middle and, "I just live over there," pointing with my now semi-freed hand, was how I ended.

Neither of us said another word. I lead us down the rest of the block, up the steps to the door and told him thanks again, just set the pop there and he did, then walked off into the dark. My second hero! (Dad's are always the first heros!)

I watched that boy in sports through school, saw his wedding notice, lived several doors down from him later in life, have even spoken to him in passing. I don't think he ever knew how much his small kindness meant to a little girl just trying to do a good deed for her mother. I'd really like to post his real name, but won't.

I will just wish there were one of those kind of boys for every little kid in a pinch!

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