Not too many days ago I was talking with my mom on the phone. As I told her of an experience that I had recently had, she reminded me of the tongue-in-cheek quote, "No good deed goes unpunished." At the time it felt very true! It is so easy to feel like our good deeds do go unnoticed or punished and it is so hard to feel like the little things make a difference.
Well, today I said good-bye to an old friend in more ways than one. I got a head start on dinner today and pulled out my Crock-Pot. Several hours later when I checked on dinner to see how it was coming along, I discovered that the Crock-Pot had died. It hadn't even begun to warm the food. I was disappointed that dinner wasn't going to get cooked in time, and I was also sad to see my old Crock-Pot go.
When James and I moved to Seattle for James to get his Master's Degree, we moved into one of those wards affectionately known as a "Newly Wed or Nearly Dead Ward." There were so many older, single women in our ward! They so easily could have kept to themselves and let us young folk do our thing. But these dear sisters reached out across the generation gap and loved us. They didn't let there be a separation. Some of my dearest memories of my times in Seattle are the times I spent learning from and working by these women. Well, one sweet Sister Perry was very kind to us. One day she got a new Crock-Pot and asked if we would like her old one. I was happy to receive her hand-me-down complete with photo copies of the recipe book that had come with it. I have continued to use her Crock-Pot and recipe book for more than ten years. Each time I pull it out, I think of Sister Perry and the other 'older' friends we made during our time in Seattle. I remember their quiet acts of service and kindness and it causes me to drop some of my scepticism and have hope that,
"The everyday kindness of the back roads more than makes up for the acts of greed in the headlines." (Charles Kuralt)
These sisters were surrogate mothers for me when I had moved far from home for the first time. They were the ones who threw the Baby Shower for my first baby. They mentored me as I learned to be a mother. They truly changed my life one quiet act at a time. I hope that I can remember their influence and "pay it forward" even though I won't be pulling out the old Crock-Pot any more.