Rosemead Kiwanis Club

   "Serving the Community Since 1945"






The Fax of Life

A weekly inspiration, courtesy of the Kiwanis Club of Scott's Valley

March 2, 1997                                                                      Vol. 2,   No. 17


Lady, Are You Rich?


They huddled inside the storm door -- two children in ragged outgrown coats. "Any old papers, lady?"


I was busy. I wanted to say no -- until I looked down at their feet. Thin little sandals, sopped with sleet. "Come in and I ll make you a cup of hot cocoa."


There was no conversation. Their soggy sandals left marks upon the hearthstone.


I served them cocoa and toast with jam to fortify against the chill outside. Then I went back to the kitchen and started again on my household budget.


The silence in the front room struck through to me. I looked in.


The girl held the empty cup in her hands, look at it. The boy asked in a flat voice, "Lady ...  are you rich?"


"Am I rich? Mercy, no!" I looked at my shabby slip covers.


The girl put her cup back in its saucer -- carefully. "Your cups match your saucers."


Her voice was old, with a hunger that was not of the stomach.


They left then, holding their bundles of papers against the wind. They hadn't said thank you. They didn't need to . They had done more than that.


Plain blue pottery cups and saucers. But they matched. I tested the potatoes and stirred the gravy. Potatoes and brown gravy, a roof over our heads, my man with a good steady job -- these things matched, too.


I moved the chair back from the fire and tidied the living room. The muddy prints of small sandals were still wet upon my hearth. I let them be. I want them there in case I every forget again how very rich I am.


                                               ---- Marion Doolan (from A 3rd Serving of Chicken Soup for the Soul


Kiwanis is a global organization of volunteers dedicated to changing the world one child and one community at a time. All of its Clubs are independently-run community service groups.