By Jim Krumel
The Sanders’ family headed into Lima for what was going to be a great evening.
There were six of them, ages 95 to 6 months, representing four generations. All were smiling as they unfolded their napkins at the Casa Lu Al restaurant. Selma Tickner was the senior member. Then there was Joe and Sharon Sanders and Jeff and Melissa Carroll, and of course the star of the show, baby Thomas Carrol.
It was hard to imagine things could get better as they talked, laughed and enjoyed their dinners. But indeed, things did get better. When it came time to pay the bill, they learned an anonymous person picked up the tab.
“We were in shock,” said Sharon Sanders. “What a kind soul. We wanted to thank him or her, but all anyone would tell us was that they were from Bath. What a wonderful experience. I’m sure it is something we’ll continue to discuss over the holidays. It just makes you feel all warm inside.”
The Sanders’ family were recipients of a gesture commonly known as “pay it forward.” The idea is to surprise a person with an act of kindness, then perhaps they’ll do the same for another. Often it involves paying for someone’s meal: A person will hand a $20 bill to an attendant at a fast-food drive-through and ask them to use it to pay for a car behind them, or money will be given to a waitress inside a restaurant to pay for the meals at another table.
Several times a month The Lima News will receive letters from a recipient of one of these gestures telling how special the moment was.
Joyce Feathers told us about being surprised at Cabo’s restaurant in Delphos.
“It still brings a smile to my face,” she said.
Likewise, Sue Coburn, of Lima, recently wrote to say how much such a kindness meant to her parents when an unknown person purchased their lunch at Applebee’s.
“They were both surprised and wanted so badly to know who had done this kind deed, but were told the stranger had already left the restaurant,” Coburn wrote. “We don’t know who you are, but we do know it takes a very special person to give to complete strangers without expecting anything in return. My dad, a 93 year old World War II veteran, and my mom, his wife of 67 years, want you to know your kindness warmed their hearts and was much appreciated.”
For Rose Phillips, of Lima, the act of kindness came when a stranger paid for her groceries at Meijer.
“I firmly believe we have angels with us either in human form or those that are unseen-spiritual entities,” she wrote. “So much of the time we experience rudeness, impatience or disrespect. … But each of us can counteract these actions by sharing kindness. If we are unable to pay forward, we then can give a smile, share a kind word or open a door. Each day is filled with blessings. Take a moment to acknowledge at least one (even during hard times) during your day. Be thankful for such things as to hear the songs of a bird; to see the beauty of nature; to be able to walk with a friend; or to have been touched by an angel. You never know when one will cross your path.”
It would be hard to say that any better.
ROSES AND THORNS: A truck and a train earn a spot in the rose garden.
Rose: To Gary Smith, of Gomer. He was named Driver of the Year at Garner Trucking, and thus received the honor of delivering 15,000 Christmas wreaths to Arlington National Cemetery where they were placed on the graves of fallen soldiers. He and his wife, Cathy, drove the patriotic freedom truck to make the delivery.
Rose: To Dave King, president of the Auglaize Township Historical Society. The group put on the village of Harrod’s version of the Polar Express when it treated families to a visit with Santa Claus in a train car attached to a 1905 Shay locomotive that was originally built in Lima.
Rose: To Marnita Wiggins-Nichols, of Lima. She was featured by AARP in its Healthy Living section for her five-year journey, which saw her lose 174 pounds, going from 334 to 160 pounds.
Thorn: To Darrin Frysinger, 45, of Wapakoneta. He tested at 0.31 percent blood-alcohol concentration — nearly four times the legal limit — after crashing his vehicle into two parked cars in the St. Marys Kroger lot and nearly running over several people.
PARTING SHOT: “I looked up my family tree and found out I was the sap.” – Rodney Dangerfield
Jim Krumel is the editor of The Lima News. Contact him at 567-242-0391 or at The Lima News, 3515 Elida Road, Lima, OH 45807.