And there it was. The sound of a bell rung with urgency. Like Pavlovâ€™s dog, I responded. I donâ€™t believe I salivated, but I did reach into my purse for my wallet.
And there she was. A small woman with grey hair and shoulders hunched with age. Each year this woman stands in the entryway of our local grocery store and rings the Salvation Army bell for hours at a time. It doesnâ€™t matter how cold it is, how busy, or how slow. She puts in her time with a cheerfulness that uplifts.
Iâ€™m curious about her, but never stop to chat. I stuff my money in the little cross that comprises the opening of the iconic red kettle, smile, and move on.
Today she gave a little laugh as I deposited my money. A few cookie crumbs balanced on her lower lip as if they enjoyed the ride. “I needed a treat,” she said and held up a partially eaten cookie. She rang the bell with the other hand. I felt tired just watching her.
â€œGood Lord,â€ I thought, â€œThere are angels among us.â€