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A wave, a smile, can make a difference

I was eating my bowl of cereal last Wednesday morning, watching the latest excuse for coverage of the Republican presidential “debate.” I thought my milk was going to curdle as the candidates continued taunting each other like little kids in the school yard.
And one of these wants to lead the free world!
I usually watch the TV headlines before I head out for my morning walk. I debated whether to even go with the drizzling rain coming down, but a walk is my way of forcing myself out of bed and into another day.
As I walked along in the dreary conditions, I approached the railroad tracks at Union Avenue and could hear the train idling nearby. As I crossed the track, the red signals flashed and the warning bells rang. In horror I watched three vehicles speed up going north on Union in order to beat the train to the intersection.
I thought there is going to be a bad accident one of these days. Hopefully, not today.
The scene simply added to the gloom of the day.
Then something happened that changed my whole day. As I continued my walk along Union Avenue, waving at all the motorists heading north to school or work, a black vehicle pulled up. Two young people were in the car as the window came down. I thought they were going to ask for directions, which is not unusual during my walks.
Instead, one reached out the window and handed me a decorative Christmas bag and said “Merry Christmas!”
I was momentarily stunned, but managed a “thank you” and “Merry Christmas to you, too.”
And then they were gone.
I didn’t opened the package until I completed my two-mile walk. But when I did, I teared up. That’s something unusual for this old codger.
Inside were two Christmas items — a small chocolate bar and a small Santa snow globe. But it was the Christmas card that really made my day. It read:
“Everyday on our way to school we see you waving at everyone, and it just makes our day! Thank you for being you! From the two girls in the black Grand Am.”
I didn’t realize that a simple wave at someone might make their day. After all, a wave, like a smile, is free of charge.
If a wave can make someone’s day, imagine what these two girls did for my day! I was beaming inside all the way around my walking route and never even noticed the rain.
So take a moment this Christmas season to smile, wave or visit someone who needs a pick-me-up. It doesn’t cost anything but a little time.
These unidentified young ladies passed their Christmas spirit onto me and, hopefully, this column is passing it onto someone else. God bless them.
And, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, everyone!
Rich Glennie was the editor of The Chronicle for 23 years. He retired Aug. 1, 2014, but still plans to submit an occasional column.