The Journal Gazette
Wednesday, January 12, 2022 1:00 am


Post-Christmas experience proves life-affirming

Like many, there was a sizable stack of presents the day after Christmas for family unable to travel because of COVID. My wife and I were still in a melancholy mood as she packed those gifts into larger boxes and I loaded them in the car to ship to the kids and grandkids we had missed seeing for a second Christmas.

When I arrived at the UPS Store on Coventry Lane, the line was out the door. About halfway through my wait, the young woman in front of me saw that the older woman at the front of the line was rummaging to find enough money to pay for her single small package. The woman handed the clerk enough to cover the shortfall. When she returned, she said, “Their card reader is down; everybody has to pay cash.” “That was really kind of you,” I responded. She just smiled. 

I pulled out my wallet and realized I would probably be short, too. When my turn came, a man who had just finished shipping his packages saw me. He looked at the five huge packages, handed the clerk a $50 bill and said, “Use this for anybody who needs it.” I was dumbfounded by his generosity, but cogent enough to call out a “Thank you” as he left the store with a wave. Another gentleman gave her a $100 bill. “Use what you need,” he said to both of us. Happily, I was able to return most of his money after paying my bill. But I was dumbfounded for a third time.

“Well,” I said to the clerk, “this is enough to restore your faith in humanity.”

Generosity, grace and simple kindness can shine through these dark days that have been filled with trials and disappointments for so many. The next time an opportunity for spontaneous generosity comes my way, I'll take it ... and hopefully pass it on.

Michael Lindvall

Fort Wayne

Weight-gain explanation a load off the mind

What a fun, “right on” article Nancy Carlson Dodd wrote about weight gain (“Theory of relatively,” Jan. 1).

For years, my cousin in Michigan and I have tried (without success) to lose unwanted pounds. We finally blamed it on our family genes, which provided us with solid, stocky legs and broad hips. After reading her article, we now know weight gain is good because it is the result of a brain overstocked with facts and information and a heart that is overloaded with love.

I know my brain stores pounds and pounds of information. At times I can't think of the name of something, and a while later, that information breaks out of the stockpile in my brain.

I also know my heart is carrying around a lot more weight because I now have five beautiful great-grandchildren  in addition to my 10 wonderful grandchildren, my two sons and their beautiful wives, many cousins and friends who are worthy of my love.

Thanks to Nancy for figuring this “weight thing” out and sharing it with Journal Gazette readers. I am relieved and will give up the diet regimens and find a use for all the information stored in my brain and find others to love.

If you will excuse me, I'm going to go get a piece of chocolate ... no, two: one for my brain and one for my heart. And when I finish, I might eat a couple of Christmas cookies. I certainly don't want them to get stale.

Again, thanks to Nancy for sharing her insight on holiday weight gain.

Bev Renbarger

Fort Wayne 

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