Ripples

Already my new gardener (aka My Dearly Beloved)  has the lawn looking lush and lovely, even though he only began his job a couple of months ago.  Every day he is out here, looking for a reason to crank up one of his new power tools.

Our neighbors are placing bets as to what he’ll find to cut down next.  Here’s what came down last week:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

That was a holly tree, cut down with my blessings.  The power company butchered it at 3 AM one winter morning after a windstorm blew knocked out power here.

He mimics me in exaggerated gestures for the neighbors: left hand on hip, right arm raised and index finger firing around the yard with laser-like precision (think NCIS opening scene) to show how I’m always pointing out things that need to be done.  As there is some truth to his routine, I’d even considered leaving DB and his chain saw unsupervised–until he removed enough of the softly drooping branches of our specimen Japanese Maple to change it into a palm tree.

Except for that mishap, he has every right to be proud of his efforts.

When DB answered the doorbell one early evening recently, the stranger standing there identified himself as the builder of the condo project on the other side of the block.  In front of our house, an anxious looking man in a bright green shirt waited anxiously by a huge truck which was almost as long as our lot is wide.  The truck held a supply of building materials and would require backing into the small residential driveway of the property for delivery.   The driver was afraid there might be some damage to our yard in making that sharp turn and the builder wanted to assure us that he had his landscaper on call to come and repair it.

Our street is narrow and definitely not suited for commercial traffic, specially not anything this large.  See the driveway between the two end flags?  That’s where the truck is heading.

Pardon the glare--I took it from inside the house.
Pardon the glare–I took it from inside the house.

DB went outside and introduced himself to the driver, who shook his hand and said he was Jurr.

“What?”  DB asked. The guy repeated it several times.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Jurr.

Finally DB got it.  “Oh. . . JERRY!”  

They had a good laugh and chatted awhile.  DB said, “The lawn can be repaired.  Just  curve w-a-y into the yard so you won’t hit my stone wall.”  

He pointed out the sprinkler heads, then stood and watched as Jerry backed the huge trailer into the small space.  The truck did indeed jump the curb onto our lawn, but Jurr was able to miss the stone wall by a foot or two.  DB came into the house to tell me, “That guy is a heck of a driver.  That was the best maneuvering I’ve ever seen.”  

The lawn did have some deep trenches, but nothing that couldn’t be repaired.    DB said he’d fix the damage himself.

He was surprised when the phone rang early the next morning and the caller said he was the manager of the trucking company which had delivered the building materials the evening before.  DB quickly jumped in, saying, “I’m so glad you called because I want to tell you that Jurr is the best driver I’ve ever seen.  You’re lucky to have him.”

The man agreed, adding that Jerry indeed was their best driver and he got the toughest assignments, so consequently he got the most abuse.  A couple of days before he had knocked down two fence posts on someone’s property on one of those turns.  Even though they put them back up immediately,  the owner berated Jerry at length, then called the company to rage at several of the staff there.

The man continued, “When Jerry came in this morning, he was beaming.  He told me, I ran into the nicest guy in the world yesterday.  You’ve got to call and thank him.  He made my day.’

“That’s why I’m calling, Mr. Lee.  To thank you and to let you know that you not only made Jerry’s day, you’ve now made my day, too.”

The funny thing is, that call made Dearly Beloved’s day and since I was hearing the conversation, it made my day, too.

Later, the builder came over to give DB a gift card to Home Depot.

I’ve thought about that incident often.  DB didn’t invite the guy in for supper or rush out with cookies.  He simply allowed the man to do the job he had to do without giving him grief about it.   I’m glad I witnessed the event.

The fence post owner may have gotten some satisfaction in throwing a tirade, but I’ll take my husband’s handling of the situation any day.  His behavior subsequently caused ripples of kindness.  One day our grandsons may read this to learn how their granddad behaved.

I don’t think they’ll be surprised.

Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. ~Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama

Kindness, like a boomerang, always returns.  ~Author Unknown

Remember there’s no such thing as a small act of kindness. Every act creates a ripple with no logical end.
– Scott Adams

PS.  The gift certificate was nice, but I don’t think it’s ample enough to buy the next piece of power equipment DB is going to need.  Just how much IS a stump grinder?

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18 thoughts on “Ripples

  1. Arkansas Patti

    First you gave me the giggles over the Japanese Palm Tree then you made me smile warmly at Jurr’s and DB’s appreciation of each other.
    Scott Adams is right, kindness is an easy gift to give, costs nothing and has such widespread effects.
    Schools need to make Kindness 101 mandatory.

  2. NCMountainwoman

    I’ve always said you can tell a lot about a man by how he treats laborers and the wait staff. Great story.

  3. Wonderful! You always read about people like the fence post ranter, rarely about the opposite sort.
    A story like that makes me feel all warm and soppy round the gills.

  4. Stump grinder? Yikes. Hope it doesn’t go that far.
    Quite an amazing world when simply courtesy is such a rarity that it garners the courteous one a Lowe’s gift card. (But very smart business, I’d say.)

    1. I think the gift card was to pay for the necessary repairs… Grass seed, soil to fill in the trenched area, etc. We have several stumps that are too large to be dug out. If we don’t have them ground out, is there another way to get rid of them? We’re stumped.

      1. NCMountainwoman

        Dynamite! Of course that will surely put you on the “watch list” and they would investigate everyone who responds on your blog. On second thought, put flower baskets on the stumps.

  5. Bravo to DB for giving praise when it is due. Too many people are so quick to complain (fence post owner, I’m looking at you…) but tend to overlook the opportunity to compliment someone on a job well done. And you’re right about the ripples of kindness. You never know just how great the effect may be from that one simple act.

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