May. 4, 2020


It was May 4, 2018. Three days earlier, I’d moved into my new (new to me) home in Hot Springs Village. It was the most stressful move of my life.  As a result, I seemed to be suffering “movers-panic”--- wondering if I’d ever find all-the-pieces of my life.

I’d spent another sleepless night, due to the unfamiliar night sounds around me.  A neighbor told me that Monday Morning at 8:3o was garbage pickup for our street. Today was Monday and, looking around, I noted several large bags of trash that qualified as garbage.

By the time I heard the garbage truck headed in my direction, I’d finished re-locating the garbage can from the backyard to the spot where my driveway ended at the street. As the huge truck rounded the cul-de-sac, the two men standing on the truck’s back platform looked surprised to see me.  I’ve since learned that most retirees in the Village-- no longer forced to live by an alarm clock or a morning schedule---are now, late risers. They put their garbage cans outside the evening-before so they can sleep through trash pickup.

I Smiled and Waved and-at the same time- yelled “Good Morning”.  I watched as one of the men expertly emptied my garbage can in the garbage truck then effortlessly returned it to its original spot. Still smiling, I said: “Thank You”. Both men were looking my way as the truck began moving to the next block and joined me in waving “goodbye”.

There was nothing unusual about my exchange with the garbage collectors; it seemed completely natural. All my life--- I’d watched my Father speak to delivery men, wave to Policemen, Emergency Workers, and never-fail to say “thank you” to every Postman who delivered the mail.

I also remember the day my Father suggested to my brother that anytime he saw the garbage men collecting his trash…he should speak to them and say “Thank You”.  Like my father said: “Some people are forced to take jobs they don’t want…jobs they might feel are “beneath” them…but they take the jobs because they  need the money. 

When you “thank” people for performing a service-- like disposing of your trash—you make them feel needed, important.  You allow them to take-pride in themselves and what they do.”

Fast-Forward to December, 2019.  Just a few days before Christmas, I went to the end of my driveway to retrieve my recently-emptied garbage can.  I noticed that a white envelope was taped to the top of the can.  Releasing the envelope from the trash can's lid…I noted it was addressed to “MS. MILLER”.  I carefully opened the envelope to find a beautiful Christmas Card covered in gold and silver Angels. The pretty card said: “MERRY CHRISTMAS”…FROM OUR HOUSE TO YOUR HOUSE”. 

At the bottom, someone has carefully- written in picture-perfect cursive : “Your smile and your friendliness brighten our Pick-Up Days. God Bless You.” 

PS...We never know when a simply "Thank You", a "Wave", and a "Smile"...are all the encouragement someone needs to make them feel better about themselves.

Stay Close,


Latest comments

17.10 | 01:42

I miss being Facebook friends with you! Hope you are well and happy.

Tammy Brookover Jay

15.10 | 01:28

Love all of this. I'm so lucky to be your neighbor,

30.08 | 16:26

Sally, my friend, I love your writings and sometimes they make me cry and then smile. I love you as if I had known you all my life. God Bless you each and every day in all you do.

29.08 | 19:19

Lol, I loved reading this story! As a female that dated a couple men with Harleys, I totally understand and met Harley Guy myself, many times over!
I hope you get your 3wheels someday soon!

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