Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Milk Memories

This morning, as I was dropping Noah off at school, the roar of a truck behind me caused me to check my mirrors. Pulling alongside us was a Prairie Farms milk truck. Instantly, a big smile came on my face, followed by a big, "Awwwww." Noah is looking at me by this point like I'm crazy, wondering why in the world I would have a reaction like that to a milk truck.

Of course, there's always a story involved with me, so I began. My Grandpa Coons, who I've written about before, was a milkman when I was little. It was one of his many "side jobs" along with being a pastor. It is a job I have fond memories of because of one special day.

I went to kindergarten at Beaver Dam Elementary in Ms. Tichenor's class. Our room was on the ground floor, next to the cafeteria, and of course, the walk in refrigerator. Every day, as we walked to our rooms, we would see delivery men entering and unloading. Whenever I would see a Prairie Farms milkman, I would wave to him and sometimes say, "My Grandpa is a milkman too!"

Maybe these milkmen all knew each other, or maybe my Grandpa is just extra special (I'm betting on the latter), but one delivery day he made arrangements to swap with him. It had to take some rearranging, as I lived in a different county than my Grandpa worked. I didn't know any of this so you can imagine my surprise when I looked up to the milkman one day and saw my Grandpa's smiling face!

I can still remember how excited I was, even breaking the rules of getting out of line and running to him with open arms. He knelt down, hugging me back, nearly as excited as I was. It tickled him so much that he created this surprise for me and that I was thrilled to see him.

The surprise got even better, when he informed me that this was his last stop. He was going to spend the day with me! Who knows how long he really stayed, as that was many moons ago, but what mattered most is that he changed his day just for me. Thirty some odd years ago, yes I'm telling my age, it still stands out as a vivid favorite memory for me. After all, just seeing a truck this morning brought back that same joy from all those years ago.

I wonder if the memory was as vivid for Grandpa years after he did it. Sometimes I doubt we ever know the impact we make in a life of a child. One small act of kindness can surely bring a lifetime of joy.


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