Living in small town means paying it forward

To the editor:

Two recent experiences focused my attention on the benefits of living in a small town where people look out for each other.

Most recently in the storm Sunday night, I got stuck in my cousin’s driveway on a rural road just outside of town. When three of us could not push out the four-wheel drive vehicle (I went off the driveway into the ditch), I hailed a plow driver who was clearing the parking lot of a nearby business. He came to our rescue. One more pusher did not help, so he and his two 6-year-old sons and another helper shoveled so they could hook on and pull my car out. He also assisted a friend who was stuck in the other side of the driveway.

He would not take anything for the effort, even plowing part of the driveway so my cousin could get out for work the next day. “If neighbors can’t help each other…” he said. I did have a few dollar bills that I pressed on the two little boys, and they politely thanked me a lot. It was cold and blowing and not a fun time to be out in the storm.

A few weeks ago, I made a quick run to Econo Foods for a few items. When I tried to use my debit card, I didn’t know the PIN. I said I would go out my car and see if I had my checkbook. It was one of those bitterly cold evenings, and I didn’t relish the thought of going home to get my checkbook. Coming back in without it, the cashier said, “That’s OK. Mrs. X already paid for it.”

This woman I did know somewhat, and I ran out to the parking lot to thank her and said I would bring the money to her place of work. She refused that offer, and I promised to pay it forward to someone else.

So far, I have been able to give a neighbor a ride home from Walgreens on a very cold day, saving her a cab ride, although she happily reported the cab is only $1 now when I asked her if she walked all the way up there. It’s a start on my efforts to return the favors and beyond.

Thank you Clintonville, my hometown. I am glad to be back with the caring people who live here.

Mary Beth Kuester

Clintonville