There's a young man came into the store. "Do you have any canning supplies left?" he said, in a hopeless kind of way. I totally get that. We've been sold out of the lids for probably 2-3 weeks now. Just a few cases of jars left. A couple canners, the old Ball type. A pressure canner. Not a lot of stuff. But most everyone is sold out of supplies at this point. So I showed him where what's left is, and he looked the stuff over. Right away, though, he knelt down to look at the pressure canner. It's been marked down, but not enough. He said, "My wife would like to make spaghetti sauce, but we don't have a pressure canner. We were going to freeze it." Perfectly sensible way to do it, and we talked about that. In the talking, I could tell that money was tight for this young couple, but I could also tell that they were a pretty resourceful pair. That's something that you don't see a lot of today. He works second shift, but he spoke proudly of his wife teaching herself to can the produce from their garden while he was at work, after she got home from work herself. "Listen," I said, "I've got an old pressure canner you can have. It works fine. I canned when the kids were all home, but now, I just don't have time for it. If you would like it, I'd be glad for you to have it." He was quick to say, "Oh, no, I couldn't do that," and he was embarrassed to be taking. That's another thing you don't see a lot of these days. I looked at him and said, "When someone gives you something, you should just say, 'thanks'," and I grinned at him. You could see him thinking on it, and you could also see that he really wanted it. "I honestly don't use it anymore," I repeated. And he finally said, "Well, then, thanks!"
That little exchange made me feel really good. Seeing a young couple starting out in these hard times being practical and sensible and hard working, well, that made me feel good too. Giving that canner made me feel as if I was handing down something really important, something that most young people aren't interested in knowing. That made me feel best of all.
Well. Big test today. Sitting here having coffee with you folks is not getting me out this door.