Thursday, October 4, 2007

Something to think about....



“Dorris, I just bought the thing, I haven’t had a chance to put the numbers on it yet, don’t worry, I’ll get to it” Jim’s Father noted to his busybody neighbor Dorris, the leader of the HOA (Home Owners Assoc.) Gestapo, referring to the mailbox he had juts installed.

Yeah, Dorris was a nitpicker who had nothing better to do then show off her authority as the new HOA director.

“Well, for your sake, you had better do it soon” She snapped back.

“I am reinstating the fines as found in the bylaws” She finished.

“WHAT!?” Jim’s father asked

“Those are ancient, we have never enforced those!” he continued.

“Well maybe that’s why this neighborhood is in such disarray!” She countered.

To Dorris, a museum wasn’t clean enough.

“I have already sent a letter of warning to Mr. Timbelton informing him he has one month to bring his House & yard up to standards” She went on.

“Oh come on, everyone knows he is on a fixed income & with his age & all can’t get around so good anymore, why don’t you lay off the poor guy Dorris, you know he doesn’t have any family left, sheesh, cut him a break.” Jim’s Father stated, somewhat pleading.

“That’s not my problem, rules are rules” With that she than turned an walked away.

Jim’s Father just rolled his eyes & went back to what he was doing.

Jim overheard the entire conversation as he was filling the lawnmower with gas.

HE than thought about what Dorris had said, but where she saw flaw, he saw opportunity.

“Hello, My name is Jim, I live just down the street”

“Anyway, I have come to offer you my Handyman/Landscaping services, can offer you a very good rate” He said to the elderly gentlemen standing in his doorway in front of him.

“Oh, I appreciate the offer, but I don’t think I could aff…” Mr Timbelton was cut off.

“Look at it as an investment, I mean, I heard the HOA is reinstating the fines, and they are pretty steep & can add up pretty fast, my services would cost much less than they would in the run.” Jim pitched.

Mr. Timbelton paused for a moment, thinking about the letter he had received just recently. Yup, this lad clearly had him over a barrel, so with no real choice, the elderly gentleman agreed.

“Great, I prefer to be paid weekly, I will get started today, and we can handle payment at the end of the week” Jim said.

Mr. Timbleton simply nodded in agreement.
As he looked over his finances & expenses, he was trying to figure juts how he could come up with the money needed to pay for the young man’s services.

After deciding that cutting back on his medication was not an option, he than realized he would have to cut back on his groceries instead.

“It’s ok” He thought to himself. “I have gone hungry before, and I can juts do it again until the work gets done” “Besides, the Lord only puts in front of us that which he knows we can handle”

He than took a pens and crossed out the majority of items from his grocery list.

The first week had come and gone and Jim had come to the door to collect the first payment.

Mr. Timbleton than withdrew his checkbook & a pen from his pocket and was about to start writing when he heard the boy begin to speak.

“Oh… um… a Check?”

“Er…I.. well, I am sorry Mister, I can only accept cash” Jim stated.

“Oh… oh, my apologies, I …” Mr. Timbleton said as he padded his pockets.

“Well, if you could give me a lift up to the Bank, I can get you taken care of, if that’s Ok?” He asked, a bit embarrassed over the situation.

“No, that’s OK, I can just collect it next week with the other payment” Jim said.

“I promise, if you just give me a ride to the Bank…” He attempted.

“No, it’s ok, I got to get going anyway, I will just pick it up next week, n problem” Jim said.

With that Jim went on his way.

Mr. Timbleton was inside going over his grocery list as he was about to call in the order (he shopped at an Old school type grocer who still made deliveries) when he realized that he had another check coming in the middle of next week, so he could actually afford to put a few things back on the list. Mr. Timbleton smiled at this nice, although small turn of events.
Another week had passed and Mr. Timbleton heard the familiar knock at the door and sure enough there was Jim waiting to collect payment.

Mr. Timbleton again reached into his pocket and pulled out the large wad of cash.

“Oh… that’s right…” Jim began to say, with a slight look of concern on his face.

“I asked you to get cash didn’t I” Jim seemed to be commenting to himself.

“You know what, I really hate to be a bother, but I realized it would probably be better if you paid me with a check, you know, for my records and all, if that’s OK?” Jim began to say.

“It would really be a big help” Jim finished.

“Um, yes, I um… well I guess I can do that” Mr. Timbleton started to say.

A bit embarrassed again, he again relayed the following:

“I will have to ask a favor though, this is juts about all I got, so I will need to go to the bank to deposit so the funds will be there for you to be able to cash the check, I am sorry, I just don’t…” Mr. Timbleton attempted to explain.

“Oh, gee, sorry Mister, I am in a bit of hurry, tell you what, I will come by next week and we will square things up than, I am in no rush” Jim said.

“But…” Mr. Timbleton tried to counter before being cut off again.

“Would love to stay & chat, but, I gotta run, I’ll see you next week.” Jim said before walking off with a wave.

Mr. Timbleton was a bit confused, but he had no real choice, the lad always seemed to be in a hurry. I guess that’s how young man are at that age, always one the go.

Again, this little overlap allowed him to put a few more items back on his list. And his house & yard was really starting to look pretty sharp again. Soon he would be free from the fear of any fines.
Another week had passed and again, the knock at the door.

Mr. Timbleton answered and found Jim there with a big smile on his face.

“Sorry to bother you, I just wanted to let you know I got the shutters fixed & painted, anyway, I will be on my way now” Jim said.

“But wait.” Mr. Timbleton started to say.

“I have your check” He said.

Jim gave him a confused look and than asked:

“a check, well, what for?”

“For the work you have done, you said you wanted a check, remember?” Mr. Timbleton asked, not wanting to short the young man.

“Well that’s odd” Jim said, as he than withdrew a little notepad from his pocket.

“Nope, says right here you are paid in full til’ next week” Jim said referring to his notes.

With that Mr. Timbleton looked at his feet as he struggled to make sure he wasn’t having another one of his forgetful spells. No, No he was positive, he hadn’t paid the young man yet.

“No, I am positive I haven’t paid you yet young man” Mr. Timbleton stated as he slowly looked up at the boy.

“No, I am sure you already did Mister” Jim replied.

A moment later Mr. Timbleton caught it, “a look” from the boy.

A look saying: Mister, I am not going to take a dime from you, nor will I take from you not so much as an ounce of your pride. I may be offering you charity, but I sure as heck am not going to rub your face in it, no sir.

As the epiphany of what was going on finally dawned on the Old man, he had to fight back the tears that so desperately wanted release.

“Well, if that’s what your records say” Mr. Timbleton stated.

“Indeed they do, Mister” Jim replied with a smile.

“Thank You young man, and May God Bless you” Mr. Timbleton went on to say.

“And may God Bless You, sir” Jim responded.

“Oh, he already has son, He already has.” The Old man said with true sincerity.

_________ THE END____________


jmb said...

Lovely story MSW. There is still some kindness out there, even if it's just a story.

MedStudentWife said...

True JMB.Hubby found this one somewhere and it had me bawling