January 24, 2010

How to Win Friends...

...and Influence Your Garbage Man

This post is at the request and really the inspiration of my dear husband. He calls himself the blog idea man.

I can be a little driven, a tad obsessive and an itsy bitsy opinionated. You didn't know that about me did you? Actually, there are a lot of things about me that you all don't know. You might think twice about popping over here if you did. But here it goes anyway.

I will not write with a pencil that is not sharpened to a point. I insist on my pencil having an eraser, even if I have no intention of using it. And I while I have seen my children write with a pencil just a few inches long, I refuse to write with a stubby pencil.

You know what else? I hate grumpy people. I just can't stand them. Nothing is so worth being grumpy about that you can't find something else to be happy about. (Not that I don't have moments that I fall into that temptation.) In fact, when I come across an unpleasant person, I make it my personal responsibility to make them smile. Often all it takes is for us to get out of our own world, smile at the person waiting on us and ask how they are to change their whole disposition. Although, I have met some challenging cashiers at Walmart. If I can not get a little bounce in someone's step by the time we part ways, I consider it my personal failure.

Now, I guess some of that stubbornness of mine is rubbing off. Do you remember this post? After I wrote it, the family was sitting to dinner and I was telling my Allen about the boys' conversation involving the grumpy trash man. The conversation turned to how we could turn this fellow's attitude around. He often comes very early in the morning so it is not likely we would have the opportunity to stand on the street and wait around to make small talk with him.
It was decided that we would bake cookies for him. Cookies can go a long way on the path to making friends. Yesterday, Kaitlin helped Samuel make a batch of fudge and pack it into a tin. Since Nathaniel has the best writing of the three boys, he was chosen to write the note. It said this:

"We hope you have a good day. Signed, Nathaniel, Aedan and Sam."

Bright and early this morning all three boys were up and dressed and wearing their galoshes. Aedan was posted at one window and Samuel at another as lookouts for the truck. There they waited for a half hour until that magical noise rang through the neighborhood. Aedan won the draw to have the honour of giving over the gift. When the word was given all three boys ran in a flash to the curb with their little package.

Fortunately, Allen was ready with the camera. Aedan is incredibly shy and when the fellow asked him what this was for all he could do was shrug... but hopefully, the note will speak for the three of them. Who knows, my little men may have gone a long way in winning the heart of their hero and perhaps at the very least he will stop tossing my trash can every Thursday.



  1. What a great random act of kindness...I am sure you made his day! I feel the same way about trying to make people smile when they are feeling low...know about those WalMart cashiers too!! And I am the same way about my pencils!!

  2. How sweet!! What a great idea too! So many times we forget those who serve us everyday.. or week.

    Blessings my friend!

  3. Oh what a precious thing to do! I love this! Perhaps he has a gruff exterior but I am sure that these little ones and their gift touched his heart.

    My dad had a tough, gruff exterior. You would think that he frowned more than he smiled, but he had a soft heart. My son is similar. His shyness makes him seem unfriendly sometimes!

    Oh, and I have found my garbage can placed either right on top of my flower bed or in the driveway blocking my exit, lol!

  4. Remember how Ellie used to carry this book around? What a great idea you had..but that's why you get the big bucks.☺