This year, for the Thanksgiving holiday, I thought I would share A THANKSGIVING TALE. As an author I get asked more frequently that I imagined where I come up with my book plots. I like to share life lesson messages but maybe once in a while I should share my writer’s imaginary journey.
In the small town of Misery, a young girl was walking down the dirt street that was considered Main Street. It was a blustery day and it was all Madilyn could do to remain upright from the gusts blowing her backwards. Her coat had been patched to prevent the wind from invading her body but she felt the chill. She tried to hurry to get to the mercantile and purchase the bread, milk, and cheese that her Mom needed to make their Thanksgiving meal. At the door of the store front, she paused looking at the old woman at the other end of the building. Madilyn saw the woman shivering and realized she only had a sweater wrapped as far as the too small sweater would stretch. Feeling the chill herself, she hurried into the store.
Mrs. Frankenton, the store owner spoke to Madilyn as she came in, “Little lady I wondered what was taking you so long before getting out of the wind.” As she spoke, she gave a gesture of shaking from a chill and rubbed her arms as if she needed to warm herself. Madilyn questioned the old lady’s motion as it was fairly warm in the store. She gave Mrs. Frankenton a smile but kept wondering why the woman outside didn’t come in herself.
“Did you see the lady outside shivering?” asked Madilyn. With this question, Mrs. Frankenton walked to the window and stretched to see who Madilyn was referring. The woman had backed up to the wall trying to cut the wind from hitting her fully in the face. It was easy to see how pale she was but her cheeks were almost a fiery red from blistering.
“Can you invite her to come in and get warm?” questioned the young girl. Madilyn knew she should hurry to gather the few items she had come in to buy, but it seemed necessary to help the woman even though she didn’t recognize her.
The store owner shrugged her shoulders and replied, “Well, the door isn’t locked and she could come in if she wanted, but maybe she doesn’t. Maybe, we need to mind our own business and leave her alone.”
Madilyn looked at Mrs. Frankenton with a look of confusion. Her family had shopped there since she could remember. Prices had always been fair and her family didn’t have a lot of money. It might be said they hardly had any money at all. They shared what they had with any of their neighbors even if it meant they weren’t full themselves. Her Dad had died and left them having to scrimp to get by. They continued to watch every penny but found others needed help too. Madilyn thought to herself, “Like this lady who is cold and probably hungry” and she picked up an extra loaf of bread.
As Madilyn paid for the essentials her Mom had sent her to the store, she didn’t have enough for the loaf of bread. Mrs. Frankenton looked at her expecting her to put the bread back on the shelf but Madilyn looked at her in a pleading way.
“How do you expect to pay for this bread?” she asked the young girl standing in front of her.
“You don’t have enough to pay for it, Madilyn and your Mom’s account has no extra credit,” asked the curious storekeeper.
“Mrs. Frankenton, I want to work for it as well as a cup of hot coffee for the woman at the end of the building. I will get her to come in to drink the coffee and eat some bread, if you have some floors that need sweeping or windows washed, boxes to be put on the shelves, or anything else I can do to earn enough money to provide this food for her.”
The storeowner looked at Madilyn and said, “That is a nice thought but Madilyn, your family is poor and all of you struggle and probably this bread you want to earn would help your family out instead of giving it to a stranger. Why do you want to do it?”
“It is simple. Mrs. Frankenton. Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and even though we don’t have much, we are thankful to have a roof over our head, coats to keep us warm, a fire in our fireplace, each other to hold on in rough weather, and Mom can make any kind of food taste delicious. God has taken care of us and I think He wants me to take care of her so she will have something to be thankful for on this special time of year. You do understand since God has blessed you to have this store so that we can be thankful for you too.”
Mrs. Frankenton, looked at Madilyn and then turned to go to the door. She went out and touched the woman huddling in the corner on the arm and motioned for her to come inside. The woman looked at her but didn’t hesitate to follow her inside. As the coffee was poured and the loaf of bread given along with some butter, Madilyn asked her name and invited her to come home with her for a Thanksgiving meal and a bed to stay out of the weather. The woman looked at this young girl and asked her why she wanted to help her.
Madilyn looked at Mrs. Frankenton who had whispered in her ear not to worry about working for these items as she would give them to Madilyn’s guest. “Why, I have added many more reasons to be thankful this Thanksgiving. I have met a new friend. I have learned to love Mrs. Frankenton for her generosity, and I can thank God for my Mom teaching me to share whatever we have with others, so I thank both of you for helping me have these things to add to my list of things to be thankful.
Note: Though this is a fictional story, it can be real for all of us who reach out to help others in need, share what we have even if it is minimal, love with God’s love, and be thankful for each breath and blessing given. Happy Thanksgiving and think, The phrase Happy Thanksgiving can be broken down to say, We are happy when we give to others with thanks for having enough to share with others…….Arline Miller, author and blogger of Sipping Cups of Inspiration
(C) Copyright 2012-2018 Arline Miller with all rights and privileges reserved. Third party material is sourced to original location if known for credit reference.