One was standing; one was sitting, leaning back on a large backpack. Beside the reclining one were two dogs, both brown in color, well groomed and, as the lack of a leash indicated, obedient. They were at the top of the southbound exit of I-75 at Highway 53. The one standing held a neatly printed with majic marker sign that indicated their need of food. The driver of the car in front of me stuck his hand out the window. It held some bills. The one with the sign nodded his appreciation as he also spoke obvious words of gratitude. The light turned green. The traffic moved. I hoped the fellow had given him a twenty.
Down the expressway, on the same day, speeding along, I noticed her. She was standing near the fence that marked the border between the interstate right-of-way and the pasture. Her little girl stood beside her. They both watched intently at the man, whose pickup truck was parked a bit in front of their minivan. He was on his knees, twisting with effort to remove the lugs holding the flattened tire. They were seen only for a moment as I whizzed by, but it was long enough to note they were hispanic and he was not.
He pulled into the church parking lot, got out of his car, introduced himself and said, “I live up in Ellijay. Wow, that tornado really made a mess of things. I thought I'd bring a truckload of good clothes down so you can give them to anyone who needs them.”
He's in his late seventies. While a non-assuming man, he is large of stature. His caloused hands witness to long hours of physical toil; the tan face speaks of a life outside. The confidence spewed forth in his demeanor, his giat, his mere presence shout success. It's late afternoon as he approaches the white frame house located in the western corner of the county. He knocks. The doors is opened by a smile that possesses a fourteen-year-old boy. Inside, the mother greets him and then disappears into another room. He and the fourteen-year-old sit down at the kitchen table. The math book is placed to the side. The boy slides a graded test paper from the pages of the book. They both smile. And then after a high five they get to the task of learning how to balance algebraic equations. It's a weekly occurrence. It's a boy who won't drop out; it may be a life saved.
She's stands at the kitchen counter snapping green beans which are then placed in the pot. The potatos are then prepared, the chicken then baked. And when it's all complete it's placed in a picnic basket which is carried to the car. She drives a good fifteen minutes acorss the county on her weekly trek. The basket of goodies are delivered to the widower. He's almost ninety. He lives alone, having out lived his wife and most of his immediate family. There are grandchildren but they live far away. He's grateful for her visits.
None of these things appeared in the paper. They didn't appear in the paper because they're not news. They're not news because they are normal events that happen every day. It is precisely because these are the normal things that happen in our days we as a people will always overcome adversity. Our story is not in headlines but the ordinary.