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Kindness is all around us


April 14, 2010
A couple of weeks ago, Lee Cable wrote a column about kindness. He shared the story of Reed Sandridge, who, after being laid off, began giving a different stranger a day $10. It was an uplifting story.

However, kindness like that surrounds us in our everyday lives. It's just that too many times we're too consumed with our own lives to notice it, that is until we experience it firsthand.

A week ago Saturday, I covered the annual Easter egg hunt at Todd-Dickey Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Leavenworth. It's a wonderful event, as moms, dads and children look for the brightly-colored plastic eggs, enjoy cookies and other refreshments and visit with the facility's residents.

Rains rolled through the area that morning, but they gave way to sunshine and blue skies in time for the event. Perhaps they gave way too soon. By the time I arrived, all of the parking spaces were filled, so I made my own on a pull-off with some light gravel.

Not a good decision. The front passenger tire sunk deep into the mud. I put the car in reverse, but the spinning tire only made the hole deeper and slicker.

Realizing there was nothing I could do, I grabbed the camera and hurried to the building as the event was about to begin. (A quick note: Easter egg hunts are the hardest events to photograph. You only have what seems like a 30-second window, and a 3-year-old feverishly looking for eggs doesn't really care if you get a good photo.)

When I said hello to Todd-Dickey's John Keating, I mentioned my poor judgment. Without hesitation, he said he had some gravel and offered to help after the hunt. Soon, another person mentioned they had a chain and would be willing to pull my car out with his truck.

After following kids with my camera and chasing down their parents to get names, I headed back to my car to see if there was a tow bar on the back side. While deciding if the plastic bumper hung too low and quickly realizing that jacking up the front passenger side of the car to get gravel under the tire wasn't possible because of the soft ground, we were joined by others wanting to help.

Long story short, we put some gravel around the tire and I drove the car forward as everyone pushed and guided me, in hopes of getting out of the hole and being able to back up safely. It worked and saved me what likely would have been a $60 wrecker bill.

Yes, the story of Reed Sandridge is inspiring, but so is that of John Keating, John LaHue, Carl Durham, Steve Jackson and the others whose names I didn't get who took time out of their busy day to help me.

It's much appreciated, and, hopefully, I can pass on that kindness to someone else.

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