Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Gratuity with Heart

I'd been in full throes of the summer doldrums on the day that Julia came in to the shop for tea with her daughter. It gets downright lonely in July and August, when customer flow slows to a crawl while everyone is getting in that last summer vacation and going through all the preparations for "back to school". This summer's been the worst I've seen in seven years, and I was fretting about even being able to pay the rent . So, I was delighted when they came in, and especially so when Julia invited me to have a cup of tea with them since I wasn't particularly busy.
We had a lovely chat about this and that, how slow business is all over and how many business in the area have closed. She shared how this economic downturn has impacted her family, and we got to know each other just a little bit better on that otherwise dull afternoon. I always feel so privileged when someone shares a part of their life with me.
They left the shop, and when I went over to clear off the table, I found one dollar of her gratuity folded into a heart! That just made my day! It was like she was saying, "Take heart, it'll get better." What a lovely gesture--one which I will not forget for a very long time.