PATSY R. BRUMFIELD: Small town kindness not hard to find

By Patsy R. Brumfield/NEMS Daily Journal

For good reason, I live in a “small” town. Fresh out of college a few eons ago, I enjoyed working for a “big” city newspaper. It was exciting, and rookie reporters got to try pretty much whatever they wanted as the old hands slumped low when assignments were passed around.
Living was something else.
Bottom line: It’s just hard to meet people and make friends when you’re alone in a big city.
Towns like Tupelo, well, that’s something else. I enjoy my work immensely, my neighborhood is great and other people actually care what happens.
Case in point: This past Saturday, I was fairly slow arising. The weather was lousy outside and the Grandpuppy seemed comfortable right where she was, beside me being lazy. But I had a place to be about 10, so we got moving. By about 8:30, I had occasion to walk through part of the living room, when all of a sudden – GLOP! – a drop of water splatted on my head.
Oh, good heavens, I almost fainted! I looked up with horror to see three dark stains on my foyer ceiling and drip, drip, drip coming off the electric light fixture.
I quickly turned off the power to the living room and climbed my 6-foot step ladder to see what was going on, besides the obvious. The light fixture’s upside-down dome cover held 4 inches of water.
Now what? I have confidence to undertake various home projects, but a leaky roof is something else. Way something else.
And so, I started calling folks who might know capable helpers. Zip, nada until I got a tip with a name. I called him hastily, but the poor man was down with the crud and wasn’t going anywhere.
But he gave me another name, which I won’t state because it would embarrass him.
This man kindly agreed to see about me when he finished work. He did so, checked out everything, made some educated conclusions and said he’d be back in about 30 minutes after he’d grabbed a quick lunch.
Luckily, the rain stopped and he climbed a massive extension ladder to examine the roof. First, he cleaned out my hideously full front gutter. When he got a good look at the roof, he said he saw what he believed the problem was and made some repairs with stout caulk. He also noticed and addressed a few other suspicious areas on my 6-year-old roof.
By this time, my heart rate was coming back toward normal, although I kept thinking this wasn’t an expense I had planned for.
He assured me that he believed the problem was solved but that I should contact him again, if it weren’t. All he wanted for his time was gasoline money. I almost fainted. You are the kindest person I could ever have found, in such a situation, I told him.
He just said he felt called to help other people, especially folks he knew weren’t up to resolving problems like I had. Feeling quite under-billed, I asked if he liked pound cake – that I had a recipe for just about the best in the world. His face brightened, and he said it is his wife’s favorite.
I thanked him again and he was on his way, full of his reaffirmation to faithful care and service to others. Monday morning bright and early, I showed up at his workplace with that pound cake I’d made Sunday afternoon.
Thank you again, I told him. If my debt hadn’t been so great, I might have brought only half, it’s that good, I laughed.
For good reason, I live in a “small” town.
Patsy R. Brumfield writes a Thursday column. Contact her at patsy.brumfield@journalinc.com or (662) 678-1596. Follow her on Twitter @realnewsqueen.