Thursday, April 26, 2007
Daring to Ask
He was an older man with a weatherworn face. “I’m getting too old to do this,” he said to me as he crawled into the dark, narrow crawl space under my house for a termite inspection, one of those necessary steps in closing on a house. After a few minutes he climbed back out and ditched his coveralls. He started coughing and I offered him a glass of water to chase the dirt from his throat.
As is so often in the South, there was time for a little chitchat before the next inspection, and he shared what happened on one of his calls the previous day. After he had finished his work, the man noticed that the customer was doing some packing and asked, “Downsizing?” The woman suddenly burst into tears. “What’s wrong?” he asked. Slowly and tearfully, the woman related how her husband had abruptly left her. The husband took some furniture, and she was left to sell the house and move the rest of their belongings and her daughter. “I’m renting a truck and moving tomorrow and I don’t have anyone to help me.” The man with the weatherworn face said, “Well, you do now.” “I’ll be over here tomorrow afternoon.” He quickly called up a buddy and asked if he could help him move a ‘friend.’ The buddy yelled out to another friend who was over at his house, “Think you can help move somebody tomorrow?” “Sure.”
And as simple as that, the woman had three men coming to help her move. She, a freshly single mom with a daughter. Them, three men willing to give up a Saturday that could have been spent fishing, resting or watching NASCAR with a round or two of beers.
“Don’t eat,” she told the man with the weatherworn face as he was leaving, “I’ll have sandwiches for you.” “All right,” he said. “we’ll be here for lunch.”