Saturday, January 3, 2015

Random act of awesome kindness

At the end of 2014, I was sitting in a restaurant* in Santa Fe, New Mexico, having dinner with a group of people. I was on vacation with my family and another family with whom we have been friends for at least 25 years. We had just come back from a really fun trip to Bandelier State Park, where we had spent the day exploring the cave dwellings of the ancestral Pueblos. The highlight was the last dwelling, four stories tall and only accessed by a series of very long ladders (without railings or anything to make the climber feel safe). The climb was daunting, the temperature 20 degrees with a very brisk wind that made it much colder, and there were signs warning people not to climb if they had a fear of heights or any health issues. The kids in our group shuffled back and forth trying to figure out whether or not to go up, then gathered their courage together and ascended.

Back at the restaurant, we were wrapping up the meal and contemplating dessert, specifically the much-lauded sundaes. Oddly enough, a waitress came over and plunked down a hot fudge sundae and a strawberry sundae in the middle of the table with a pile of spoons. When we told her that we hadn't ordered them, she said the people at a table near us had bought them for us. We looked over, confused, wondering if we were going to see friends from back home or long lost acquaintances. But they were a family of strangers. The father said they had seen us at Bandelier and was so impressed by the courage of our young group that it motivated them and their pre-teen daughter to go up as well, and the sundaes were a thank you.

Their gesture made the kids so proud, and I teared up from the generosity of strangers. What an awesome way to close the year.

Here is part of our group at the Alcove House at Bandelier, climbing the third of the four ladders.

* The restaurant was called The Shed and it was EXCELLENT. I highly recommend the fish tacos, with tropical pico de gallo (pineapple, tomato, onion, jalapeno, cilantro, lime), Spanish rice and cabbage. Yum! The thick, dark chocolate homemade hot fudge on the sundae was outstanding, made even better shared among old friends and by the gesture that brought it to us.

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