Marilyn had been doing battle for days with UPS and FEDEX about vanished Christmas deliveries. It was frustrating and not funny. Her frustration got to me too, since I can’t help fight this particular battle. It finally got sorted out, but it left us tired and not feeling any kind of holiday spirit.


Add that we have been intermittently under siege from “whatever is going around,”while trying to fend off another of the seemingly endless viruses that leave us feeling old and tired. Factor in the latest appalling, comic strip news from the president-elect. We are bummed out. Wishing the holidays were over before they had begun. Whether you celebrate or not, this ought to at least be a season with hope for a better New Year to come, but this one? Good riddance to 2016, but 2017 was not looking better.

Is there no silver lining? Anything to look forward to?


Bleak thoughts were racing through my head as I made a deli run to pick up a few items. I flashed a smile to the friendly lady at the counter. Civility is a requirement, even if I’m feeling down. She totaled up my purchases while I pulled out my debit card and started to hand it to her.

“Nope,” she said. “Not need, it’s all paid for.” indicating I wouldn’t need my card.


I looked around confused.

The gentleman standing next to me smiled and softly said, “Happy Holidays”.

I left the deli, a bit stunned, but smiling. Sometimes, the world surprises you. In a good way. Maybe there is hope after all.

Author: Garry Armstrong

As a reporter for Channel 7 in Boston for 31 years, I was witness to most of the major events affecting the region. I met a lot of people ... politicians, actors, moguls, criminals and many regular folks caught up in extraordinary situations. Sometimes, I write about the people I've met and places I've been. Sometimes, I write about life, my family, my dogs and me. Or what might otherwise be called Life.


  1. What a nice chap!

    Back to your president-elect, I reckon when a future world leader wants to have a go at another major power, it should definitely be done via Twitter-rant 😦 All those “protocols” and “ambassadors” are very 80s, don’t you think?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So all these years when everyone said I was wildly over packing my stuff for mailing, clearly I was right because NOTHING I ever sent, no matter how fragile, got broken. People actually complained about how long it took them to extract stuff, but I was sure this was exactly how they treat packages. I hate being right.


    1. UPS explained about police and illegalness and how even if it was a mistake, it wasn’t actually theirs and shortly thereafter, the package showed up. THEY could do it, but I didn’t even have any actual proof that they had the package at all. UPS had to be the ones to talk to them. Also, being realistic? This is a small town. It’s always a bad idea to go to war with your neighbor.


  2. Yesterday, I (again) met the gentlemen who’s the central figure in my “A simple gesture” post. We shared a few smiles as I told him how much positive response I’ve received from people who’ve read my post. He met Marilyn and we enjoyed a delightful little conversation. The story has “legs”.


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