The great thing about this time of year is the holiday spirit prompting our generous citizenry to give until it hurts. When I was on the board of the Humane Society, we always appealed to the public for financial aid for our needy animals during the Thanksgiving/Christmas season. That’s America.
Yet, some anonymous gifts I’ve received recently have left me feeling grateful, but also amazed and perplexed. It began on Thanksgiving eve, the same day my new dog Cocoa got bored waiting in my idling truck and was curious what that lever behind my steering wheel was for. Talking to a roofing customer behind my truck at the time, I was equally amazed and perplexed when my truck began creeping toward Cody’s main street at an increasing rate of speed.
Directly across from City Park, I was mildly comforted during my mad dash to avert disaster by the fact if I didn’t get there in time, the old Ford would be slowed by the curb and most likely inch through the wide-open park. Looking up to see it was actually the miniature golf shack that would be demolished, my speed increased and I wrenched my hip yanking open the door in a dead run and reaching the brake with my hand.
Ironically, something happened earlier that day that warmed my cockles, which are normally cold to the touch. When you drive a vehicle as old and feeble as my ’78 F-150, you seldom finance the gas gauge higher than one-fourth tank. When she finally dies, I don’t want $50 worth of gas going to waste.
So when I started my truck that late morning and saw the needle rise to nearly a full tank, I was ... you guessed it, amazed and perplexed. Now, I don’t know if my gauge malfunctioned overnight or if some big-hearted stranger stole my truck and filled the tank, but I’m the eternal optimist who sees the tank as half-full.
Then when I got home tonight, four days after Thanksgiving, I see a quart of Castrol 10/30 motor oil on my front porch. What makes this even more baffling is that a couple months ago, I got home to find a huge bottle of Wesson oil on that same porch. I mean, does anyone even use Wesson oil anymore? And who’s assuming I can’t afford my own oil, be it for cooking or maintaining my aging engine? I interrogated my nearest townhouse neighbors, who knew nothing about this unsolicited donation.
I’m not a charity case for God’s sake, and if I was, it wouldn’t be oil I would ask for. Leave a bag of cheese puffs, or a gallon of milk. Cash is much preferred, along with a promise not to spend it on whiskey or meth. Heck, I’d take a can of Spam over Wesson oil, which still sits on my kitchen floor since I don’t have a shelf tall enough to accommodate it.
Still though, I don’t want to come off as unappreciative to anyone who might think it tragic I’m never able to fill my tank, or to a kindly soul who thinks I’m obsessed with oil. Maybe the Christmas spirit is alive and well, and one day soon I might expect to be presented some Exxon stock. Again, color me amazed, perplexed and deeply humbled.