walkway was a beautiful thing to roller skate on, with its
little hills and valleys that you could almost effortlessly
glide on, ever so smoothly.
frequented the housing complex with my metal skates clipped on
over the toes of my shoes and the leather strap buckled around
my ankles. What a beautiful feeling, to glide along in the
sun, feeling the summer breeze in my hair. It made me feel
like I hadn't a care in the world.
afternoon, I took my time there enjoying the warm afternoon
with no reason to hurry home for supper. I knew there'd be no
"real" dinner waiting. These last few days were the leanest my
family had ever seen since my father left.
was great at making something-out-of-practically-nothing taste
really good, but even the practically-nothings seemed to be
just about gone.
But as a
kid, you don't worry too much about things like that. My
sister and I would make grape jelly sandwiches (if there was
any bread and jelly, and peanut butter was usually just a
wish) but there was always a book to read to take my mind off
of my growling tummy. I especially liked to read Dr. Seuss.
But this day, I knew, would be a long one, with lots
tummy-growling, lots of reading.
As the sun
began to settle, resting after blazing long in the summer sky,
I turned to go home. There may not have been food there, but
it was my home and my family was there, and a book.
back on the smooth, winding asphalt walkway making my way
home. As the light in the sky grew dimmer, I could almost feel
the night entering my soul.
the street and headed for our doorway. We lived in a small,
second floor apartment next to Sam's Fish Market. My mom used
to go in there and ask if she could buy food "on credit", with
a promise to pay him as soon as she got some money. Sam was
usually kind enough to allow it, seeing she had a large
family, how could he turn her away? But she couldn't go in
there these days. No, the bill was getting just a little too
high and my mother was a proud woman.
toward our stoop and the big glass door that loomed just past
it when I noticed there was something on the step.
must have left something here, I thought. I wonder if they're
though a light switch was thrown on in my head, it registered
just what it was. Two large, two very large, brown,
grocery bags, just brimming with food!
long, crusty bread hanging over the top of one of them, and
when I peeked inside I could see spaghetti and rice and cans
of vegetables and sauce and, and, cookies! Animal
crackers they were, to be precise. My favorite!
I think my
heart just leaped to the sky with happiness as I realized that
maybe, just maybe, this food was left for us. But who would
have left it here? It didn't matter. Mom will be so happy!
I tore off
my skates and grabbed one of the bags and ran upstairs just as
fast as I could, making sure not to let anything spill out.
I cried, as I ran huffing and puffing up the stairs. I was so
out of breath from the excitement that I could barely answer
her question of where the food came from as I practically
crash-landed the bag on the kitchen table.
I cried. "You're not going to believe this, but there's
another bag! There's another bag! I don't know
who forgot it on our step, but can we keep them?"
was silent but so overjoyed that tears came to her eyes. She
didn't jump and shout like I did, and I don't think she even
got out of breath when she went down the stairs to get the
closed her eyes and said, "Thank you for hearing my prayer."
moment, I joyfully figured we were keeping the food as she
seemed to know who left it for