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Thanks for unexpected encouragement of hope

It was one of those notoriously chilly mid-May mornings in our typical Minnesota town. The kind of start to a day that is irritatingly familiar to the not so long past blizzards of our spring. It was the second week since I had opened a small retail store in downtown Detroit Lakes. We offer a range of items, including craft and thrift.

On this particular frigid day, a young woman entered my store, and she was obviously freezing, for her attire was definitely lacking any defense for such a cold day. She sought a jacket. I gathered several from the back -- way back, might I add -- for I was done with ski jackets for the moment. A green 70s retro ski jacket was an instant comfort to her.

Unfortunately, I am not equipped for credit/debit card transactions yet. She was going to remove the jacket and run to an ATM. I suggested she keep the jacket on. It was that slowly slipping far away notion of the "honor system," I guess you'd say.

I never saw her again. She crossed my mind a time or two, wondering how surprising her actions were. She had appeared to be a trustworthy fellow citizen, but I shrugged it off to the age of economics.

This very morning, roughly two weeks after the incident with the stranger, I received a letter addressed to the owner (of the store). It was from that girl with the jacket, including $10, an apology and the vitals for future contact if I requested more money.

Ten was exactly what I had in mind, Jen Peura from Springfield, Ill. Thanks for being a blessed reinforcement of the whole concept of my store. This experience warmed my heart very much, and I thought it would be excellent encouragement for all us honest souls. Peace. -- Julie Hough, Detroit Lakes