Holidays made happier by friendly folks

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As a new year flings open its sash to let in the fresh air and the passing year shutters its window and turns out the lights, there are a few people I encountered during December whose kindness made the holiday hubbub just that much more pleasant.

— To the cashier at TJ Maxx who never once looked like I was trying to pull a fast one when her credit card processor didn’t show a balance on my store gift card. I told her I thought there was about $5 credit on it. First, she credited my transaction $5, then said she would run the card number through her cash register to see if there might be any remaining balance. Turns out the card had been for exactly $5; my story was validated. And thanks to her, if I’d underestimated the amount on the card I wouldn’t have lost the balance.

— To the salesman at Ace Hardware in Kalispell who helped me find replacements for a 3-amp fuse I’d removed from an old string of indoor lights that’s been wrapped around the Christmas garland we’ve used on the staircase for more than 25 years. This particular fuse was barely a half inch long. First I followed him to the Christmas lights aisle where popular fuses were displayed. The 5 amp was the same size but he called another employee on his Walkie Talkie to ask if I could use it in place of a 3 amp. That employee cautioned if there was a power surge it would blow. The salesman then led me to another aisle where myriad fuses were stored in drawers. No 3 amps there, either. He said there was one more place to check and we went to yet another aisle. There, hanging high on the display wall, was a whole pack of Bussmann 3-amp fuses! He said, “Well, there’s 5 in there.” “Better than none,” I replied, adding “I never would have found these without your help.”

As it turned out, the fuse didn’t help and I tossed out the light strand … but that’s beside the point.

— To the librarian who helped me when I couldn’t find a book, which the library catalog said should have been on the shelf. She walked over to the same spot I’d previously checked based on the catalog number, and verified the book was missing, then checked her computer, which showed it had just been returned the previous day. She then called the sorting room to see if it might still be on a cart and, since I was parked in a 15-minute spot, offered to put it on hold once it was located. The next day I got an email stating my book was waiting for me.

— To the woman from the Brain Injury Association of America who, upon hearing my message that the materials I’d requested be mailed to my mother to consider the organization for suggested memorials for my late brother never arrived, called me back within the hour, saying she would deliver them herself to the post office that same day and also requested tracking to ensure Mom received them. And Mom did.

— To the considerate driver behind me who stopped after I was struck by a hit-and-run deer one evening the week before Christmas. Lars put on his flashers, got out and asked if I was hurt, which I wasn’t, then walked around my Subaru to check out the damage. Although a hefty chunk of bumper was gone, my headlight was still intact and my car was drivable. Not only did I feel safer with another car stopped on the road’s shoulder, but Lars reassured me that I did the right thing by not swerving as the deer ran into the car, stating that’s when real trouble begins.

— To the cashier at Albertsons who left his post at his register to track down the Pillsbury’s crescent rolls for my husband who’d scoured the likely aisles without luck. He assured him they would locate them (Our daughter still insists on maintaining this Christmas “tradition”) and, after quizzing another employee, the coveted dinner rolls were found.

— And lastly, to my sweet hairdresser who, a week before Christmas, gently referred to the wisps of gray in my hair as “sparkle.”

Each of you, in your own way, warmed my heart. You were truly appreciated.

Community Editor Carol Marino may be reached at 758-4440 or community@dailyinterlake.com.

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