So this weekend, I was at our local arts fair selling books, and I had a few advance copies of 44 Years in Darkness out on the table. Before I went to sleep the night before, I told the universe that I had every expectation that something lovely would happen to me the next day. A lady came by the table, and seemed interested in the books. I told her the story of Rhoda Derry, how she spent decades locked away in an almshouse, and was rescued by Dr. Zeller and spent the last two years of her life in safety and comfort. This lady was so moved by Rhoda’s story, she ended up buying two books — the book about Rhoda, and the history of the hospital.
Then she said, “I want to get you something for lunch. Will you let me get you a sandwich? What do you want — a pork chop? A ribeye? Let me get you something!” Flabbergasted, I stammered that I would simply love a ribeye sandwich. She raced off, clutching her books, and came back minutes later with a paper bag. Then she said, “I have a bottle of water, too. Do you need something to drink?” She pressed the drink on me too, saying she was so impressed with my storytelling that she wanted to give something back. After she left, and I had a few moments between customers, I unwrapped the sandwich. It was divine — the meat was savory and perfect without any condiments at all, and the bun was soft and yielding without being soggy. That sandwich was the best thing I had all that day — and it tasted even sweeter for being a gift from the universe.