Leap Frogging

June 14, 2011 Tuesday (?)

Since my last post, I spent a night at the fabulous Huck Finn Hostel, went to church, and toured Saint Louis with my new foreign friends, Aziz and David, who are from from Saudi Arabia and Sweden. I then biked through the city and have since traversed the entirety of southern Illinois. I forgot to send postcards and no noteworthy experiences occurred during my roughly 2.5 days of biking through the state. However, I did meet a great woman, named Eileen, during an afternoon stop in the town of Beese, IL. She is the owner of a great discount clothing store. While riding my bike on my way towards the calorie market, I once again heard a little voice direct me towards a detour in my travels. Following the voice, I met Eileen, the 86 year old owner of the shop to which I was led.

“You wouldn’t happen to have any raincoats in your selection, would you?”, I asked.

Indeed, she had one. And it was on sale as well. However, upon trying it on, I found it to be a size too big for me, making it difficult to say yes despite the quality design and $6.00 price tag. Sensing that my business had yet to be secured, Eileen reduced the price to $5.00 and threw in a can of cold soda pop. How could I say no? So I bought it.

After picking up some lunch material, I came back to Eileen’s store and had a pleasant meal whilst conversing about her life and the town. All the while, teenagers, young children, and her family would stop in the store to buy something or talk about the day. It eventually came up in conversation that she drove a fire red 2008 mustang convertible. Wow. It was no wonder why Eileen was so generally joyful, she was surrounded by loving people and was living life to the fullest. But, it seems to be an issue of the chicken or the egg: did Eileen’s positive attitude attract goodness or did the goodness around her inspire her positive attitude? Origins aside, there was a synergy between the two.

It was an honor meeting you, Eileen. You’re an inspiration!

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