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Neighbors

Today’s unexpected door prize

Eagle Scout medal, Robbins Type 4

Funny how things are connected.

This coming Thursday, my godson, Dominic, will have his Eagle Scout court of honor. I’m very proud of him and more than a little upset that I can’t zip up to Rhode Island to congratulate him in person.

Instead I was able to mark the occasion closer to home when a Cub Scout and his sister knocked on the door a few minutes ago.

Ethan is probably about 7. I have never seen him before, but here in our neighborhood that is not unusual.

Our homes were built right after the war for the soldiers returning home; the original ones, like ours, are quite small, so anyone who moves in with a newlywed blush moves out as soon as the babies start to come. New families keep replacing the ones who move on.

Anyway, Ethan wore his Cub Scout uniform for this mission, all neatly pressed and tucked. His blonde-haired younger sister carried a red-headed rag doll. And the kids’ parents stood smiling at the foot of my driveway.

They were selling popcorn, and let me tell you Ethan was not taking no for an answer.

I was the 22nd customer.

“You could buy popcorn,” he explained. “Look: There are all different kinds.”

Sure enough. There was caramel- or chocolate-covered, flavor samplers, popcorn-nut mixtures, you name it. But with Catherine’s nut allergy and Basil’s lack of willpower, the last thing we need is popcorn.

I spied an option that would allow me to donate my purchase to the troops overseas and asked, “Can I buy some for the soldiers?”

“Yes you can,” Ethan said. “And you can buy some for you, too.”

I assured him the donation alone was fine. He checked off the appropriate box and I filled out my name and address..

“We take cash or checks, but no credit cards,” he explained.

I went hunting for the checkbook.

While I was looking for it, I could hear the kids reading our welcome mat, which says, “Hi! I’m mat.”

The humor escaped them, but what can you expect?

Back at the door I thanked Ethan for stopping by and asked if I would see the two of them trick-or-treating on Halloween. “Don’t tell me your costume; let me be surprised,” I said.

The jury was out on their plans, but his sister told me: “I’m going to be a daisy.”

I promised to watch for a daisy at the door on Oct. 31 — just in case.

Meanwhile, Ethan was delivering the speech his dad had no doubt helped him rehearse.

He was very earnest: “We appreciate your purchase. Thank you very much. Have a great day.”

I waved goodbye as they took their leave, thinking of Dom, who no doubt did this exact same thing many, many times over the years.

Ethan’s sister then broke into my reverie with this parting comment: “I am a Girl Scout” at the neighborhood elementary school, she said. “We’ll be back with cookies.”

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About Terri S. Vanech

Wife, mother, communications specialist, Jazzercise instructor and recently reunited adoptee. I'm living out loud -- and trying to make it all work -- in midlife. Having a sense of humor sure helps.

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