After a recent workout at Fitness 247, I drove to Hallmark to purchase a few Valentine's cards.
At the checkout counter, I mentioned to the cashier that I had a $2 coupon but had left it at home. The young lady behind me then nudged me and offered me a piece of paper.
Upon a second glance, I saw her paper was her own $2 coupon, which she was offering me. I was astonished.
"Are you sure?" I asked.
"Yes," she replied, and she gave me the coupon.
What a nice thing to do for a person. I paid the cashier, turned around, gave the young lady a hug and wished her a very happy Valentine's Day.
An attitude of gratitude does more than say thanks. It changes our way of life. God bless her.
VICTOR J. RUISI
Elderly woman stuck in snow made it out with Brian's help
I was caught on a Friday in a somewhat unexpected snowfall -- not the snow showers that had been forecast, but heavy "rags" of wet snow which quickly covered the ground and made driving very difficult.
On my way home late in the afternoon, I drove slowly and nervously along a country road in our area. I was dreading the downhill drive ahead of me, and sure enough, my car veered across the road and plowed into a narrow ditch.
For the first time in my 82 years, I was stuck in the snow. To make things worse, I had left my cell phone on the kitchen counter at home. Meanwhile, motorists driving up or down the hill were spinning their wheels and couldn't possibly stop to help.
A rescuing angel named Brian appeared out of the dark and tapped on my window. I asked if he had a cell phone so that I could call AAA. He had a cell phone, but said I didn't need AAA if I would just let him help me. (I didn't tell him my secret plan to stay put until the spring thaw.)
I was scared, I told Brian, and I didn't think I could move my car. My rescuer was calm, firm and persuasive. He instructed me to put the car in neutral and push the gas pedal very carefully. As for the brake pedal, I should merely "float" on it.
My heart was pounding as I inched out of the ditch and down the hill, with Brian running next to the car for a short distance, telling me all along that I was doing fine and that I should put the car in drive when I reached level ground.
Off I went, mumbling "float, float, float" as I tapped the brake pedal. I safely reached level ground, and although I was stuck again farther along, I wasn't in a panic anymore. My heartfelt thanks to Brian from me and from my family who worried about me. I will pay it forward, but not by teaching someone how to get out of a ditch.
When his Lab ran out door, someone kept the dog safe
I came home from my overnight shift at Allegheny General Hospital to find my door wide open.
My first thought was that my house had been broken into. I soon realized that this was not the case, but Tennessee, my 9-year-old chocolate Lab, was nowhere to be found. Temperatures outside, meanwhile, were below freezing.
I started to search the neighborhood for Tennessee, to no avail. I came back home and listened to my voice mail. There was a message from a stranger saying he thought he had my dog, since Tennessee wears an ID tag with my name and phone number on it.
I picked Tennessee up in the morning, and all was well, thanks to the kindness of a stranger. As for the door being open, I had not locked the deadbolt, and in an old wooden, frame home like mine, contractions and expansions occur with the change of temperatures.
I owe a big thanks to my North Side stranger. I love Pittsburgh, especially the North Side.
Has someone done you right? Send your Random Act of Kindness to firstname.lastname@example.org, or write to Portfolio, Post-Gazette, 34 Blvd. of the Allies, Pittsburgh, PA 15222.