Discovering Gifts in Unexpected Places

A few years ago, I made a simple promise to myself: to act on every good thought that crossed my mind. Whether it’s picking up a piece of litter from a sidewalk or sharing a kind word with a stranger, I strive to spread warmth and caring wherever I go. This past weekend, while browsing the stalls at Findlay Market in Cincinnati, I encountered a heartwarming reminder of the abundance of gifts that surround us in our everyday lives.

As I waited in line to order chicken from one of the vendors, I couldn’t help but notice an elderly gentleman beside me, placing an order for turkey. His selection included an assortment of turkey parts, including turkey legs, a breast, and six turkey necks. Intrigued by his unconventional choice, I decided to strike up a conversation.

“I’ve got to know… how do you plan on eating those?” I asked, gesturing towards the turkey necks.

What followed was five minutes of pure delight as the 87-year-old man shared his story with me. He explained that he woke up that morning feeling a sense of nostalgia, prompting him to visit the market for the first time in years. Memories of his grandmother—her love for the market and their cherished visits together—flooded back to him as he wandered through the bustling aisles. Despite the changes over the years, he remarked on the enduring essence of the market: families coming together in the heart of the city.

And as for the turkey necks? He shared his plans to boil them and savor them with butter and potatoes, a simple yet cherished meal that reminded him of his grandmother’s cooking.

This interaction served as a powerful reminder of the abundance of gifts that exist in the people and places we encounter in our everyday lives. In our busy lives, it’s easy to overlook these gifts, but taking the time to see and discover them can create caring, more connected communities. So the next time you find yourself in line at the grocery store or wandering through a bustling market, take a moment to strike up a conversation. You never know what treasures you might uncover.



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Written by: Rebecca Pauls