One of my fears in setting out on this trip was that I would only be meeting the people that I hear about in the media. Of course, having watched all of the Criminal Minds’ episodes on Netflix, my mind went to serial killers immediately, but then I also considered the people we often read, hear, and think about—the drivers who succumb to road rage, the employees who hate their jobs and take it out on every customer that walks in, the waiters that spit in the food of customers that tick them off the slightest amount. I thought about many instances where people could be nasty to each other and it made me nervous about relying on the kindness of strangers during this trip. But, I did resolve some tensions by reminding myself of all of the wonderful people I know, and the extremely low number of people I would qualify as having treated me nastily. I extrapolated my experiences and maintained that people, in general, are good. I’m glad that gave me some comfort to go on this trip because we have met some amazingly kind people so far.
A few people I described in my post yesterday, but we met a few more today. The first, in Skaneateles, New York, was an employee of an infused oil shop we went into after having delicious cinnamon rolls at the Skaneateles Bakery across the street. We talked to her for a little about our road trip, and she shared about one she took with her husband. We sampled some oils before deciding on what we wanted, and as she rang us up, she offered us brochures for Skaneateles and suggested that we check out the lake for some clear water (they actually use it as their drinking water) and the Pâtisserie for stretch bread (she suggested we get 20 loaves). We took her up on those suggestions. First of all, the lake had probably the clearest water I’ve ever seen. Second, stretch bread is the best bread I have ever had. We only ended up buying one loaf because we didn’t want a repeat of the soft pretzels, but after tasting it, we immediately wished that we had bought more. We went back to the oil store to thank the employee for her excellent suggestions. Upon thanking her, she gave us a free bottle of olive oil to enjoy with our bread. I about cried right there out of both emotions due to her kindness, as well as for how insanely good the bread was. Seriously. Do yourself a favor and get some stretch bread the next time you’re in Skaneateles.
The next kind soul we met was the tour guide at the Harriet Tubman House in Auburn, New York. Paul could really put on an entertaining presentation while still seriously teaching us about the life of arguably the most influential African American woman of her era (if not all-time). He made us both laugh and think. And he was more than willing to answer questions thoroughly. We talked with him for a good bit before leaving with smiles on our faces. Another example of kind people, in addition to the others I talked about yesterday.
The Canadian border officer we talked with was very nice also, even when Katrina had to surrender her tazer because they are apparently illegal in Canada. Our waitress who served us dinner was also very nice, even though we arrived a little late.
Obviously, we still need to be cautious and not everyone is trustworthy, but these past couple days have really helped me to see the goodness in people, which was somewhat clear before, but some more fog has been lifted now for sure.