Waiting in the pharmacy for my prescription this afternoon, I watched as the cash register refused to accept credit and debit cards. Musing how technology has really made our lives easier, I poked around inside my wallet. Nothing.  Uhhhhhhh oh. (Not really a surprise since J says Queen Elizabeth II carries more cash than I do.)

The clerk called my name. “How much is it?” I asked as I burrowed in my bag, hoping a twenty from tutoring remained in a pocket or under a flap. 

“Sixty-nine cents.”

“Sixty-nine cents?!” My head snapped up. “I am so embarrassed. I don’t have any cash and your machine isn’t accepting debit cards.” 

“Oh, I have sixty-nine cents!” exclaimed the woman next to me. “And I am paying for mine, anyway. Just add hers onto mine,” she instructed the clerk. 

I turned to face her. “Thank you!” I burst out.

You read about Pay It Forwards in trashy British tabloids and see it on the local news, but you never experience it in real life.  At that moment, I remembered why I wanted to move into this small northern New Jersey town where everyone knows practically everyone else. It’s because almost everyone in this small town knows and helps their neighbors. 

So, thank you to the anonymous woman standing behind me in line at Miller’s Pharmacy. Now it is my responsibility to pay it forward. 

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