A tribute to Grocery Bag Lady

When we moved to our current neighborhood, we slowly got a feel for our surroundings. A certain neighbor sits on his front steps every morning, getting some fresh air. Another neighbor tends to have people over to play basketball on Sunday evenings. Yet another neighbor often sits outside with her dogs, yelling at them as they bark at passers-by. And then there's the lady with the grocery bag.

I first noticed Grocery Bag Lady when she walked by our house. Since there are several stores in walking distance, I assumed she was returning home from an errand run. However, the next time I saw her, she was headed in the opposite direction, again carrying a grocery bag. The mystery was deepening.

One day I saw Grocery Bag Lady gardening in front of her adorable yellow house – one of my favorite homes in the neighborhood. I was now even more perplexed because, each time I’d seen her, she was further in the neighborhood than her house was, so my errand-running theories simply couldn’t be correct.

At one point, we were walking the dogs and happened to cross paths with Grocery Bag Lady. She was quite friendly and wanted to say hi to the dogs. As we briefly interacted, I glanced at the grocery bag, eager to get to the bottom of this. The grocery bag appeared to have trash in it.

As more time passed, I finally caught her in action. I was in my car, heading somewhere, when I witnessed it first-hand: Grocery Bag Lady picked up a random piece of trash she saw along her walk. I suddenly realized that she’d been doing this all along: keeping the neighborhood clean.

An act I noted as peculiar at first was instead an act of selfless altruism. Grocery Bag Lady simply wants to do her part to make the world a little more beautiful. Sometimes it’s easy to get overwhelmed and feel too small or insignificant to make a difference. However, Grocery Bag Lady has reminded me that there is always a way to make a positive impact. Thank you, Grocery Bag Lady.

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