Play It Forward

I love full circle moments. The kind of moment when the unexpected happens and you are once again reminded of the connection of kindness and goodness on the planet. Recently I had that moment with a couple I had met through business, Johnie and Cheryl. And this whole story makes more sense if you know that my husband and I organize events for a living. Johnie is a new artist (to us) that did not make it to one of our spring art shows because of bad weather. He was driving up, hit black ice and his truck/camper and trailer went off the road. My husband and I felt horrible as we'd never met he and his wife before, and we felt responsible because they were trying to make it to our event and instead they wind up totaling their vehicles. They called from the side of the road and we instantly offered them a full refund and told them to touch base with us after the show if they wanted to meet up with us in another city for our second art show of the season. I was really disappointed that it hadn't originally worked out because he makes mountain dulcimers...which I was anxious to see and play with! The good news was that they personally were o.k. and had good insurance. The following week they called back and decided to join us at our next show. We then did something we've never done in the 32 plus years of being business (remember, I'm the second generation owner). We decided to give them their booth for free. We just felt it was the least we could do since they had missed out on sales from the first show and were still dealing with insurance issues, etc. So, it was great to finally meet them a few weekends later (the weather over the mountain passes was much improved)! The dulcimers were beautiful and I was able to play with one on Sunday, the last day of the event. Loved it! But I really did have to walk away from them as they were on the pricey side and I had just bought a Ukelele when I was in Hawaii in November. Sunday was also my husband's birthday and the 150 artists at the show made a big deal out of it and we had cake, etc. and balloons before we opened to the public. Clint joked with them about how I wanted him to hurry up and get his birthday over with since mine is just two weeks later. You need to know this little bit of info for what’s going to happen next. Then....wait for the end of the show on Sunday night I was touching base with all of the new artists and Johnie was really excited about how the show wound up for them. They sold 18 dulcimers! 18! That's just unbelievable. Can you see where this novel is heading? As I'm thanking him for joining us and he's thanking me for a great show he says, so, I hear you have a birthday coming up, too. I misunderstood him and said, no, it's Clint's birthday today and he said, I know, but I hear yours is coming up to which I said, oh, it two weeks. At which point he turned around, looked over the remaining dulcimers, chose one, turned back to me, handed it to me and said, Happy Birthday. Get out! I started crying. I threw all professionalism out the window (though I did manage to say I really couldn't accept it which fell on deaf ears). Something amazing happened out of something that was at first horrible (their accident). And I loved how it shows that when you treat people the way you would want to be treated it all comes full circle. I'm in love with the instrument and can already play two songs ;-). And I love even more that none of that interaction would have ever happened if I hadn't made the decision to learn to play the guitar six years ago and enter the world of fret instruments. Talk about playing it forward!