A walk in the rain
The morning was a little cool and it was drizzling. Mum said, "Dress warm or the wind will go right through your coat."
I was helping to pull the wagon mostly because it was empty. The Depression was in full swing so buying a new coat or anything else was out of the question. "Where are we going, mum?" I asked. "You'll see," she answered. My birthday was next week and I thought, maybe we are going to get a present for me.
After a few blocks the cardboard soles in my shoes were falling apart from walking through all the puddles. Mum said we would be there in a few minutes. She said there was an extra pair of dry socks in her purse. Mum was always thinking ahead. She was the best mum ever.
Mum said we're almost there and I was getting excited. Mum said the army would take good care of me. "What did you say, mum? I'm too young to be in the army. Are you going to join? You're my mum, you can't join. Who will take care of me and sis?"
"No, no, silly," mum said, "it's not that kind of army." I did not know what to think. My feet and socks were soaking wet by that time. Mum said the army would have good boots for me to wear. Mum said, "We're here." I was disappointed. It was just another store front.
A man wearing a dark suit opened up the door and said, "Welcome. Come in, please."
Where were the other soldiers, I wondered. Mum asked the man where the boots and shoes were. The man took us to the back of the store and showed us a whole wall of shoes and boots. I'd never seen so many shoes in my whole life. I tried on lots of shoes and boots and found some nice ones which I took home. Mum said thanks and so did I.
When we got home I looked at mum and said,"Where were all the other solders.?" Mum smiled at me, ruffled my hair and said, "The Salvation Army has soldiers in stores all over the world. Wherever people are in need you'll find them. They are an army for people like us who need help sometimes. Do you know what that means?"
"Yup, mum. I get it. They're soldiers who don't use guns. They're soldiers who do nice things for kids like me who don't have shoes." I said. "When I grow up I want to join the Salvation Army and help kids just like they do."
A walk in the rain