The sign.

NickyOvitt_GratefulFeb3 Since the beginning of the year many people I know, including myself, have had that low-grade whah whah feeling. The holiday and New Year's hope have lost their shine and now it's like the day after your wedding. Whah Whah. The party's over, what now? Add to that a drastic drought here in California and everyone just wants a CHANGE. Stop this doomsday weather!

Our little town enjoys a fairly high standard of living but lately I've been seeing more homeless people and also those whom I call travelers. When I was a kid my mom was known to invite a traveler to the house for a bath and hot meal before they headed out on their way again. I have never forgotten a man in Dallas who warmly serenaded us with his guitar one evening after dinner. I was only about 5 and didn't understand the grown-up talk but it was clear this meant a lot to him. Basic human kindness.

The other day my husband and I were driving somewhere when we saw a tall, bearded man with kind eyes and a leather patchwork jacket on a street corner. He held a sign that said simply: "Poverty." His expression was almost happy, but he did not seem high and was far from downtrodden. It was just a statement. As often happens, we held out a couple bucks. He took it and thanked us graciously. Then as we pulled the car forward he turned the sign and showed it to us. It read: "Grateful for Everything." Tears welled up inside me.

Yesterday the weather finally brought rain... a cold, constant flow of much needed miserable weather. Yay, the chain had been broken! It was the perfect day to stay in the warm house with our potato chips and watch the football game. Driving back from the grocery store my husband and I again saw the traveler. He was standing at a different corner and his face, jacket and sign were soaked. Wind and rain swirled around him but again he was smiling. Again we gave him a couple dollars and wished him luck. As we drove away he turned the sign which now read: "Grateful for Rain."

This stranger has touched me and I am grateful.