A sweet senior gentleman works behind my favorite deli counter. He moves a bit slower these days, which creates a smirk of frustration on some fast-pacers' faces, but he can describe every cheese, what goes best with each, and which brands give you the best flavor for your buck.
I likewise have a few favorite cashiers who, like me, have practically made the grocery store a second home. We chit cha...t about local news, rising prices, and holiday plans. They too are older. I don't know if they work because the socialization is worth eight-hour shifts on aged feet, or if they still must work to make ends meet, but they serve others with grace and a smile, and they make my day better.
They grew up in a time when hardy American values of hard work and community-building were deeply ingrained at kitchen tables, and while kneeling beside praying parents. They were a generation willing to make sacrifices equal to those of the Founders, with their hearts set on blazing trails for those who would follow rather than fretting over the ground under their own feet.
As I grow older and see the confusion many in our day have figuring out the purpose of life and their place in it, I am increasingly grateful for this generation. And so, they are the source of my gratitude today.