The Kindness of Strangers

I have to say that a large part of my business’ success has been due to the help I’ve received from others.  It would be great to say that meant people like my husband, but I’m talking about real help from strangers.  For example, though I always have CBC Radio on, due to the crisis in Ottawa, I happened instead to be watching TV on Tuesday afternoon.

The phone rang, and a woman said, “Phone in to CBC Radio right away.  They’re trying to find fruitcake makers in BC.”  I quickly put on the radio and heard Mark Forsythe talking about Christmas foods.  As I was desperately looking on-line for the call-in number, the phone rang again and the same nice woman gave me the number!

I dialed, and the screener asked me what my call was about.  I told her I’d heard they were searching for purveyors of fruitcake, and that actually, I was Canada’s Fruitcake Queen!  She put me on hold for about 30 seconds, and suddenly I was on Almanac, talking to Mark Forsythe, whose show I’ve always adored.

He asked me what my secret was, and I told him about the chunks of chocolate as well as the booze-soaking after they’re baked.  Then he asked me how people can reach me, and I told all of the listeners my website’s address.  As soon as I hung up, one customer phoned to order five, and when I went on-line, a dozen orders were waiting for me!  Once again, don’t ya just love CBC?

Later that afternoon, the kind customer who’d phoned me to let me know about the show called back.  It turns out that her name is Colleen, and she lives in Quesnel.  She’d ordered some fruitcakes in the summer, and liked them a lot.  She placed another order, and I stuck a fruitcake in there as thanks.  Very meager, I know, for all that she’s done for me.

As I write this I hear Denis in the bedroom next door.  He’s snoring, and the sound of his exhalations reminds me of the far-off lowing of a cow.  He’ll get up groggily in an hour or two, eat breakfast, drink a litre of coffee, and settle himself in front of the computer.  Then he’ll proceed to play World War 2 on-line for the next several hours.

My Sunday will unfold somewhat differently.  After making the bed and cleaning up the kitchen, I plan to do some Christmas baking and continue packaging my orders.  I’ll vacuum, clean the upstairs and downstairs bathrooms, and then make my weekly call to my mom.  For fun, sometimes I like to sum up my list of things done at the end of the day to Denis, who very kindly replies, “Good work, dear!”

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