Empty Pockets

In 1973, my husband and I lived in a sweet, little house near downtown. It had 420 square feet of living space! The house is still there, unchanged, including that it has not been painted, but the paint seems to be holding up – haha. It was a great location because we could walk downtown easily to shop, go out to eat, just wander around, stop for ice cream, browse in a bookstore.

One particularly nice summer evening, we headed out the door, no destination in mind. After walking around downtown, we decided it would be good to have dinner. We went to a restaurant, The Royal Inn, which then had really good food for a reasonable price. We had a great dinner and then the bill came.

Oops! Neither of us had brought our wallets! We told our waiter that we were in a predicament. He went to get the owner as we sat and joked ‘now we’ll have to go wash dishes’. The owner came over to our table and greeted us with a friendly smile. He just simply stated, “You came to dinner without money?” We laughed with embarrassment as we confessed ‘yes’.

He then took my husband’s hand and shook it. He said, “You two have been here before. I know you will pay us. You go home tonight, don’t worry about it. Come back tomorrow or the next time you come by and pay. Also, if you ever have your parents visiting, but don’t have the money to take them out, you come here, order your meals, and let me know. I know you’ll pay when you can. Enjoy the rest of the evening.”

This to me was the epitome of living in what then would easily have been called a small town. Forty thousand people, now probably close to 100,000. We returned the next day and paid our bill, with a hefty tip. And you can bet, we often returned to eat there, always with money in our wallets.

Author: mamaheidi60

Wife, Mom, Mother-in-love and Grandma. Retired teacher. Love travel, reading, music, especially live music! Blogging for Kulshan Chorus, and singing my heart out.

4 thoughts on “Empty Pockets”

  1. You never forget a kindness like that. I think Bellingham must be one of those places where this happens. When John and I first started dating, we were going on a picnic and wanted to buy a bottle of wine so we stopped at the grocery store in Fairhaven. When I got up to the counter, I was 32 cents short to buy the bottle of wine and I was so embarrassed – but the cashier said ” I was your age once and I know that money is tight, how about I gift you the .32 and you promise to enjoy this wine with your friend. ” I never forget that and went back to that store many times just to buy items so I could see her and let her know her kindness had not gone unnoticed. Several people in line also offered to give me the money too and to this day, if I can help someone when I am in line, I will pay the difference they are short. Just be kind and having empathy is such an easy thing to give people.


    1. You are so right about Bellingham. Even after all these years, and growth in population, I still find that kindness. I also love that we are known by local store owners and recognized as long time customers. I can’t imagine living anywhere else these days.


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