I begin my third year of Lyft driving from my location in the “Burbs of Arvada”. It is a very different experience starting at the far reaches of the NW area of our metroplex. I began over four years ago on this adventure from my perch at Wash Park. There, it usually took about 10 seconds to get a ping, as the population density and urban scene called for it. Friday is my Lyft day. Now I start by sitting in my driveway waiting sometimes 5-10 minutes. If nothing connects I usually move towards downtown. My first ride began at King Soopers where I picked up a young guy who said

“Do you mind if I eat this MacIntosh apple” ? “Help yourself”. “Well I

am from New England and they take me home”. He was on his lunch break from some big complex near the foothills. I dropped him off and waited in the parking lot for ride #2. It came after about 10 minutes – “Pat”.

I headed back north a bit to this 1960’s Arvada neighborhood that was tucked away by a small lake. It’s not an area that you would ever know was there. I was in a nostalgia Christmas trance as I admired the dapper ranch homes where no two were alike. I wondered if Pat was a boy or a girl. There she stood out on the curb, silver gray hair holding her smart phone. She could have been my Mom Pat’s stunt double. My heart sang and cried at the same time. Nat King Cole was singing “Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire”. She got in the back seat and my first words were, “My Mom’s name was Pat and she shared your stunning silver hair”. Pat smiled and thanked me. “I sold my car last year. I figured that I was better off taking Lyft for two reasons. I save a lot of money and I love being taken to my errands. It gets lonely living alone”. The next 10 minutes on our drive to Walmart were a delight. “I miss my Mom more than ever at this time of year. Pat, you have been a treasure to me today”.

We pulled up to Walmart and I saw her reaching into her purse. She grabbed my hand (just the way my Mom did) and put a handful of $1’s in my palm. “Mark, thanks for the ride, I really appreciate your time”. Her grace was a reflection of her 88 years of living gratefully. I knew better than to refuse her tip. As she walked into Walmart I admired again her stunning hair. Today I got my car cleaned at Water Works. The only $1’s I had were from Pat. I dropped a dollar in the tip can and somehow knew it would do some good.

Onward and Upward, Mark

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