In the first week after the reality of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic had taken hold of our community, I sheepishly made my way to the Worthington Fresh Thyme to see what they still had available.

When I arrived, I found the store to be busy but with everyone interacting respectfully. Calming music poured through the store's speakers to keep shoppers and employees relaxed.

One of the employees who was helping a customer find some items was a familiar face who I remember proudly grilling hot dogs and hamburgers outside the store several summers earlier. All items were free, but donations were being collected to benefit a local charity. I recall enjoying perhaps one of the best burgers I've ever had for a mere $2 donation. About 10 minutes later as I finished up my shopping, Diane advised, "You take care, honey," as she always does when I go through her checkout lane.

Several days after my visit to Fresh Thyme I visited the Worthington post office to mail several packages: a gift to my niece whose birthday party was canceled, some small items for my parents and a couple of bills.

Mr. Santana greeted me with his usual smile. He had been overworked throughout much of the week, but he still kept an upbeat and positive attitude. "I look forward to being outside and playing my guitar for a little while on my lunch break," he said with a smile.

Simple human interactions and demonstrations of compassion such as the ones I had at Fresh Thyme and the Worthington post office are what make life and living in Worthington so wonderful.

I suspect that all community newspaper readers can think of similar interactions that remind us that our home and heaven aren't too far apart.

Rob Ryder

Worthington