Monday. Two weeks ago. A cold walk to work, sun just peaking above the hill-line. I’m filled with that first day of the week dread, of schedules and meetings and handling life without getting overwhelmed, when my neighbor, a nurse who works nights, is getting out of her car holding a box of a dozen donuts. 

“Do you want one?” she asks as I wave good morning.



Her hands are full, so I lift the box to reveal 4 glazed, 4 chocolate glazed, and 4 chocolate glazed with sprinkles. Sugar and fat and chocolate. I brightened at the sight — of those donuts, of the neighbor who was there when I needed her to be. 

Jack Shuler writes for The Reporting Project, the nonprofit news organization of the Denison University Journalism program, which is funded in part by the Mellon Foundation and donations from readers.