I was in a hurry, which seems to be the current mode for most of us, most of the time. Pulling into the drive-thru lane for a quick lunch, while trying to maneuver cash out of my purse and talking on the phone, I nearly plowed into the back of a truck.

Some guy had stopped 10 feet from the speakerphone and was getting out of his truck.

My first instinct was to honk the horn and wave him back into line or lock the doors in fear of being carjacked. All I wanted was to order my food and be on my way. I watched him walk in front of my car and was getting more irritated by the minute. What was he thinking? He’s holding up the line!

An elderly woman was trying to make her way from the fast-food restaurant to her car. Her walker wasn't working properly, and she basically was at a dead stop in the middle of the parking lot. With the helping hand and smile of this stranger, you could see and feel her sense of relief as he helped her into the car.

Shame on me, I thought, to be in such a hurry, I didn't notice this woman's struggle. All I could do was instantly be irritated with the guy holding up the line. As I watched them hobble to her car, I was thankful there are still those among us who will put away their haste to do the right thing.

During the holiday season, it's easy to get wrapped up in the frenzy surrounding Thanksgiving and Christmas. From family gatherings to buying gifts and sharing meals – it's these times that make memories which last a lifetime. I have to constantly remind myself to not be in such a hurry to get everything done, but to savor the moments which makes this time of year so magical.

This past week we observed National Homeless and Hunger Awareness Week. It's sad to think, in this country, which is known as the land of opportunity, we have over 3 million people living on the streets, needing the simple things in life so many of us take for granted – food, clothing, heat for their homes. Mother Teresa had the right idea. "If you can't feed a hundred people, then just feed one."

One person can't help everyone – although everyone could help at least one person. It's not hard to find a civic organization, agency or shelter who wouldn't accept a helping hand, blankets, coats, clothes or cash.

I hope to avoid getting sidetracked throughout the hustle and bustle. It’s easy to forget we should give thanks for what we have and then also to share it with others. I admit I'm guilty of focusing on the superficial components of the holidays, I forget to slow down and celebrate the holidays for their true meaning.

Don’t be a turkey, like me. Slow down and count your blessings.

Sandy Turner lives in Independence. Email her at sandydownhome@hotmail.com