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March Mania

Delight comes from mysterious acts of kindness

Crime shows, murder-mysteries, suspense novels... are you hooked?

Do you love the adrenaline rush that comes from not knowing what will come next?

Not me. I like everything laid out and unfolding according to plan. If I can guess what happens next in a show, even better.

Life sometimes has a bit of mystery to it, and that’s not all bad. Sarah VanRoekel, from Boyden, Iowa, sent in this story of the mystery of a fancy car and a paid hotel room.

“My parents really wanted to do something fun for their anniversary. They decided to spend the night in Sioux Falls (S.D.). They had a lot of Christmas shopping to get done and they wanted to eat somewhere fun. Why not spend the night?

"As they were doing their Christmas shopping, they stopped at Burlington Coat Factory. While walking into the store, they noticed a very fancy car parked toward the front of the parking lot. My parents didn’t know the brand of the car, but did notice 1) it was a very nice car and 2) the passenger side door of the car was wide open.

"My parents looked at the car in confusion and didn’t know what to do. Finally they decided to simply close the door. The employees inside the store all said they noticed it, but didn’t know who owned the car.

"My parents had a few more stores to go after that to finish the last of their Christmas shopping. When they were finally done, they decided to pick a fun spot to have dinner.

"Then, after a long day of shopping, they arrived back at their hotel. That was when they noticed the fancy car was parked in the hotel parking lot. It was the same one they had seen at the store.

"The next morning, my parents got their things all packed up and were checking out of the hotel. My dad went to the front desk to pay the bill, but the clerk told him their room had already been paid for. My parents were so surprised and shocked.

"They asked who had paid for their room, but the employee said he had no idea since he had just started his shift. My mom then of course called me and asked if I had paid for her room, which I hadn’t. She also asked my brother.

"My mom was overcome with emotion that someone would surprise them like this. She said it was so very sweet and kind of them. My parents still to this day don’t know who paid for their room, but they have a feeling it was the owner of that car.

"My mom wonders if maybe the person saw them close the passenger door earlier in the day. None of us knows who paid for the room. It will always remain a kindness mystery!”

Maybe the two events had nothing to do with each other, or maybe it’s more proof that kindness truly is contagious.

Please continue to share your stories of kindness with me at info@nicolejphillips.com. Or send a letter to Kindness is Contagious c/o Nicole J. Phillips, The Forum, 101 5th St. N., Box 2020, Fargo, ND, 58107.

Nicole J. Phillips, a former Fargo television anchor, is a speaker, author and host of The Kindness Podcast. She lives in Aberdeen, S.D., with her three children and her husband, Saul Phillips, the head men's basketball coach at Northern State University. You can visit Nicole at nicolejphillips.com.