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Looking in the Window: The Mall Walker, a Caring Heart and a New Year's Giveaway


We all have it, and we can give it to others for free? What is it?

It’s a smile. There are so many different kinds of smiles. There’s the flirty smile that says, “Hey, I really like you.” There’s the friendly smile, and the one that’s reserved for babies that says, “Oh, isn’t he or she just the cutest thing?” There are even half-hearted smiles that seem to say, “I’m obligated to speak to you,” and of course, sheepish smiles that say, “Yeah, I did it.”

But one day I received a smile from an unlikely source. 

Since I have a back problem, I’m restricted to walking on a flat surface, so most of the time I join the mall walkers. Even on days when I’m not rushed or tired, getting the exercise seems a chore. Sometimes it's a challenge to avoid bumping into folks who stop suddenly to gaze at a window display or those in groups who take the entire aisle. And, that’s not to mention hurrying to get out of the way of the train the kids ride around the mall. 

As I made my way through the crowds this day, I worried brushing into someone would create more of a hazard than usual because I had strained a muscle. Even if I had an uneventful trek, would I aggravate the unhappy back walking?  

All of my concerns must have shown on my face.

I rounded a corner and headed toward a young man, probably about the age of my grown daughter. He gazed at me for a moment, and just before we passed each other he winked, grinned a smile that said, “Yeah lady, you go for it” and nodded. For the rest of my workout, I carried his smile with me and forgot about the ache. Near the end of my excursion it occurred to me how a gesture, which cost nothing, and took very little effort on the part of the young man, lifted my spirits. Obviously, he cared about others, even an older woman with a pained expression on her face. 

John 13: 34: "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you..."

Enter to win a Kindle Copy of Cooking up a Mystery below

About Cooking up a Mystery

Laney Eskridge worked to put her husband through dental school. Then he left with another woman. She's on edge from the emotional scars and her parents' deaths. Then she hears unexplained noises in her new tea house, and her anxiety is tripled. Add a budding romance with Eric—a guy with a fear of commitment—and it's all too much to handle. She cuts ties with Eric and plunges into making her business pay off. 

When Eric discovers that Laney's in danger, he vows to protect her. But can he make a lasting promise? Will she trust him? . . .and when they overhear a threat that could cause national turmoil, will anyone believe them? There's more brewing than herbal tea in Cooking up a Mystery.

What People Are Saying

Gail Pallotta has cooked up a delectable mystery with all the right ingredients: rich characters, page-turning suspense, and heart-touching romance. One warning. Don’t read this when you’re hungry! With all the great food references, you could gain five pounds!  Nancy Mehl, Bestselling author of  the Defenders of Justice and the Kaely Quinn Profiler Series and the Quantico Files. Nancy Mehl

From an Amazon Reviewer. Good food, Suspense and a Mystery. What more do we need? Laney's restaurant is described so well I wanted to drop in for some of her delicious cooking. But I'd want to leave before night when the banging pots and pans stirred up fear and a mystery. Cooking up a mystery is a delightful story. I was unable to figure out how anyone could come and go without using the door, or how so much noise was made with nothing disturbed by the time Laney got enough nerve to check out her kitchen. Although a suspense, the story is not frightening, and I appreciated that. The romance between Laney and Eric was just right, as was the way the mystery played out. Good Writing!
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Hi Gail, I am a smiler, and I can't meet or pass someone without offering a smile. Sometimes I'm ignored but most people will return it. They may be shocked but they do give it back. Best if all, it truly doesn't cost a thing!
Thanks for a post that made me 😊.
Gail Pallotta said…
Hi Connie, That's wonderful. We need more smiles, and I know what you mean that most return it, and others appear to be shocked by it. I'm glad the post made you smile.
Anonymous said…
What a wonderful, uplifting post! I am a smiler, too, but I never really thought about the impact that a smile would have on others. Then one day about a year ago I was very preoccupied and upset, and when I stopped at a red light the driver next to me just looked over, gave me a big smile and a thumbs up. It changed my whole day! And it made me realize how something so simple, yet so genuine and heartfelt contact someone in a way that lasts forever. Let’s all keep smiling!
Anonymous said…
Sorry, I did not mean to comment as “anonymous”!!! This was a wonderful post, thank you very much. Best wishes, Regina Andrews.
Jody Bailey Day said…
Such a simple thing we often forget! Thanks for the reminder. Smile!
Gail Pallotta said…
Hi Regina, I'm glad someone lifted your spirits as you do it for others so often.
Gail Pallotta said…
Hi Jody,

Thanks for stopping by. Yes, sending a smile right back at you!
kaybee said…
Nice devotional, Gail. It takes so little to make someone happy. Thanks for sharing.
Kathy Bailey
Gail Pallotta said…
Hi Kathy,

Thank you for stopping by and for the kind words.
Carlene said…
What a wonderful reminder of the importance of a smile and a random kind word. Thank you!
Gail Pallotta said…
Hi Carlene,

Thank you for stopping by and for your kind words.
Carol James said…
What a wonderful post. I love hearing about someone who is positive and encouraging. We never know the influence an encouraging word and a smile will have.
Mary Preston said…
A gentleman tipped his hat at me just yesterday. I smiled all day.

Gail Pallotta said…
Hi Carol,

Thank you for stopping by and for your kind words. It's so true. Sometimes a smile or encouraging word can go much further than one would think.
Gail Pallotta said…
Hi Mary,

Thank you for coming by and how refreshing to know there are still gentlemen tipping their hats. I'm glad he gave you a smile.
Barbara Britton said…
What a nice reminder to smile more. I love to get and give smiles.
Happy January!
Karen Malley said…
Thanks for sharing. We never know how much our simple gestures can help others. With all the masking the last two years, I miss smiles! I look forward to the day when we can all show our smiles freely again!
Gail Pallotta said…
Hi Barbara,

Thank you for stopping by. Happy January to you too!
Gail Pallotta said…
Hi Karen,

Isn't that the truth?! I'm not seeing as many mask in my little corner of the world. There are still some, but I'm getting lots of smiles.

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