I thought I had outgrown the late-night calls to my parents to send me money, but when the spring floods devastated my crops, I couldn’t think of anyone else I could share my burden with. They had been wiped out a few times in the years they worked their truck farm, and were right there with a helping hand and encouraging words when a freak tornado wiped out mine. The helping hand came in the form of cash, and in the moment, I couldn’t think of a thing that helped more. Fortunately, I followed the commands of the local authorities who said we must get out of the area. I followed the weather reports until the signal was lost, then loaded everything I could into my old truck and took off. It didn’t take long to reach higher ground. It was like being in a different time zone. In fact, when I first pulled into the county seat about 40 miles away, the sun was peeking through the clouds and children were playing little league baseball without a care that just two towns away, hail the size of quarters had broken windows, and damaged crops.
When I got through to my folks, the first thing my Mom said was there’s money waiting for you, Sam-bo. I knew exactly what she meant. If Groupon shopping was in the Olympics, my Mom would take home the gold. Hardly a day goes by that she doesn’t send me a notice about some great deal I should take advantage. Of. So, it was no surprise that she found one online for Western Union. I hadn’t thought of Western Union since college. I used to bug them all the time to send money and Sam-bo, shorty for Sammy Boy, her pet name for me was our secret code word. I’ve gotten so sophisticated now about swiping this and tapping that, I had forgotten about the old-fashioned ease of walking into a conveniently located office and walking out with my cash. Of course, now you can get money online. The fact that my parents were in the Pacific Northwest was no barrier at all. I’ve even received money while studying abroad in Hong Kong.
And of course, she used a Groupon to make the whole thing easier. With rates starting at $4.99, Western Union is the ideal way to send and receive money. It’s a wonderful recourse to turn to in when it’s calm or in a storm. Paying bills is easy and you can load a card and help a student stay on top of those late-night pizza runs, or extra project expenses that crop up.
As terrible as it was to clean up the mess and tally the loss, I’m grateful that family means family in our business, and the whole community has pitched in to help each other. From me they get an earful about Groupon and Western Union.