Since we're not in it for the money, we must be in it for something else. Regular correspondent Tom Lasusa offers some theories:
Reading all these anecdotes reminded my about my Aunt Linda...and I thought I would share a little about her.
My Great-Aunt (or Grand-Aunt, depending on your preference), Linda K., was a teacher in Pennsylvania for what seemed to be eons (she was in her early nineties when she passed). On her street alone she lived to neighbors whose family she had taught three generations of - mother, son, and grandson.
Before Alzheimer's took her and required her to be taken to a residence, we would spend many summers visiting with her. When we would go into town we would occasionally be approached by someone whom she had taught. Everyone spoke highly of her, how she had made such an impact in their lives, teaching them in that little school on 'Coal Street.'
I recall one of the last times we took her out for a day in town; we were crossing a street with her. A woman -- she looked to be in her late sixties -- glanced our way, and then looked again. She stared at Aunt Linda for a long time and then finally said "Oh My God, Miss K! You're Still Alive!" and gave my Aunt a huge hug. Once again, Aunt Linda had bumped into one of her former pupils, whom remembered her lessons and good nature all too well. It was truly a testament to the kind of person she was.