When you don’t own an Ipod, an Iphone or whatever other Is exist, you’re forced to use your own eyes. And ears. At least, I am. And I notice things like the license plate number: “300 LBS”. Sadly, the car was parked, so I didn’t get a peek at the operator. In the thrift store a father wisely told his son, “Your mother will never let you get that game. She’ll say, ‘Look at all the little bitty pieces! You’ll have them lost in a week! No, we’re not going to get that.’” Determined to find out, the little boy wove through the mazes of used clothes to find his mother. She took one look at his choice of game and said, “Look at all the little bitty pieces! You’ll have them lost in a week! No, we’re not going to get that.”
“Are you enjoying Spring Break?” asked the friendly Wal-mart attendant. I nodded, not seeing fit to correct him. “What school do you go to? You look about my daughters age. What are you, thirteen…fourteen?” My age seems to be slipping backward through a time warp. “Uh, I’m twenty, actually.” His jaw hit the floor with a resounding thud. “Well…well. My daughter’s fourteen. You…eh…you carry your age well. They’ll be asking if you’re twenty-four when you’re thirty-five.” I smiled, and refrained from telling him how “they” asked if I was eighteen when I was twelve. At this rate of regression, I’m figuring I’ll pass for a first grader by the time I’m thirty-five. Instead we were able to pass from age to the Ageless One, while he stickered my return item.
After hours on the phone, navigating through automated phone panels and repeating my plight (this GearRatchet extension is broken—it’s under lifetime warranty—you don’t sell it anymore—can you just replace it with a Craftsman?) to various Sears customer service reps, I wound up back in the local store. The dark-skinned girl at the counter recognized me immediately. “Did they still not help you?” she asked. With a sigh, I told my tale of woe. As soon as I’d finished she vanished into the back, returned with a Craftsman extension, tore of the label and handed it to me. “I don’t know what their problem is. Girl, I don’t need anything else from you. They can handle the paperwork however they want.” Even with the “very much” I tacked on the end of my “thank you”, it hardly expressed my gratitude and relief. I will shop again at that store—we hadn’t even bought the set from them, but she was quick to take care of us.
“Dress for going out,” I told Amber, when I called her. “I’m picking you up and we’re going on a road trip.” Who says a road trip has to be, you know, out of town? We played on the traintracks, walked on the pier, played in the sand, waded into the freezing water, kissed turtles, chased geese and followed it up with a trip to the local Goodwill to model terrific outfits, ritzy shoes and stunning hats. As we drove back out to Amber’s apartment she kept thanking me, over and over again. “This has been so much fun! Thank you so much for doing this.” I laughed and commented on her overabundance of enthusiasm. She was quiet for a moment then explained, “I’ve never done this kind of thing before. Just gone out and played. I thought I hated shopping in second hand stores—especially trying things on. This was so much fun. This is the kind of thing of been dreaming of for a year.” I turned my face away a little, so she couldn’t see the tears well up, thinking how often I’ve done nothing with friends just for the fun of it—just like today. Wasting time. No. Not wasting time. Not today, at least. I’d enjoyed every single moment. We finished up the day in John, reading about the last supper, and I bounced off the sagging couch to the floor to demonstrate “reclining at table”, lying on the left side, up on one elbow, feet out from the table, eating with the right hand. Light bulbs appeared above Judy and Amber’s heads as the visual suddenly brought the story of life. I forget just how grateful I should be for my father’s faithful study and diligent instruction.
My head was splitting, shooting brightly colored pain stars across my vision as I shifted into reverse, backing up to go pick up Papa. Why am I so privileged? Blessed so greatly with spiritual blessings, as well as physical ones?
Lord, Thy bounty overwhelms me,
Thou hast given every heavenly
Blessing, and bestowed Thy grace
Abundantly. I turn my face
To gaze on Thee, for Thou art kind.
I pray Thou would renew my mind
To be consumed with all Thou dost
And magnify Thee, by my trust.