Mom and I actually quit doing the Black Friday shopping a couple years ago. We never tried to get there the day before and camp, but we’d go out around ten in the morning and wander around. But with her age and how some folks just don’t care, for her safety we stopped. What I’ll get my son, can be bought any time. So it was going to be a stay home, pour the coffee and rock the pajamas day.
Then my phone rang right at eight a.m. My son had forgotten his face covering would I bring it to him. But of course, just give me a few minutes to mourn a lost opportunity. Oh, and would I bring him something to eat as well? Sure, I can do that, I was headed that way anyway. As I looked longingly at my coffee pot and the real stuff, I made a quick cup of instant coffee and got ready to take my son what he needed. Mom called but I had to cut her short-politely- telling her what was going on and I’d call her back.
Once that had been delivered I figured since I was so close, I might as well stop at the big box and pick up some dog food and allergy medicine. I feared that the day being what it was, the store would be packed, but it wasn’t. I got the pet food I needed and some medicine to hopefully help me with the allergies I’m battling. Just a case of no good deed goes unpunished. I helped clean up some leaves for mom and dad and wasn’t wearing a dust mask, so the allergies are screaming. But cough just once.
I got back home in time to call mom and talk with her for a few moments. Then I was running again. Not one but two people were going to meet me with toys for the toy drive.Once everyone arrived it was a wonderful meeting of the minds and hearts. There we stood, in the grocery store parking lot, off to one side and out of the way, chatting as if we hadn’t seen each other in weeks. Well, we hadn’t, darn covid.
I had been given a cash donation for toys and I knew a store nearby was having a big sale. So when our meeting of the hearts ended I headed for there. With arms loaded down I made my way to the register. By the time he had finished ringing up that stack of toys I had saved over fifteen dollars. I still had money left, but I didn’t want to take too many of their toys. I knew where another store was that I could pay a visit.
I had a light strand that I needed to return anyway due to a damaged wire. So, I took the lights back and swapped out for another set then headed for the other store. This time, for the first time, I grabbed a shopping cart. Loading it down I took those to the register and saved another ten to fifteen dollars. I didn’t check this time. I told my son that since he had given me a donation and since he was participating in the motorcycle toy run he could take his pick of toys for the donation needed for that.
What a day, then as I sat here drinking a cup of brewed coffee and catching my breath, a movement out of the corner of my eye drew my attention. There were two grey and white kittens playing in my back yard. Cute, fluffy and healthy looking but very feral. I suspected, and was proven correct when I watched them going in and out the hole in the foundation of the house where the cables for the phone, tv and what ever else ran. The commercial may have aunts, I have kittens. I hope they are smart enough to stay in the back yard, my dogs only like our one indoor cat.
I had hoped that a friend would be able to come out and take a look at my wood stove and see if they can repair a damaged part. With that in mind I made sure the house wasn’t cluttered, well okay, my kitchen table which is a catch all. I made sure that was cleared.
Now, I’m sitting here, I was feeling accomplished. I looked at the toys I’ve managed to collect for the drive, all through donations. I thought I had done well. Then I see where someone else had scored big, found a super perfect deal. I was so excited for the kids, but then felt, less. I’m still excited and happy for the kids who will get toys thanks to the donations of my friends. I know that I did pretty well, but suddenly it felt as if it wasn’t enough. Competitive much?
I have to remind myself that this was not a competition. No one is trying to outdo the other. No one is going to look better or appear better, or seem better, because everyone knows this is for the kids and every toy counts. Every score is celebrated. That little ‘yeah but’ voice in the back of my head can just hush. I know, when ever you are doing something that will benefit others, especially the least of these, that is what matters. There are a lot of folks out there, diligently searching and keeping an eye out for special deals on toys and places who love to help the kids.
Physically, I rushed around. Mentally, I tried to keep up with everything I needed to do and accomplish. Emotionally, I took another major step toward control over that ugly little voice in the back of my head. People go shopping on Black Friday to score big on special deals. Today, I scored big on getting one step closer to getting that silly voice to sit down and hush.