It was one of those crazy, busy days. One of those days were it would have been very easy to go into a tunnel vision type attitude and miss the important things. I had a nice long conversation with mom, early this morning. Then off to have breakfast with a friend.
It was there, that an important thing happened. As coffee cups were topped off for the last time, the server was happily talking about the upcoming time she was going to have with her grand kids. All of the things she had planned and what they would be doing. The excitement in her voice shown through her eyes.I’m sure behind that facial covering, there was a smile to match none other. A joking comment about coming to her house was quickly, with no hesitation, me with a hearty “come on”. She was beside herself thinking of the approaching time with those kids. Her joy, that real, so real it was contagious.
Back home I had another quick conversation with mom, a visit with my niece and then off to take my son some lunch. I stopped along the way to get him a Gatorade and then dropped it by where he works. The sandwich I took wasn’t exactly what he wanted, the chips were crumbled, but the Gatorade was just right. Of course we are very close to Christmas, and we are still in the midst of a pandemic so everyone is stressed. Deep breaths son, and stay calm.
I did make a snap decision to drop by the big box store and try for one last gift. This close to Christmas, there is no in and out shopping. I was in there a while, but I managed to find what I was looking for. What I did notice, was people were very considerate. They tried to move out of the way. Employees were quick to point out where things were staged. I wondered if I had somehow fallen into an alternate universe. But it was nice.
I got home and knew that I wanted to do something special for my son. I had made plans for later, but I called and told those I was meeting what I needed to do and would be by later. I then set out to prepare my son’s favorite spaghetti dish in the hopes of making his day a bit better. In process I became worried when I couldn’t find one of the ingredients, but after some digging and rearranging of cans, I finally unearthed one can of what I needed. Getting it all together, I placed it in the oven and prepared to wait.
Once that was done, I headed out for the planned meeting. I had never been there before and I am notoriously bad about getting lost. I carefully followed directions, hoping that anyone behind me would not get too impatient with me. I found where I was going and soon we were on our way to check out what I had thought would be a cool way to spend an afternoon.
After we arrived and had been there for a while, I was slightly disappointed. somehow in my mind I had envisioned it to be more. Maybe it would have been had we not had so much rain recently. Still, it wasn’t bad. It was nice, not exactly what I thought yes, but still a good way to spend some time, and enjoy funnel cake. Pet a goat or two and watch the other animals seeking attention from those there. It helped that it was a really nice day, the temperatures not too bad, actually comfortable until the sun started going down. It took the temperature with it and it was quickly obvious. It didn’t take long before we had a mutual decision on it being time to head back.
The drive back was spent in quiet conversation. Discussing roads and traveling and the houses lit up along the way. Most were modest, but a few homeowners went all out. Picking favorites was easy. Back inside where it was warm we watched Sir as he battled trying to get a fire to burn. Deciding on hot chocolate we then sat about the kitchen with more talk, and more just enjoying the moment. All too soon I had to leave and head home.
The reason for the season, days like today. Where you get to spend time with friends. When you experience moments that seem out of the normal. When you manage to find the one thing you need. When you get to spend a few hours with friends, doing something very simple but enjoying every minute. When there are no fancy packages, with ribbons and bows. Where the gift, is not something store bought and expensive. The gift, is a sharing of time, thoughts and hot cocoa. The gift, is self. the gift, is heart. The gift, is real.