Larry stopped in the store last night. I met him and his wife a couple years back. Larry had dealt with cancer himself and both he and Cheryl followed my story in the paper. I was working in a swamp one day when a woman approached. I shut off the back pack sprayer prepared to deal with a complaint. "Are you Debby -----?" she asked. Cautiously, I answered, "Yes." "My husband has bought a book for you, and the package arrived last night. I can't believe that I've run into you today to tell you." And it did seem fortuitous. It did seem like one of those moments when you are comfortably settled in the hand of God Almighty Himself. That very night they stopped by the house with Randy Pausch's "The Last Lecture", neatly inscribed "Remember yesterday. Cherish today. Pray for tomorrow." Good advice. Then and now.Now all these months later, both us visited in the store, both of us strong and healthy again. We chatted a while, and he said that he was very moved by the story of our latest tenant. "I love your stories," he said. And then suddenly: "You know, I wish there were more people in the world like you and Tim." There are, Larry. You and Cheryl are two of them.
Reporting up front to take over cashiering duty from Al, I was delighted to see that he was waiting on Sheila, an old work friend. She and I chatted briefly, bringing each other up to speed on our lives.
Another customer asked my opinion on a pair of jeans and two new shirts. He works with younger people who have been teasing him about how he dressed. "You be stylin', man," I assured him.
A mother and her son checked out with boots. She complained that he outgrew them before he wore them out, and I remembered those years with Dylan.
Later on, another customer said, "I know who you are. I love your articles in the paper, and sometimes I read them and think about calling you, just to talk." I told her to feel free to do just that.
A customer needed pellets for her wood stove, so I called back to tell Jeremy we needed a new pallet brought in with the fork truck. "It's raining outside," he complained, and I answered, "Get crackin'," like I was the boss instead of the other way around. When we got the pallet in place, I began to clean up the resulting mess. Jeremy thanked me, and I thanked him too. After all, he'd gone out in the pouring rain on the fork truck. "You know," I said, "the next time I hear someone say that you're useless, I'm going to tell them they're wrong." And he laughed.
You know, I'm going to be a grandma. It is a boy. His name will be William. He is due in February.
I feel so very connected. It wasn't always so, and I am glad for these ties to the lives of others. There are strong bonds, and slight bonds, but all of them make me part of a bigger picture, and I am grateful for them.