Friday, September 28, 2018

Babies

I had 24 precious hours to spend with my new grand daughter, Iris, and I made the most of it. She is so cute.

Holding her, I re-remembered the way that a baby fits perfectly into your arm, perfectly into your shoulder. I re-remembered the little noises they make, the sweet smell of them, the weight of them...they are amazing. Just amazing.

The next day, I left them all behind. Cara would spend the weekend with Dylan and Brittani and Iris, and then she's headed back to Italy and her Colin.

I felt like I was leaving a bit of my heart behind. There never IS enough time, is there? I felt like we had used what we had very wisely though. None of it had been wasted. Not a second.

I think of my children as I'm falling asleep and the remembering makes me smile into the dark.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Tom

Today, I was driving to pick William up from school. I saw a man walking down the sidewalk, slowly, carrying his umbrella, looking up. I recognized an old friend, Tom, from years back at work.

Tom was always a quiet person, the sort who saw good in everyone. He worked hard, smiled a lot. He had a wife he adored, and his children were grown, but he loved talking about them all.

A few months back, I saw Tom at the Walmart and we greeted each other with a hug. "How are you doing?" I asked him. "I haven't seen you in forever!" I asked him if he was still working where I'd seen him last and he told me that he retired.

"That's great!" I said. I commented that he and his wife were probably spending a lot more time with their kids and grandkids. Tom shook his head, looking down.

Turns out that he had retired, and a couple weeks later, his wife had taken sick and with no forewarning, she died. Just that quick.

I hardly knew what to say. He looked at me with tears in his eyes and said, "I couldn't believe it. I just couldn't believe it."

I told him how sorry I was to hear that, and I was.

He told me that his children wanted him to move closer to them and that, while it was tempting, he just didn't feel ready to leave everything he knew behind and start over again. I told him that I thought it was wise to not make a bunch of changes at a time when he was was already negotiating more than his fair share of them.

We talked a while longer and then hugged goodbye.

I haven't seen him since, until today, when I passed him on the street, neatly dressed in dress shirt and khakis, carrying his umbrella, looking up.  Stopped at a light, he walked ahead of me, not knowing I was there. I saw him stop, bend, and pick up a piece of litter from against the curb. He continued on his way, and the light changed and I drove on my way.

It's easy to lose sight of in these tumultuous times, but we are surrounded by goodness.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Things that make me go 'Hmmmmmmmmmmm...'

All week long, I've had the biggest problem with a clock that just stops. For no reason. It's wound. As soon as you set the pendulum swinging it takes right off. 

Tonight I came home to discover that the clock had stopped again. I was shocked to notice that the horse clock in the front hall had stopped. So had my cuckoo clock. 

I checked them once again. They are level. There's no reason that I can see that they have stopped. Resignedly, I set about starting them and resetting them once again. Makes me wonder if we're having earthquakes or something. 

Monday, September 10, 2018

The Tantrum

I picked William up from school today, and we headed to the grocery store to pick up a few items. On the way there, we had a talk. He'd had quite an tantrum the previous day and I wanted to talk to him about it. I knew that his heart broke a little when he said good bye to his Aunt Cara, but I reminded him that he was in second grade now. "If you are upset, you're old enough to use your words. You do not throw a tantrum."

He listened, and he agreed. "I was being immature," he said. He explained to me how maturely he had behaved in school that day and I told him that I was proud of him.

We went into the store and picked up some supplies for the next few days. I am having some surgery and wanted to give Tim some easy meal options.

We were waiting behind a man who had a cart with three cases of water, two in the back, one balanced in the seat. There were also two bags of coffee beans.

I was setting my things on the conveyor and I heard him say, "This needs to be rung up separately." I didn't watch closely, but his hand hovered over the coffee. I continued setting my things on counter.

I heard her give the total. I heard him flip. "That's not right!" he exclaimed. But he handed over the cash and she finished the transaction. He snatched his change and receipt, and really began to rant. "This is for the three cases of water!"

She looked confused. "Right," she said. "I'll ring up the coffee now."

He had wanted the one of the waters rung up with the coffee. "When I tell you to ring things up separately, I mean what I say," he growled. His anger was way out of proportion to the situation.

I stood there watching this. The man had set nothing on the conveyor. The water had been rung up from a card at her register. A reasonable person would have set the two coffees on the counter and asked her to ring that up with one of the waters, but he was not reasonable. He was disgusted and he made his disgust known. The cashier was a young girl. She apologized profusely and kept a smile on her face. He continued to rant.

I stood behind him and waited. She waited for him to pay. He finally swiped his card, muttering and punching the buttons. Then he grabbed his cart and took his rage right out the door.

The cashier looked at me and said, "Did you find everything you needed today?"

I said, "Yes. I did, and I just want to say that you did a very good job with a very unhappy customer. It was a misunderstanding."

She said, "I've been here for four years. Most people are great."

She was ringing up my stuff and I was swiping my card and William and I headed for the car, William clutching the stuffed toy he'd picked up for his new cousin, Iris.

Wouldn't you know it? The angry man was parked next to me and he stood glaring at me in a very angry manner. I ignored him. He glared. I'm not sure why he was so angry at me but maybe he was pissed at the whole world. I don't know. Some folks are like that.

William climbed in the car talking a blue streak about his present for Iris and I returned the cart. As I got into my own car, I heard him cuss and then saw him striding purposefully back to the store. I watched carefully. He headed straight in the exit. He was going back in to complain to the cashier or her supervisor.

Quite a tantrum, all of it over three cases of water and two bags of coffee beans.

What a world we live in.