Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Snickers and Vitamins

Yesterday in a chain-store pharmacy, I was in line behind a man clutching eight Snickers candy bars. He was about 80 years old, dressed neatly and casually, in athletic shoes and a faded baseball cap pulled low.

He (glancing at me}: "I gave up vitamins two years ago."

Me: "Oh?"

He: "Yeah... now, I eat a candy bar a day. Never felt better. "

Me: " Uh... (smiling). Well, they say chocolate's good for you. At least dark chocolate is, I think..."

He: "Keep's the heart going, you know."

He stuffed the bagged candy bars inside his light jacket, and glanced around the store.

He: "My daughter's visiting me from Washington DC. She's one of those Type A types..."

Me: "Oh?"

He: "Yeah... she has a big job with the Census Bureau there."

Me: "Great. That's great.... You must be proud."

He (winking): "I have to stay out of trouble when she's here...."

He smiled and walked out of the store, candy bars hidden from view.

Monday, September 18, 2006

God and Edison Had Other Plans for Us

Our neighborhood experienced an unplanned black-out on Saturday, from 7 AM to almost 7 PM. Seems the aging cable sending electricity to 48 homes on four streets frayed and finally wore-out.

We had busy schedules and plans for Saturday... housecleaning to do, a TV baseball game at 1 PM, Andrea had loads of high school homework, and Ron and I both hoped to get work done on our laptops.

But God, and Edison, had different plans.

We showered in darkened bathrooms, and ate cold breakfasts, while waiting for power to return. We read, listened to our one battery-powered radio, and quietly puttered for hours. Andrea played guitar, and immersed herself into an iPod music world.

At noon, we ventured out for a leisurely lunch together at Souplantation, assuming power must be on when we returned. But no... it wasn't.

Mid-afternoon, our un-air conditoned home was warm from the late summer day, so Ron and I took chairs and the radio into the sunny front yard, and listened to our team. Andrea took a nap.

Neighbors meandered over, and chatted amiably about jobs, the economy, sports and children.
An Edison contractor, waiting for equipment to arrive, proudly showed us photos of his wife and two young children back home in Colorado, where he can't find work. He misses them terribly... is going home next week to hug them.

We never worked on Saturday. We never did our planned chores. We did nothing constructive.

We rested, together as a family. And it was an unexpectedly lovely day... one that we needed.

Just as God knew we did.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Marking the Advent of Fall

With Andrea's excited return to school yesterday, life feels like it's returned to normal. Which is wonderful and familiar.

To celebrate the advent of fall... even though our Indian summer days remain over 90 degrees... I baked a fragrant pumpkin pie for last night's dinner.

It was soothing and delicious with hints of cinnamon, ginger and cloves, just like comfort food should be.

It's always good to be home.