Yesterday, I tap-tapped the snow from my shoes before swinging open the door of the coffee shop. Two older gentlemen sat at a table and turned to wish me a pleasant good morning. (As I later told Tom, "Boy, you and I are catching-up fast to the ages of old guys who sit in cafe's!")
My favorite employee stepped from behind the curtain and greeted me happily then I ordered a medium coffee and the birthday cake muffin she'd posted earlier on their Facebook page.
Oh my goodness-- that warm, delicious muffin. And how good to sit in this prayed-to-appear coffee shop on a cloudy winter morning listening to Nat King Cole and Frank Sinatra, me with the quietly-chatting seniors, my coffee and muffin and this wonderful book --
(For personal reasons I adore this title.)
Have you read Hildegarde Dolson? Think of her as a spinster (her word) version of Betty MacDonald. Turning the last page felt bittersweet--if only this book could surprise! keep tacking on more droll, funny Hildegarde stories forever.
Anyway, the men left (after wishing me a good rest of the day) and I sat there longer, alone, with the music then oh! The sun burst from the clouds as it does (no kidding) 99% of my first-it-was-cloudy visits there.
So relaxed I could barely gather my book bag, I rose, tossed my cup, then as I pulled on my black wool coat, the woman at the counter asked if I was on my way to work now which, hey, flattered me because I always wear clothes here from my I-actually-tried-with-this-wardrobe so perhaps I looked dressed-up enough for a real job. 😏 And of course, me being me, I never leave the house without full make-up and my hair brushed.
But I told her, "No, I'm just a happy homemaker on my way to buy bananas at 7-11." We chatted more then as I reached for the door she added, "Be careful driving out there. It's still a bit slushy."
I told her, "Oh, I walked," after which she exclaimed, "You walked?" as if she'd never heard of such a thing. She's perhaps 29-ish so maybe she hadn't realized one can walk over 3 inches of snow and survive. I said, "I just live around the corner and during Winter I really need the exercise. That's why I don't mind shoveling snow too much, either."
She looked at me differently after that, wonderingly, as though she found me an oddity which, yeah, I probably am these days.
But you know? I like that. I like slipping into the place of those now-gone older women I'd glimpse in my 20's at the supermarket who appeared crisp, neat, and you knew they'd left their homes orderly. They'd inspired me to fling away my laziness and--next time--dress more carefully, myself. To look and be my best and maybe even rearrange my living room while wearing an apron and listening to Big Band era music.
Now truthfully, I'm not thrilled that next year I'll turn 60, but yesterday? Maybe I stepped into a new role, opened a door for future sharing-Jesus times. Perhaps now I'm filling the shoes of women no longer here who would've chewed paste rather than shop in their pajamas or sweat pants, a sort-of teacher-without-a-bunch-of-words holding back a hopeless type of que sera sera attitude from taking over my tiny part of our huge world.
And the fit felt just right.
“Greatness is inspiring others to be their best.”
― Ken Poirot
If you are a Christian? You are being watched.
Oh and P.S.... Debi in the comments asked if I'd had a birthday (I can see why she wondered, what with the mention of the birthday cake muffin, etc.), but no--it's next month. The 16th. 😁 I do love 'birthday cake' anything--pudding, ice cream, muffins and of course, the real thing. Must be the yellow cake mix which is usually used. Thanks though, Debi, for your good wishes! 💖
Speaking of the supermarket, can you believe I've not visited ours in a whole year? Now, I've gone to 7-11 a handful of times, but mostly I've just shopped online for shelf-stable foods and Tom's done all the shopping for fresh (he enjoys it. Gasp!).
And with all that online shopping I've gleaned some great rewards from Ebates. (Remember the $43 worth of free groceries I mentioned last time?)
Some of you said Ebates sounds intriguing, but you wouldn't know where to start, so here you go--
Go to Ebates. Sign up.
Activate the Ebates app. which will stay in your toolbar or on your phone, etc. (they'll tell you how).
Then shop online!
The Ebates button will pop up at most stores you visit online and you just click it. That's all.
After you make purchases you'll receive emails from Ebates telling you how much you earned from them simply for shopping.
Then every quarter they'll let you know they're sending you a check--or in this last instance (which I hope they keep doing)--they'll give you a choice of gift cards to buy with your earnings.
So easy, one of those why-didn't-I-sign-up-sooner? things. Definitely.
Don't be shy or afraid--you can do this! 😉
It's coming! Are you ready?