Need I say more?
How ya holding up? Have you and your crew wrapped school? Are you attending graduation(s)? Recitals? End-of-the-year-this-end-of-the-year-that? Gifting out the wah-zoo? And lest we forget decoration, for all the Southerners out there! WHEW!!!!!
How about we press pause on May, take a deep breath and play a game of pretend.
Let’s act like we’re sitting on the porch with a glass of lemonade. ( Sitting. That’s a lovely idea. Who sits in May? Sleep, get up and go until it’s time to sleep again, right?) The kids are playing quietly in the yard. (Remember, we are playing pretend. There is no wrestling, screaming or refereeing in this game of pretend. We are playing a game of calm.) The chickens are scurrying about NOT EATING THE FRESHLY PLANTED TOMATOES IN THE GARDEN!!!!!!!
Ok, game over, or nevermind. #fortheloveofsanity
Our calm game is going to have to take place on your porch because it’s too loud & whack here! (Insert Emoji with one-eye-open, one eye closed with tongue hanging out because that’s a better depiction of May)
Speaking of whack!
This table had people stopping in their tracks. I’m positive it was the table and not the denim hat that most assuredly would’ve doubled as an umbrella. This bizarre piece of furniture had many pointing, some laughing but most just gawking at this tackiest of home decor. One woman was kicking herself for not finding it the moment before we did.
Of course, I bought it.
I know, I didn’t go looking for the table, but the table found me! And I’m so glad it did because it made for fun and sparked a most refreshing conversation between my friend and me on the way home from the flea market.
“Isn’t it just the best? How flea market finds, hold so many of life’s parallels. How so many things and stuff are discarded and considered to some as trash and to others a treasure? And how the hidden treasures are like individuals in the crowd or tucked away in a corner just waiting to be unveiled, chosen. ”
Speaking of hidden treasures…
My sister & niece invited me to tag along on a recent shopping trip. They were going in search of an outfit for Award’s Day. Excited because we hadn’t been together for a while, upon entering the interstate, barely had gotten out of our mouths how we were looking forward to our day when we spotted her.
A stranger was walking along the side of the road.
I had known it before I knew it as we slowed and began to pull off. I knew we were about to have an unexpected guest. My sister has always been brave & kind and is notorious for picking up people on the side of the road. I remember as a little girl after seeing a man with a sign that read, “Help” her going home, emptying her piggy bank and then, begging momma to take her back so she could give it to him. Giving comes naturally to her, so I wasn’t the least bit addled when she hollered out the window,
“Need a ride?”
Her nod and slumbered posture made evident she’d been walking for a while. I crawled through to the back to sit with my niece as our new-found friend climbed in the front with only a small bag.
“Where you headed?”
Sister looked baffled as I chimed in from the back,
“Well honey, you’re headed in the wrong direction.”
The sweat from her brow and frustrated expression made it more than clear this was not good news.
My sister, who has the gift of mercy assured her we would get her “somewhere” as I began to Google the nearest bus stop.
After a quick call and much to our delight, we discovered there was a bus stop in the city to which we were going and a bus headed to Arkansas scheduled to leave after four that afternoon.
Tell me we don’t serve a God who is into details??
Questions about her journey and her need for a ‘break from life’ filled most of our minutes together. She shared stories of grief, depression and hardship as we counter offered hope, faith and the purposes of God. Before heading to the bus stop we zipped through McDonald’s for some nourishment, doubling up for our new-found friend to be sure she’d have supper on her ride back home.
Upon arriving at the bus stop, it felt very much like we had just walked on the set of Thelma & Louise. The tiny box-like office reeked of old ash and trapped smoke.
“In here.” was her raspy reply. For a second, I was confused and thought we had switched sets because the voice sounded just like Estelle, Joey’s agent from Friends.
As we exchanged pleasantries with ‘Betty’ sister made note of the handwritten sign taped to the credit card machine.
“Oh, you’re only taking cash today?”
“Yeah, you’ll have to go across the street to the ATM” barked Betty.
Sister said, “I’ll go. You stay here with Betty and our friend. I will be right back.”
Although I couldn’t and maybe should’ve been a bit addled, I wasn’t because our precious mother had prepared us for this having told us, “Life is stranger than fiction.”
Our friend shared her personal info per Betty’s request, and we all got to know each other a little better thanks to Betty’s s-l-o-w-p-r-o-c-e-s-s-i-n-g computer.
As it turns out, Betty knew some of our people, and we knew some of hers.
It’s a small world after all.
Sister quickly returned with cash in hand. A handshake, and special thanks to Betty, another new-found-friend, we settled the fee in exchange for a ticket to Arkansas.
Leaving our new friend with:
- her ticket
- 25$ cash
- a double cheeseburger for supper
- a New Testament Bible
- a scrap sheet of paper with a few scripture references and our names
…we were back on the road again in search of an outfit for Awards Day.
Ann Lamott once said, ” I think this is how we are supposed to be in the world-present and in awe.”
As we loaded the car, smiling & laughing with tears spilling over our cheeks, we stood in awe of how God had worked out the details of our afternoon. How he had strategically placed a hidden treasure on the side of the road to see if we would stop. How he had another gem tucked away at the bus stop, and to think, we thought we were just going in search of an outfit for Awards Day.
In other things:
- If you love summer as much as Olaf and me, H-O-L-L-E-R!!!!
- My baby will turn 8 on June 6th. I will need therapy because my baby and the words “eight years” have me feeling troubled and my womb aching.
- The journal will be six months old on June 8th. We are planning some fun things! Stay tuned!! and share this space with your friends 🙂
- What do y’all think about Facebook Live? Have you tried it? I’m wondering if that is something I should give a whirl this summer?? please leave your thoughts in comments
- I will be speaking at Ponderosa Bible Camp the week of June 19- 24