Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Impulsive Happiness

It was nothing more than an impulse buy.  One of those things a person sees on the shelf while looking for the item that is next on their grocery list.  The cost was $4.95, plus tax.  So I picked it up and tossed it in the front of my basket. 

Over a year later, I am trying to determine how we survived without it.  It permeates our daily routine and, when it is lost, renders life to the stage of unbearable.  We protect it, we clean it, we sleep with it, we have to make certain to take it when we travel further than around town.  We also toss it and throw it and catch it and play with it continuously. 

And if we choose to play with something else for a time, we place it where it can still be seen at all times. 

I am referring to ... The Toy. 

More specifically ... Chester's Toy.

Round, with four multi-colored spirals on it, essentially it is a doggie teething ring.  Something for them to chew on instead of shoes, socks, pillows, blankets, undergarments, table legs, chair legs, cabinets, notebooks ... you get the idea.  For our little family of two - the small Maltese and the adult human - it has become, as I said, a part of our daily life.

Forget the first pitch of the baseball season.  In our house, it's the first pitch of the morning that is all important.  Each morning, as I sit on the side of the bed trying to remember the day of the week and praying I brought the basket of clean laundry upstairs before going to bed the previous night, my Ball of Fluff will sidle up beside me with his tail waggling frantically, eyes slanted up at me with a "Come on, Mom!" reproach.

Thus begins our day, with a toss of The Toy through the length of the bathroom, stopping as it collides with the side of the tub and with a leap from my Fluff, as he attempts to gain traction on his way across the tile and attempting to stop before crashing into the side of the tub alongside the beloved Toy.  Then with a search and a snatch, it is returned to the bedroom to begin again.

Multi-tasking takes on a whole new form when a person can learn to snatch The Toy with her toes and play keep away with her foot, while washing face, brushing teeth, putting on make up and brushing out hair.

Then comes the time to go downstairs.  As I release the gate, to allow him access to the staircase, my Fluff will snatch up The Toy and do one of two things ... jump onto the bed, leaving the toy there before heading down the hall and stairs, or he will bring it to the top of the stairs and leave it there.  I have yet to figure out this pupper-reasoning, however The Toy does not come downstairs with him during the weekdays while I am at the office.  On occasion he has brought it down the stairs, but chooses to leave it on the step about half-way down.  If it falls down to the bottom, he has been known to retrieve it and take it back up to the middle step, before heading down to the front door to wait for me to go outside.  Since I never leave for the office without putting the gate up at the bottom of the stairs, effectively blocking him from being able to retrieve The Toy, this is a decision his little pupper mind makes and, while I don't understand, I have learned to go with it.  If I take The Toy downstairs with us and put it on the floor or the couch or even the hope chest, it will still be in the exact same place when I return home that evening.

Yet, Oh The Joy! at my return in the evening!  I'm not sure which he's more excited to see - me or The Toy.  I am greeted with such happiness, being re-imprinted with my little boys scent as he licks hands, face, neck, arms ... any place he can wiggle and reach before racing to the place we keep his leash, ready to head outside.  Then it's time to release the gate and rescue The Toy.

Sometimes my human brain forgets and I get busy doing those unimportant tasks such as putting away the frozen groceries, or fixing a glass of tea, or even sitting down for a minute of rest after a long day.  I forget to release the gate so that The Toy can be rescued until I am reminded by a whine or a bark from the base of the stairs where a certain Fluff is patiently (or not so patiently) waiting.

As the gate is release, he is off to find his beloved Toy from where he left it, and then, funny boy, he will wait, either from the middle of the stairs or at the top of the stairs, and he will watch me, never coming down with the toy until I say the words, "come on - bring it down!".  And then it arrives, with a clash and a clatter, punctuating the evening with play between pupper and human, gnawed on with gusto while human is otherwise occupied, or simply laid nearby - left but not forgotten.

Until bedtime.

Talk about children and their nighttime rituals.  They don't hold a candle to my Fluff's and his Toy.

First there is the locating of it and taking it to the stairs, wiggling and waggling while I re-open the gate to allow him access.  Then there is the taking it half-way up and bounding up the rest of the way, watching me as I prepare to head up.  I think he thrives on the routine because, as I approach the step laughing, telling him to get his Toy, that I will not carry it, he comes racing down, does a u-turn on the step and then races back up and down the hall.  Yet, as I approach the top of the stairs, there he is ... simultaneously trying to push The Toy into my hand and make sure I can't get it away from him, with shakes of his head and soft "Grrrrrs" emitting from around the Toy occupying his mouth and jaw.  If I manage it just right, I wrest The Toy away from him, sending it spinning down the hall, through the bedroom door, under the bed and crashing into the outside wall (ya gotta love hard wood floors!).  And he is following, careening with three steps for every one forward as he tries to get traction built up, then sliding under the bed with a wiggle and a wag of the tail, only to emerge victorious on the other side.

We then reverse our morning as I wash face, brush teeth, change to night clothes, set alarms and gather a book to read while he romps the bed with The Toy before preparing to sleep.

Unless he doesn't wish to sleep.  In which case the toy is dropped ... to the hardwood floor ... from the bed ... where he looks between it and me, wanting me to fetch it and play, regardless the hour.

Cause ... you know ... I'm just The Human.  He's the Fluffernut with The Toy.  And regardless of how tired I am, how busy I am, how frustrated or sad I might be, my Fluffernut and his beloved Toy can always, always, ALWAYS make me impulsively smile. 

And when you smile, how can you not be happy?  ;)

This face?  It makes me happy. 
 Today's photo challenge was to take a picture of "someone who makes you happy" ...

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Going Postal

Today's photo challenge was "mail".

I considered taking a picture of my mailbox.

But I was scared by the spider living on the web inside it and shut the door quickly.

I considered taking a picture of my local small town post office.

But it was on a different street and I really didn't want to use my blinker, turn my car from it's path, and take longer to get home..

I considered taking a picture of the mounds of mail I get daily at the office.

But today was the one day a month that all we received was an postcard advertisement for a new internet service.

I considered taking a picture of the group of my elderly residents who always congregate at the mailboxes, waiting for our mail person to close the boxes so they could get their weekly supermarket ads.

But the mail person was late and the group began getting a bit rowdy ... and blue-haired scary!

I considered chasing down a mail truck and taking it's picture.

But I'm not current on my Homeland Security laws and I wasn't sure if chasing a mail truck was an act of terrorism.

I considered taking a picture of my mail person.

But she advised me that she had been known to break cameras and, since I was using my phone camera, I couldn't risk it. 

So, in the end ... we compromised ... and I got this ...

The symbol worn by every  USPS employee ... the bald eagle.

A bird, that until recently, was on the endangered species list but has, with help, recovered and stablilized.  

We can only pray that the USPS, an endangered species facing extinction, can be so lucky.

Monday, April 2, 2012

One Color or Many?

I am a big fan of colors. 

Any color ... soft, bold, pastel, bright, neon, jewel tone ... I love them all. 

Well ... not all.  I have a few issues with the brown family.  I just don't always care for browns.  They tend to make me cranky and depressed, which is sad from the standpoint that I am told I look really good in brown.  Hmm.  Maybe if it's a deep, rich mesquite brown with a bright red scarf or a pale pink sweater???  But no, for the most part, I'm not going to automatically choose brown as the color to paint a house, or furnish a room, or color a picture ... unless it's a picture of a tree trunk and then I'm gonna be adding in some pale shades and some gray.  Just so we're clear. 

But otherwise?  Color is my thing.  I love them.

Rooms and people are meant to be surrounded by color.  Why else would God have created so many different hues of each individual color shade????   You've never wandered in a stark, white & chrome field of flowers, have you?  No!  Those tulip fields in Holland are chock full of every color imaginable, not a sea of black and gray.  Even my favorite little white flower, the daisy, has a bright cheery button of yellow to frame.

Want to give me quivering spasms of joy?  Hand me a fresh, new Crayola box of 64!

Want to drive me to an early grave?  Lock me in an all white room.  Just better make certain it's padded, because I'll go stark raving mad before succumbing to the colorful clouds of heavenly wonder.

Want to make me crazy?  Ask me to choose a single, solitary favorite color.  I can't do it.  I have tried to narrow it down but given any moment of any day, that favorite is going to change. 

Some days I will grin and tell you that yellow is my favorite.  Soft and fluffy like a baby duck or bright and golden like the blazing sun in a bright blue sky.

Some days green is the color that soothes my soul.  The fresh spring green against a gray sky and a gentle rain or the deep emerald of a Christmas tree.

The gender colors of pink and blue always make me smile.  Those traditional soft pastels for newborn girls and boys, that shift and change -deepening in their hues and shades, brilliant and bright or dark and stormy depending on the age and the mood of the child, teenager, young adult, woman or man involved.

Given the given, if forced to choose a single, solitary color, I suppose I would go with red.  It's always been a favorite, tried and true over the years.  Red was the color of the couch of my childhood, the place where I could read and dream, play behind with imaginary friends, or lay my head and rest.  Red was the color of the roses my father gave to my mother each year on December 31st for their anniversary.  Red is the color of the signature shorts of this Disney-Girl's favorite Mickey Mouse.  Red is bold and it is passionate. It is the bright indicator of the exit sign that shows us the way and the signal of safety if we only will pay attention to it when it screams STOP or Emergency.

Red is the color that tells us of the richness of our lives, the life-giving color of our very own blood.  It is the color of power for with it we are strong and without it we are nothing.  It is the color of that which was sacrificed for us as Americans by our armed forces in their efforts to keep us free and it is the color of that which was sacrificed for every individual by Christ so that we may all live eternally.

So, yeah.  Red is a top contender for my favorite color.

Now.  That all being said, before I finish this colorful little piece, I need to say something about the color white.  I fear I might have maligned the poor color earlier.  I'm not saying it isn't true, I need to have changing colors all around me but I do also have a passion for white.  Not a stark room of it ... but a field of glistening snow, the coat of my small, fluffy companion, the pureness of my soul after being cleansed?  Yeah ... I have a passion for white.

But then, why not?  After all ... who hasn't seen the 3rd grade science fair entry about white light refracting through prisms, creating rainbows?

Today's challenge photo was "color" ...   

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Returning with a Challenge

Once upon a time ... a long, long time ago ...

Hmm.  Scratch that. 

It was a bright and sunshiny day when I last ...

Oy!  Can someone say pretentious?

Okay ... how about this ... Dear Readers ...

Yeah.  Cause after all this time there are sooooo many people stopping by to read the scribbles that I write. 


How about this ... a simple introduction, or rather, a re-introduction after a lengthy absence.

Yeah.  That I can do.   

Hi!  My name is CindyRose.  I'm a single woman with a Chester who lives in The Dollhouse.  I like to read, drink tea, and play with my pupper.  My hobbies include stamping and scrapbooking and going through my collection of pictures, reveling in the memories they bring to my mind.  I have a precious girl who may be married with a child but will live forever in my mind as a toddler who answers the question "why?" with the simple response of "for drins and driggles, Cinny".  I have 3 nieces and 3 girlies who remind me each time I am with them that beauty, strength, grace, integrity, inspiration, and hope are not just words. 

My name is CindyRose and I am a writer. 

Well.  I used to be.  Not famous or published, but I was a writer of a blog and people would actually read my words and, on occasion they found them interesting.  However, it's been a while ... a looooong while.  Somewhere along the last year, and counting, I lost my writing mojo.  The thoughts were there but when I would sit down and face this daunting blank white screen, they would flee faster than a four hobbits, two humans, an elf and a dwarf could exit the Mines of Moria as Gandalf was lost in the battle with the Balrog.

Did I mention I was also a bit of a geek?  hmmm.  Could have possibly tried to keep that undercover for a bit longer, but ... *sighs* ... oh well.  Deal or "smile & nod" and back away slowly.  It's up to you. 

Anyhow ... six months ago real life took a blessedly drastic turn.  It's remarkable how something so simple, everyday and, in today's society, honestly unremarkable, can change a person ... can return them to those things that they didn't know they missed, showing them the small blessings that can keep darkness at bay, and remind them that happiness can be found in the most unlikely of places.   A simple change in life, while scary at times, introducing us to new and different ideas and activities, can also re-introduce us to beloved interests that had seemed to have died, leaving what seemed to be an empty hole inside, were not really gone but just resting and waiting.

Evidently my writing mojo had been waiting ... quietly gathering energy, waiting for the spark to set it free. 

Waiting for the right time.

Waiting for the right inspiration.

This weekend, that final bit of inspiration was located in a very unlikely spot and the writing mojo seemed to flood my mind with thoughts, ideas, and desire to face the blank white screen. 

To share something hopefully funny, something hopefully thought provoking, something hopefully worthy of taking the time to read. 

What was that final bit?  A tag from a website issuing an April challenge of taking a photo a day.  The list was intriguing.  Thiry ideas for thirty days of April.  I couldn't get it out of my head, yet in my mind it was posting a photo a day in this little blog spot of mine and writing about it.  I could do that.  I could take the mojo that I missed and combine it with the photography that I enjoy, not in a professional way but in a "that caught my eye and I had to take a picture" kind of way. 

So ... here I am ... returning to the blogosphere ... writing ... with pictures!  Woo hoo! 

The challenge was issued and I responded.  The pictures, and their subsequent words, will be all mine. 

My thoughts.

My rambles.

My way of creating in a medium I have missed.  I hope that along the way there will be someone who will find them interesting enough to take a moment of their time and read. 

If you do ... thank you.  :-) 

Oh ... and for those who like to look ahead ... here's the list that gets me started (courtesy of "FatMumSlim", an Australian blogger who loves photography):


Thursday, September 22, 2011

Questioning Fixing My Facebook Status


There it is - that sweet sound of frustrated people pounding their keyboards expressing their displeasure with Facebook … it surrounds us.

Once again, Facebook has changed its formatting, thus making their subscribers cranky. Status lines are filled with displeasure, petitions are being formed, other social networks are being explored by people who are not happy, people accustomed to going right to the things that interest them most and bypassing the items that don’t, people who are resistant to change.


One Facebook status line caught my eye … “If it ain’t broke, why fix it?"


Sorry. Couldn’t help it. I had to laugh.


If it ain’t broke, why fix it could be the slogan for most of the items in our daily lives!

I like to use Tide laundry detergent to wash my clothes. My mom used it and I learned from her about the good job it did. That’s not to say I didn’t try others. I went to college … I’ve been broke … I’ve tried others over the years. But I always seem to come back to Tide. I like the way it cleans my clothes and the way it smells. FYI … I’m referring to the ORIGINAL Tide. Not the one that’s “mountain fresh”, not the one with softener added, not the one with Febreeze scent added. I don’t need the “improved” versions. The original wasn’t broke, so why did it have to be fixed?

To make it more marketable?

Because if all you offered was an item that did a really good job, people wouldn’t buy it?

Does anyone else see the weirdness of that statement?

Remember when you could get a pack of 10 sticks of Wrigley’s gum for a quarter? Remember Bazooka Joe and the bubble gum you could get for a penny and snap irritatingly large bubbles, the powdery sweet taste staying longer on your tongue than the ability to blow the bubble?

I don’t chew a lot of gum lately but if I did decide to buy a pack, I’m not going for one the fancy, schmancy brands that come in plastic tubs, or boxes, or bundles. Why do I need to buy a piece of gum that has flavor that lasts forever and costs as much, or more than a candy bar, when all I want is a bit of sugar and flavor and chewing action? My name is not Violet Beauregarde and I’m not looking for a stick of gum to chew so long that I have to stick it behind my ear while I eat my dinner.

Gum wasn’t broken, but it had to be fixed … improved … because “new and improved”, even if it is more expensive, gets purchased more than good taste and low cost?

Don’t even get me started on the cola products. Or their “new and improved” water. *snorts*

What about those coffee makers that require an engineering degree in order to operate, not to mention the powders and liquids and flavors and whips that are added to “improve” that caffeine jolt of java? Do we REALLY need get up earlier in the morning so that we have time to stop and get a drink of something that costs more than an entire breakfast platter at IHOP? Couldn’t those extra moments be spent having a nice breakfast at home, with family or … in my case … pupper? *insert smiley face*

The act of brewing a cup of coffee (or steeping a cup of tea) hasn’t changed. It wasn’t broke. You just need hot water and a pot. No. The act of brewing just got fixed.

Our athletic shoes have gone from a basic pair of white keds or converse high tops to pumped up, balanced, cushioned, air soled wonders that trim our thighs, work our calves and round our tushies.

Our phones have gone from switchboard party calls, to trimline phone with a cord, to a cordless phone, to cell phones, to iPhones and Androids.

Our home entertainment has moved from a single radio to a giant, wall gripping flat screen high def television complete with blue-ray player and surround sound stereo.

We’ve moved from the anticipation of a letter from a relative arriving in a couple of months, to the instant texting, emailing, and Skyping.

And a bottle of cola can now, instead of being regular or diet, be original, sugar-free, caffeine-free, cherry flavored, vanilla flavored, raspberry flavored, zero-calorie wonders. (I told you not to get me started!)

The thing is … those original items weren’t really broken.

I’m really not saying that change is a bad thing, or that variety isn’t fun to try. Let’s face it … I always enjoyed the variety flavored box of instant oatmeal. But do we have to have the lower sodium oatmeal, the heart healthy oatmeal, the higher fiber oatmeal, etc. etc.? Isn’t oatmeal already supposed to be all of those? Maybe we just like to have the shelves of the grocery store decorated with pretty boxes?

I realize this sounds rather simplistic and I suppose, in a way, it is. Technology continues to pave the way. Our children know more about computers at the age of three than most fifty year olds did at the age of twenty-five. However, “new and improved” seems to be more and more a way of saying “we’ve taken something that worked for you and changed it, thereby making it more expensive to make and/or use”.

Again, I’m not saying that change is a bad thing … I’m just asking why did we have to go to such extremes?

Do consumers REALLY need to have a multitude of laundry detergents to choose from?

Does a single piece of gum truly need to last FOREVER?

Is what you have to say to me so important that I have to take my laptop to the restaurant so we can Skype while I eat?

Do Facebook users REALLY need to be told how to know which status updates are recent and which are new and which are considered “top stories”?

It wasn’t broken. Why did it have to be fixed?

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Understanding Peace


It has been on my mind this morning. No matter what I find myself doing, I seem to keep coming back to it.

I’m not talking about peace, love, & caddyshack. *grins*  I’m talking the peace that passes understanding. It’s not really describable and yet, here I am making the attempt as it appears to have taken root and is willing me to do something I haven’t done in quite awhile … write … and something I haven’t done in an even longer while … post.

This morning I was not just awake, but also up (as in the "out of bed and dressed" kind) before I wanted to be through no one’s fault, not even the small, white ball of fluff that seems to rule my house and my schedule. As a matter of fact, the small one was still nestled on the bed, sleeping quite peacefully when I decided that we would go outside and check the early morning. It was a bit before 7am and the sun had just crested its way into the sky. I stopped to brew a mug of tea from a blend gifted me by the eldest girlie Friday night before grabbing leash and pupper and making my way out of doors.

According to the weather I checked before leaving my phone inside, the temperature was a light 69 degrees. After weeks of 110 plus – either from heat index or, worse, actual temperature – the morning seemed almost chilly. Almost. Yet while the breeze was cool, the rising sun was bright in the clear blue palette of sky and was warming. Not hot. Just warm. The morning was perfect.

We walked for a few minutes, my pupper and I. Not far. Not to the field. Just down the sidewalk enough to give him some places to sniff and me a feeling that I’d stretched, however little. Then we went back and I relaxed, in my chair, sipping my tea, while he searched for something elusively scented under his bushes.

It was quiet. Not silent, just ... quiet.

Our morning's musical underscore was a combination of the birds, busy with beginning their day, and the gentle breeze, which was enough to give a rustle to Fluff’s bushes and toss a couple of dried leaves across the driveway for him to give chase before another scent caught his twitching little nose and he began exploring again. The birds made me think of Harold and Francine, my cardinals. I wondered where they were and if they had already begun another nest, hopefully in a safer location than my tree and window could evidently provide, but they are nature’s creatures and I just gave another quick thanks to their Creator for allowing me the chance to view their life for a short time.

I lay my head back, closed my eyes and felt, simply put, the perfectly peaceful morning flow around me, welcoming and embracing.

There was nothing to understand, nothing to sort out. There was just peace - of mind, of body, of soul.

Yesterday afternoon, after an early morning trip to the Farmer’s Market, combined with real estate wandering (aka. driving around looking at houses for rent & for sale and checking out garage sales), not to mention a brief errand, my youngest girlie settled herself curled in my big chair whilst I worked in the kitchen for a bit. It didn’t take long for the quiet and lull in activity to settle her into a soft sleep. While I worked, I found my eyes drawn to her slumber, my hands gentling the sounds so I didn’t disturb, and my mind casting back in memories so thick and rich, they seemed to wrap themselves around me like a warm cloak or a soft comforter.

Memories of girlies of varying ages and sizes … curled separately or together … on the couch, in the chair, on my shoulder, in my lap, on the floor, in the car … sleeping the quiet, yet not so quiet, sleep of innocence … of childhood. Tucked up on pillows or hands, nestled in blankets or not, they dreamed the dreams cast by their hearts, minds, and imaginations. Sometimes they might wake startled by nightmare or illness, but the moments passed quickly and sleep would always return to give them peace.

Ask me of one of my fondest memories and would reply something like this:

Take any weekend filled with laughter and playtime, movies and books and end it with girlies asleep in their beds as I finish out my day. Then, after closing down the house and securing our safety, I would turn out the lights and make my way down the hall. Aided by small nightlights, I would stand in the juncture of the hall, looking into both rooms, reveling in the gift of time spent before tucking each one with a small kiss and phrase, then gratefully giving thanks to the Creator who made them and the parents that shared them.

That moment. That memory. That was my feeling of peace.

According to the dictionary, peace can be defined in multiple ways. There is the one of the “normal, nonwarring condition of a nation, group of nations, or the world” which is in parallel to the one about “an agreement or treaty between warring or antagonistic nations, groups, etc., to end hostilities and abstain from further fighting or antagonism” to be followed in the same genre as “a state of mutual harmony between people or groups, especially in personal relations”. There are also the definitions of “being deceased”, of “maintaining order”, of “refraining from speaking”. One definition that kinda made me giggle, but that could be because of the way it is phrased, is the one where peace is definined as “a state or relationship of non-belligerence”. Not sure why it made me giggle, except perhaps because I hear this English voice in my head from a movie I know I’ve seen and yet cannot place at the moment (when it comes to me at 3am, I’ll be sure to post it for you) of the good guy fighting the bad guy and calling him a “belligerent bugger”. But that’s a side trip in the realm of definitions and not where I was heading.

Where I am heading is the simple and concise definition of peace as “untroubled, tranquil, content … a state of stillness, silence, or serenity.”

These are the words that define my memory of those quiet moments. This is the feeling ... is the peace ... I had this morning as I relaxed with my tea outside while my pupper explored before starting my day. This is the sense of self that is welcomed each weekend to rejuvenate my mind and, more specifically, my soul in order to approach the coming week.

That is my description of peace.

It is the gift that surpasses all understanding, flows like a river and is only truly received when heart and mind are surrendered to the One from who it is given.

My prayer this Sunday morning, before my pupper and I came inside and truly began our day, was … is … for each member of my family, each of my friends to be blessed with their own moment of peace. And ... when you find yourself in that moment, do two things.  First … give thanks to Him who has bestowed it, and then, secondly, pass it on. You know the adage … if you tell two people, then they tell two people, then they tell two people, and so on, and so forth?

Is your imagination good enough to imagine what would happen?

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Have You Hugged A Stranger Today?

I made an elderly lady cry today. 


I really did.

Right in the thrift shop parking lot. 

In my defense, I wasn't trying to make her cry and I wasn't mean.  I simply told her how lovely I thought she looked. 

Perhaps I should back up a bit and start from the beginning ...

Fridays are my new special day.  Not just because it is the end of the week and the weekend is so close on the horizon, but also because of my favorite show. I won't go fangirl crazy here ... it's not the point.  The point is ... it is Friday and it is special and I was ... am ... feeling incredibly good today for many reasons.

The weather is fantastic!  One of those fall days where the morning is crisp, the day is warm & breezy, the evening cool under a clear, stary sky. 

Then there was the fact that I woke with a happy, happy pupper ... and we enjoyed a morning filled with playing inside and out before I had to say the dreaded four letter word ... *whispers W.O.R.K.* ... and head out to the office.

Work, though, was actually pleasant.  There was chaos but that is normal when you have almost 100 elderly people all in one place.  However the day moved right along and, after an extremely arduous long week ... the early close of the office, if only an hour, was a blessing.

So it was, that I hit the road with a light heart and a bright sky.  My sweet red Baby had her sunroof open and a new CD mix in the stereo streaming the music.  Laughing and singing, I knew that my two necessary stops would not take long and I would soon be home to my little Ball of Fluff to begin preparations for our Awesome Friday Night. 

Stop 1 was quickly finished and Baby & I took off for Stop 2, feeling pretty chipper. 

In front of the little thrift shop, I pulled Baby into a parking spot next to a luxury SUV.  I think it was a Lexus but, honestly? ... I don't really care and it doesn't truly matter.  As I turned off the engine, preparing to get out and go in the store, an elderly lady came out of the door and made her way to the SUV.  She was very striking ... quietly elegant in a fitted, solid black pantsuit with white satiny lapels and black heels. 

She looked lovely.  So, I got out of my car, leaned against the roof, and told her so. 

I may have expected alot of things, but I didn not expect for her eyes to well up with tears, even as she gave me a tremulous smile and thanked me.  She then told me that she had purchased the suit at the first of the year for her husband's funeral.  She was wearing it again today because her best friend's husband had passed away and his funeral had been this afternoon. 


There was nothing I could say and I couldn't help myself.  I went around the car and gave her a brief hug. 

She sniffed and thanked me.

We wished each other a nice weekend and then she drove away and I made my way into the store. 

That private moment between two strangers struck me as I made my purchases and headed Baby towards home and our little Fluffernut. 

In today's world, we work so very hard teaching our children "Stranger Danger", that we forget to teach them about simple human kindness.  It hurts my heart that they must be more in tune to caution than they are in reaching out to someone who seems sad, or lonely, or in need.  Wouldn't it be lovely if our children could be taught understanding as well as caution ... respect for others as well as defensive tactics ... care for the people they pass in the street, not just the people around the dinner table? 

That, every once in awhile, blessings are shared on both sides when you hug a stranger?