Just about everyone I have talked to recently has either had the bad cold, knows someone who has had it or is on the verge. Six days in the house and I was going stir crazy. Cancelling most all of my activities this week, I was keeping in mind a conversation I had with my husband who actually stayed home from work sick (and THAT is weird in itself). He said, “you know, we are older now and it will take longer for us to recover.” Older? I am still 35 in my head! I was 21 in my head for decades and only recently have grown older in mind. True, our bodies are older and need more rest, so I took his advice. Boy, was I glad I did because I was down for the count!
Today I got dressed and put on actual makeup. That was exhausting in itself. I was sure that if I went out without makeup that this would be the day I would run in to Bradley Whitford or Rob Lowe. I have met and talked with Rob Lowe about the first book he wrote. That man has unnatural blue eyes! Gosh he is adorable and so is his darling wife. When I met her first and told her how much I enjoyed his book she asked me to please tell him. His mom was a high school teacher and a writer. I told him she would have been proud of him. He flashed me that signature smile which promptly turned me into a giggling 14 year old inside. Outside I was friendly and refined, smiling my signature smile right back at him. He is also my height which kind of threw me off. Just my luck Rob would see me at my local grocery store and not even recognize me sans makeup so, makeup it was.
My neighborhood is very diverse. I love my little city of Lemon Grove. At the center of town there is a huge concrete lemon with our town slogan: best climate on earth. I remember writing to my cousin Frank when he was in Viet Nam and telling him that the lemon had been stolen. That was before it was concrete! I also remember sending him cookies in a 5 lb. coffee can only to find out the can had been smooshed to smithereens. He said he enjoyed the very stale crumbs! When I was a pre-teen I would watch a TV show called Combat every Wednesday night at 7:00 with my step dad Roger. I can still hear the theme music in my head and see the characters of Sarge, Kirby, Cage, Doc and Little John. Each week in the show this rag tag band of brave soldiers fought the Germans in black and white. In one episode Little John got a birthday cake from his mom. Throughout that episode, amidst enemy fire, diving in to foxholes, patrolling burnt out villages and crossing mine fields Little John kept that cake in tact being told in a note not to eat it until his actual birthday. The next day as he opened the box the cake was in crumbles! Weird things our brains hold on to, right?
Anyway, I digress. At the store there were people of many nationalities. As I slowly walked around I heard many languages being spoken; a mom comforting her child in Arabic, a husband and wife discussing apples in Spanish, a tall blonde lady telling two kids to stop bickering in what sounded like Swedish. There were women dressed in colorful jalbibs, an old man with his 2 dogs in the cart, grandparents wrangling a cranky 2 year old, it was diverse.
As I got up to the counter to pay I saw 2 pennies on the counter by the cash register. It looked like someone left them there. I didn’t have the nerve to ask for them so I thanked God that I live in America where we have such a diverse population and so many choices. The clerk and I bagged up my groceries and I pulled my cart away. Yes, I actually remembered to take bags in with me!
As I walked by another cash register I saw two more bright shiny pennies on the ground. I stopped and picked them up and handed them to the clerk. She said, “oh gosh what am I going to do with these?”. There was my opening. I told her about my penny journal and showed her where on the penny it says In God We Trust. In the corner of my eye I saw a beautiful woman in a jalbib looking intently at me then when I looked her way and smiled she looked down and continued writing her check. The clerk said, “oh, I like that. It’s kind of like a gratitude journal or an angel thing.” I told her that it always reminded me to trust in God; that I was leaving a legacy for my grandchildren to read and know that our God can be trusted as I wrote out every page. She gave me the pennies back. I then gave one back to her and suggested that she start her own journal. She told me she loved that idea. No telling how many people around heard the exchange between us. I have a voice that carries but try not to be too off putting when I want to raise the volume a tad.
My joy today was sharing my trust in God with several folks standing at that cash register. Who knows? Maybe several started a penny journal today. Alas, I did not run in to Rob Lowe but one never knows what tomorrow may bring!