Sunday, November 22, 2009

Having Wet Feet

I am exhausted. I don't think I'll be able to sleep until I get this off of my chest, so here goes.

One week ago, my sister's husband's brother-in-law (are you with me here?) died suddenly. So, my sister (Julie) and her husband (Steve) hopped on an airplane and flew to Boston ASAP to be with his family. The memorial service was held on Thursday. Unfortunately, Warren and I were not able to attend the services.

Steve called on Wednesday to see if we were going to be around this weekend. What we heard was, "We thought we'd come out on Friday. We can go out to eat or something; we just really want to spend some time with you guys since we're so close." So, Warren and I made plans to make Friday dinner work. We figured they'd arrive around 3 p.m. and we'd sit in our (messy!) living room and re-connect and then we'd all go out to dinner and they would drive back to Boston to their hotel.

When they arrived, I was immediately suspicious. Steve asked, "Julie! Do you want to get your bag now or wait until later?" We all came into the house. Steve plugged in his computer (another curiosity-building factor) and immediately relaxed. Julie followed me into the kitchen. "So!" I asked, "How long are you guys going to be here?" She looked at me quizzically and replied, "Well, we're hoping to get a flight home on Monday, but we haven't really checked yet to see if that's possible." My mouth dropped! I asked, "Are you staying HERE with US until you get a flight home the week of Thanksgiving and I know you only will accept a non-stop flight from Boston to Denver?" She smiled and said, "Yes! Is that okay?" My mouth dropped, again.

Warren arrived home from his day's journey and I called him into the kitchen. "Did you know that they are planning to stay and try to find a flight home on Monday?" He asked, "Stay here?" I nodded, as a wife nods when she's telling her husband something he does not know. "Really?" he asked. "Really!" I replied. "I've already got the guest bedroom set up, and just need to clean the upstairs bathroom. It will be fine." He looked at me with those loving, wondering if I'm real eyes and asked, "Are you okay with this?" I replied, "Sure! It will be fine!"

I love company! We love it when people - especially from home (Denver/Colorado) come to visit us. But we're happy with company from anywhere, for the most part. The thing is, we prefer advance warning! For some reason, this is working. It feels like we jumped into an experience with wet feet, and all worked for the better. Let me explain.

Friday was my "day off" after working three days at my part-time job. I sort of had a breakfast date with a friend, but we hadn't really connected to confirm. I took Jonathan to school, and headed out towards Jake's (the breakfast place) and decided to roam around Wal-Mart until closer to 10:00, when I was due to meet my friend. It had been raining pretty hard, but had let up as I pulled into the Wal-Mart parking lot. I found a great spot right near the entrance and pulled in. I grabbed my pocketbook and turned to stand and 'ISH' I found myself standing in a puddle. I looked down at my feet, and saw the oil and transmission fluid circling around my ankles. Well, what was done was done. I locked my car and headed into the store.

Why did I go to Wal-Mart on Friday? For no reason, except to kill time until my "supposedly" breakfast date. Well, I roamed around and threw a three-pack of gum and some knee hi socks and a copper-colored stamp pad into my carriage. Time to go. Three items at Wal-Mart. When's the last time that happened to YOU? Well, the gun didn't register in my cashier's scanner. She tried and tried and tried and tried. I looked at my watch. Did I really need that gum? Actually, I did. So I let her scan some more and scan some more and scan some more. It wasn't until she decided to "turn on her checkout line light" that I said, "You know, I just really need to get into my car and warm up my feet!" She looked at the knee-hi socks on the turnstile and said, "Looks like you need to pay for these socks and get going!" I laughed. Yes, my feet were wet. I'd gone into Wal-Mart with wet feet -- to kill time. And here was this stranger telling me I needed the socks I'd put into my carriage and onto her turnstile. She didn't know anything about my feet being wet.

Life sometimes treats me like this. I step in something unpleasant and try to pretend it didn't really happen, but someone usually realizes that there's a strange odor or something, and he or she will encourage me to take care of this "concern" they have for me, but about which they know nothing. When this happens, I am really annoyed.

So, I was a little annoyed when I left Wal-Mart with my one bag filled with gum and knee-high socks and a stamp pad! I got to my car and looked at what was before me. The puddle was even deeper! My choice was to wait until the next day for the water to subside, or "take a swim" and get the heck away. I took a swim. I went to Jake's and waited, a believe it or not my friend and I hooked up for breakfast. By the time I got home, my feet were so wet and cold that I was a miserable wreck. I don't often get cold, but I was really cold.

The lesson here? Always carry extra shoes and socks? I don't think so! Maybe just a message of "be prepared; look around you before you embark; make a last minute change if the water is too deep!" I could have moved my car that morning. I chose not to. All I know is that, if you shop at Wal-Mart with cold feet, you spend less money. So this is the lesson I will remember from this experience. If you ever have this experience, I strongly urge you to go to your nearest café and order a feta cheese and tomato omelet, which will warm not only your feet, but your heart and soul because you shared it with a friend. You can always change your shoes and socks later.

Which is kind of what Warren and I did on Friday afternoon, after we realized we were having COMPANY FOR FOUR DAYS. We just put on dry socks and shoes. We were comfortable, our company was comfortable, and it's turned into a wonderful visit with people we really care about. There's nothing like the comfort of dry socks on wet feet!

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