The One About Shopping Carts and This Season I’m In

I am in a new season of life it would seem.  The one where I am called out on my assumptions and the conclusions I’ve jumped to.  I am fascinated and intrigued by it, because the message to “chill” and “give things a second or third glance” continues to come from the strangest and most unusual of places.

This time it was a parking lot.

And a story.

Yesterday, my sweet friend Miss Carolyn shared about her trip to take some items to our local Hospice Thrift Shop.  She was loaded down, and when she got there she was grateful to find a shopping cart that someone had left in the parking lot.  She started unloading her car and putting things in the shopping cart when someone came up and asked if she needed help.  He not only finished loading the cart, but also helped her get it all inside.  A blessing for sure.

Huh.  How many times have I pulled into a parking lot and seen a stray cart and had some seriously unkind thoughts about the person who made the decision to leave it there?

And here was just such a cart blessing my sweet friend.

Well there you go.

I thought about sharing that story last night, but I didn’t feel like it was quite time.  That happens with the stories sometimes.  They have to ripen, so to speak, so I was content to let it sit.

This evening Cooter and I were on the way home from meeting the Fella at our Princess’ swim practice.  We made a quick stop at the Mart for broccoli and the new Star Wars movie.  You know, the important things.  (I’ll let you guess who was wanting which item.)  It was starting to rain as we pulled into the parking lot.  The closest spot was desirable, seeing as we did not have any rain gear with us.  The only problem was that it was near the Garden Center entrance, and they don’t usually have carts available in that area.  (And yes, it’s the Mart, I was going in for two things, but we all know how that goes in such a situation. I would definitely be needing a cart.)

As I pulled into the very first spot in front of the Garden Center, I saw a break in the clouds to the west on the horizon, and tiny bit of sunlight shone through despite the rain that was starting.  And that was when I noticed my own little blessing.  Two of them.

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And I laughed.  Remembering Miss Carolyn’s angel, I was glad that the angel had visited the Mart parking lot as well.  That cart let us dash in the closest door and not have to go back to the front to get a cart.

I am thankful.

I don’t think I’ll ever look at and judge a stray cart again.

I guess that’s the point though, right?

Tonight I’m thankful for a world of beautiful people sharing stories that can enlighten us and help our eyes be open to so much more good that what is readily apparent at first glance.  Thank you, Miss Carolyn, for letting me tell your story and for helping me to see Good and Light in a misplaced shopping cart.

Love to all.

 

Words of Wisdom Waiting To Be Found

This evening we had the joy and honor of attending a service in the brand new Pierce Chapel at my alma mater, Wesleyan College.

This was only the second service to be held there.  It was quite lovely.  The music whirled and echoed throughout the hallowed hall, and it was beautiful.  The words encouraging us to be the hands and feet and eyes and ears of the One who taught us best how to love were empowering and challenging all at the same time.  Instead of foot washing, we washed each other’s hands.  It was a precious moment when our Princess grabbed my arm and said, “Mama, I want to wash your hands.”

Oh my heart.

Such a lovely service during this week of weeks.  I am thankful for the invitation and that our own Wesleyanne welcomed us coming and being a part of what is now her home, her alma mater.  It means the world to me that she doesn’t turn her head and wish we weren’t there.  She could, you know.  She’s nineteen, so it could go with the territory.  But instead she seems glad to see us.  Again, my heart is full to bustin’.

What I enjoyed most I think was realizing something.  As we wandered through quietly before the service began, reading the plates on the back of the seats (Cooter: Are ALL of these seats reserved?!), I looked down and realized that wisdom can be found most anywhere, if only one is looking.

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A legacy of wisdom: “Keep your blood pressure down and your chin up.” –Morris Beller

 

Out of all the chairs and the dedications and memorials–there is, tucked amongst them, this tidbit of wisdom.  I laughed a little (quietly of course) and gave thanks for Mr. Beller and his wise words of truth.  I don’t know him, but I find it wonderfully fun and delightful to find these words in the midst of all the others.

Very cool.

Tonight I leave you with these images of the long-dreamed of and much-anticipated Pierce Chapel.  Welcome.  And may you stand tall and remind ALL who enter that dreams can and do come true.  In time.  And may ALL who want to enter always be welcomed.  And loved.

Love to all.

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A view of Pierce Chapel from the loggia when we visited for the Party on the Green Sunday evening. Beautiful, isn’t she?

 

Pierce Chapel shining brightly when Cooter and I attended "Ain't I a Woman" two weeks ago.

Pierce Chapel shining brightly when Cooter and I attended “Ain’t I a Woman” two weeks ago.

And one more shot, simply because I love it.

And one more shot, simply because I love it.

 

Learning to Love the Red Lights

“I hate red lights.”

It was Cooter, piping up from the back seat.

Because.

Well yeah, we were at a red light.  And we were running tight on time.

In true Tara time.

I was born late.  Several days past my due date.  And I’ve been trying to catch up ever since.  (Or so my folks always told me.)

Running at the last possible minute.  Just about–oh, pretty much always.

So I’m sure my little guy’s strong feelings of dislike for red lights comes from me and my impatience with them when we are on our OutandAbouts and NEED to be somewhere.

*hangingmyhead*

I am sad about that.  As his words echoed in my head, I realized that red lights can be good.  They make me look around, outside myself.

When I am at red lights, I have a moment to breathe, right where I am, before continuing on my journey.

Red lights are not for or against anyone–they turn red on the just and the unjust.  Everyone gets a turn to stop and a turn to go.  Eventually.  Though I am waiting, others are able to go ahead.  And that’s the ebb and flow of life.  It’s not all about me.  We all get our turn.  Eventually.

Finally, when I am sitting at a red light, it’s the only time when I am on the road that I am able to make eye contact and remember that there are other PEOPLE on the road.  It’s not just me and my destination.  The road carries many stories.  And for a moment at that red light, our stories intersect and join.  And then we are all off again, headed to the next chapter.

Tonight I am thankful for family time in the Go-mobile, for that time where conversations are a little different, and maybe even at times a bit more focused.  I am thankful for the thoughts of my children, which make me think, and inspire me to become a better person–if for no other reason than to become the parent they deserve for me to be.

And I even appreciate red lights.  For the times they make me slow down, breathe, remember who I am, whom I am with, and for making me look around outside myself and outside my vehicle.  And see. Others.

May we all have a day of appreciating the red lights in our lives.  Love to all.