Saturday, March 26, 2011

It's All in the Timing

The sun was out when Walt was ready to go to work this morning, so he decided to take his bike instead of the car. He really likes riding his bike to work and hadn't been able to do it all week. (Retired? Did you think he was retired? Just because they had that big party for his retirement? Oh you silly person!)

Since we only have one car and I had no appointments this week...and since it has been pouring off and on...I have been in the house all week, after I got home from Cousins day. So I decided to run some errands.

First I went to the post office to mail lots of stuff, including 3 letters for my Compassion kids, a post card for the postcrossing project, and a couple of letters to new pen pals. As I walked into the post office with this big stack of things to mail, I realized I'm getting obsessed by this whole thing. Must. stop. now.

But I mailed the envelopes and bought some more stamps.

Then to the Dollar Store. The Dollar Store is a great place to get little gifts to send to the Compassion kids. There are lots of Bible-related things there and since I'm not really a Bible reader, I am happy to find things that I can send to the kids, so I can give them some religious content, just not from me.

I was amused to look at the display in the book aisle.

DollarStore.jpg (167586 bytes)

(The book on the top shelf is called "Best Laid Plans" and you can tell from looking at the cover that it's definitely not something about planning anything!)

So far it was all going OK. I got several things for the Compassion Kids, a few things for the Christmas boxes I make up each December through Samaritan's Purse (figured I'd get a head start and pick up a thing or two whenever I'm in the Dollar store), and some stationery for writing to the new pen pals (see what I mean about being obsessive?)

The stop at the post office and the stop at the Dollar Store means that I arrived at the supermarket just before noon. As I pulled into the parking lot, I was stuck behind a very old (older than 68 :) ) woman shuffling along with her walker. God love her, she was out and about and walking on her own, but she moved at about 6" an hour and there was no way to get around her because she was in the middle of the parking lot. So I patiently waited and finally got to park my car, after she glanced at me rather menacingly as if daring me to run her down. I finally got into the market.

Oh my word. I swear the entire population of the University was there trying to get lunch. The aisles were filled with the kind of shopper who is browsing and who finds something facinating and stands there on one side of the aisle with the cart totally blocking the rest of the aisle.

I had thought I would pick up one of my favorite deli sandwiches for lunch but there were at least 100 people in line ahead of me, so I got some Chinese food. (You buy a "single serving" at this place and it would feed a family of four in a developing country for a week. I ate my fill after I got home and you can barely tell I took anything out of the box!)

Then I went to check out with my packages and every one stretched out into the aisles and, as an emergency call had gone out, there were clerks running from everywhere, hastily tying on their checker aprons.

By the time I had checked through, it had started raining again. I thought about how much of our lives is all about timing. If I had left the house 30 minutes before, I probably would have avoided the old lady, the blocked aisles, and the long lines at the check out stand and the rain and I would have come home with a nice lamb sandwich instead of Garlic chicken and chow mein.

How many times in one's life has something monumental happened because we were 30 minutes too early or too late. And will we ever know that...?

Just something interesting to think about.

1 comment:

Harriet said...

I used to order stamps by mail until it got easier to do it online. I still do it online; I think I had better do it now, as I've already used up more than a year's worth!