Are you really here? Are you really writing? More than just a few-lined filler to post in otherwise empty space? Is it Friday evening? Or are you dreaming this like you dreamt during your short-lived nap this afternoon, that it was already Saturday and you were out walking in the sunshine? Sunshine? What's sunshine?
It's an age-old question: Why do you buy 'real' toys? Or maybe I should say, why do you buy expensive toys? Children don't know the value of money. Be thankful most of what you have overflowing from your toy bins are things you've picked up in thrift stores for next-to-nothing. Why? Because, as of today, the grandboys' favorite toys are a couple of bags of colored dinosaurs you picked up at Fred Meyer for $2.99 each that they put in to their little plastic garbage cans and fill and empty into their toy garbage trucks all day long; two extender tubes from the vacuum cleaner they use as telescopes and imaginary ice cream cone makers...the choices are endless -- "Would you eat a gravy ice cream cone?" "Ewwwwwwwwww!" "How about pumpernickel ice cream?" "Ewwwwwwwwww!" See what I mean?
Would you even know what to do to keep a little granddaughter occupied if you had one? When my neighbor Sharon brought her 2 1/2 year old granddaughter Lily over to visit today, they caught us right in the middle of playing "Alvin". "Alvin" is the name the boys have given to our yard debris collector. Our real human yard debris collector. The game of "Alvin" consists of the boys taking two of their toy-sized garbage cans and placing every toy they have here, no matter what size it is, and putting it 'in' the can and handing it to me. It originally started out where it was small toys only that I would dump into the green recycling truck and say, "And here's some more, Alvin". Well, of course they thought that was hilarious and now it's an elaborate game that includes every. toy. in. the. bins. The nice thing is, they do help me pick it up. But! The mountain of toys is...well...a bit overwhelming. It takes up the entire middle of the living room and is about 3 feet high. So when Lily and Sharon came in, we'd just finished putting the last toy on the pile. Lily stood there in wide-eyed wonder sucking on her fingers. I don't know whether she wanted to stay or run. Sharon said, "Boy, Kris...that's a LOT of toys". I know. But every time I try to purge it seems I think "Well, they could use this for this" or "use that for that". The only toys really gone now are the baby toys.
In all honesty,
I am still gobsmacked (I love that word and use it whenever I can) by what happened to us at Little Caesar's pizza the other day. We ordered a cheese pizza and when the employee took my debit card from Dylan -- Dylan likes to pay and 'buy' my pizza -- to slide it thru the machine...nothing happened. He slid it again. And again. Ditto. Zilch. A much younger woman and her little girl had come in the door behind us and was watching it all transpire. There was no internet connection on either of the debit/credit machines. Uh oh. I'd have to pay cash if I wanted to buy a pizza. I looked in my wallet. I'm notorious for never carrying cash and, true to form...actually, better than usual!...I had $2! But $2 wasn't going to pay for it. So as Dylan stood there saying, "Grandma, I really wanted a cheese pizza!" the young mother had gone up to the other employee to pay for her order. With cash. And the next thing I know, the other employee is handing me a pizza, too, and telling me, "Here's a cheese pizza for you!" "No, no!" I told him. "I can't pay for it! I don't have cash!" And he nodded at the young mother and said, "I know, but she does and she just bought you this pizza." I stood there and gaped for a full 10 seconds or so, then told her, "You didn't have to do that! My goodness! How kind of you!" And she smiled and said, "They had to get their pizza. They're kids and I couldn't let them be disappointed." By that time, the employees were smiling, too, and I'm flabberghasted and thanking her all over the place! And as she went out the door I said, "I'm going to write about you in my blog tonite!" But never found time to sit down and do it justice until now.
With a very grateful heart,
Isn't it wonderful to find handymen who still take pride in their work and do an excellent job? Who are honest and show up when they tell you they're going to show up? Who finish the job? Aren't you glad you found Andres? Aren't you glad you paid him $40 more than what he originally charged you, just to say an extra thank you for a job well done? And you'll recommend him to anyone in the Portland area who needs an odd job done like putting up a bit of fence and gate, won't you? And didn't it warm your heart that he put the latch up high enough and with a hole in it where you can padlock it shut to keep the grandboys safe inside?
With great appreciation,
A satisfied customer
Do you realize every letter you've written to yourself tonite has referred to the grandboys in one way or another? Do you care?