Thursday, January 8, 2009

Marmee’s Day Out

After attending a meeting of one of my professional organizations this morning, I ran a couple of errands, and then jetted home to start some laundry, check the mailbox, put away a few items, and scratch Scooter behind the ears. Then I gathered up something precious—the shadowbox displaying my Daddy’s barber license, his scissors, combs, and shaving brush. After several years of display elsewhere, I hung the box on my wall about two weeks ago. One night this week I heard a terrible crash and found it in the floor. The glass didn’t break and the nail did not fail in the wall, but the hanger was shallow and the box wasn’t properly seated on the nail. The weight of the box and its contents cooperated with gravity to produce a chip in the top of the frame and to dislodge all the contents of the display except the brush. The expert framers at a local store will replace the backing, reposition the items, examine the box and replace it if necessary, and call me before permanently closing the back and replacing the shallow hanger with a wider, sturdier wire hanger. When asked to asses the value of the shadowbox contents, what could I say? Priceless? Irreplaceable? One of a kind? Fifty-six years of Dubbie’s life condensed into one box? Impossible request!

Walking away from the store left me lightheaded. But, of course I hadn’t had lunch either. I purchased the Albuquerque Turkey at Schlotzkys and drove to a shady place where I listened to NPR, dined and contemplated what I had just done. So, I prayed and left it all in God’s hands. Then I went to Target.

There is a chunk missing from my yoga mat, which is three years old. I bought another one, but it’s too thin. Then I bought another one, and it’s too much—can’t balance on its spongy surface and it won’t stay rolled without its strap. So, like Goldilocks, I was on a quest for the perfect mat. I found many at one store, but they packaging either didn’t describe the thickness or wouldn’t allow the shopper to “squeeze” the fabric. The ideal mat for me needs to protect my knees and wrists, be very sticky so the surface facing the floor is secure, and should roll easily for storage. I do believe I scored at Target, and the mat was----drum roll, please—ON SALE. Did I mention that I found the ideal decorative pillow at the framing store, also ON SALE? And three lighted Christmas garlands for next season at----ta da!—80% off the regular price. Can you say “Prosperity”, “Favor”, “Blessings” ?????

Maybe two years ago I allowed myself such a day out, but I don’t really remember it. After Daddy got sick I didn’t allow myself to be away for long unless I had a specific reason, such as a rehearsal. After buying Scooter some food, looking through a couple of other stores just for fun and bargains, making no further purchases, I drove home. Three plus hours of shopping and looking around gave me a new perspective, and I had items to show for my time, as well. When I was much younger and my much younger daughters infected me with cabin fever, I would often spend Mother’s Day Out just roaming through stores, looking at pretty dishes and linens and antiques. I always ended my “window shopping” by purchasing something for the girls, however. I think I’ll call today “Marmee’s Day Out”. It could catch on with the senior set.

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