As 2019 starts, many people detail resolutions and goals. Not me – I’m taking a moment for gratitude.
Yes, I have an amazing wife and smart, clever kids, but here I want to recount a few smaller things that recently stood out as blessings in my life.
I have the best blog followers. When I related how Pippa broke her arm, or how I destroyed the back window of my car, you offered stories of similar trials, and virtual – and actual – hugs.
When I told how Pippa and I had bonded at our first demonstration (for either of us!) or how Grey had grown by thinking of others with his money, I felt lots of affirmation and love.
But the most surprising response from readers was the cascade of interest when I related how I lost my Mr. Potato Head shirt. Was there any way to get it back? Would I consider something similar? What size am I, in case they found a replica?
Then the biggest surprise of all: I received a gift of a carbon copy of the shirt from a faithful reader – my sweet cousin Betsy!
Date Night Serendipity
Sometime in late 2018, Nora and I resolved to spend at least one night out together every month. Sounds like a no-brainer, right? But kid activities and other distractions hadn’t allowed it to happen naturally, so we decided to be more deliberate about it.
Nora volunteered to plan the first outing. She knows I like new places, so she made a reservation at La Cuchara, a hopping Basque restaurant in the Woodberry neighborhood that I’d never been to.
We were seated and ordered a bunch of little plates. It’s the type of place where you order from once person, then various different people drop off your dishes.
Before long, we had four little dishes…and a salad. A salad we hadn’t ordered. Not sure how to treat the stranger in our midst, so we just ignored it.
Eventually our waitress swung back around and noticed the leafy interloper. “You didn’t order that, did you?”
“I’ll be right back,” she said. The next thing I expected to see was an apologetic server sheepishly remove the dish, but it didn’t work that way.
The waitress returned: “My apologies. The salad is compliments of Chef Ben – he says he knows you.” And off she went.
We don’t know a Chef Ben (head chef Ben Lefenfeld, we learned later) but it seemed rude and ungrateful to call her back. And they’d probably have to trash a returned dish anyway.
“Thank you!” I called out, now determined to savor the serendipity.
Good Corporate Screw Ups
It’s been eight years since I’ve had an eye exam. I have typical age-related myopia and have had two glasses I’ve used interchangeably. I don’t use them all the time – mostly just for TV/movie watching and driving.
Then I lost a pair, so I kept a close watch (hehe) on the remaining one. When I lost the last pair, I panicked and went to ‘For Eyes‘ near where I work in Annapolis. I got the full exam, an updated prescription, and I picked out two new frames. They wouldn’t be ready for two weeks, but I figured I could sit in the front row of the cinema in the meantime if needed.
That wasn’t necessary, as I found one missing pair of glasses soon after. I thought about calling the store and canceling one of the specs, but I didn’t know if it was possible and I had no idea which was my fav anyway, so I figured I’d have to suffer with a surfeit of glasses – my $110 penance for clumsily losing track of them.
I got the ‘all ready’ call, and when I went to model my new eyewear, I instantly recognized that one of the frames was wrong – I’d never seen it before. At first I was annoyed, but almost as quickly I recognized the opportunity.
“This isn’t one of the frames I ordered,” I said.
An awkward silence, followed by “So sorry, we’ll get this fixed right away.”
“Don’t bother, let’s just cancel it,” I said, for once happy to be the victim of poor service.
What are some little recent things that you are grateful for?