Thursday, August 30, 2012

The scooter lady and me, juggling life

Today at Walgreens, I watched a woman on her motorized scooter trying to maneuver around the merchandise placed in every corner and aisle of the store.  She had just enough clearing and barreled though the space with confidence and familiarity.  I went about my shopping when her scooter came quickly around the corner and I moved to let her by.  She stopped and asked “Are your eyes better then mine?”  Being very familiar with the place myself, I asked her if she needed help.  “Yes,” she tells me in a curt and frustrated voice, “I’m trying to find the probiotics.”  She led me to the vitamin aisle and said in a very irritated voice, “they said they are right here, but I can’t see them.”  I scanned through the vitamins on every shelf, and on the very top, way above the eye level of a scooter bound person, I found them.  She barked, “Hand me the cheapest ones would ya?” Then she explained that she heard they are better than antibiotics.  “Thanks for the eyes” she softly shouted and off she drove.
After a little more searching for what I needed, I headed to the register and she was checking out.  One lady was behind her and quickly three of four people were behind me.  She apologetically explained to the clerk that she had to write a check since all her credit cards were stolen from her and misused and she didn’t have new ones yet.  As the lady started to write the check she mumbled to the clerk and the clerk replied, “that’s okay if you can’t see it, leave the line blank and the computer will fill it in.” I could feel the impatience of the other shoppers just as an announcement rang over the intercom, “There is no waiting in cosmetics.” The lady in front of me took off, and all the people behind me left to cosmetics too, so I moved up one in line.  I could hear the conversation even more clearly now as she told the clerk, “I can’t believe someone would steal my credit cards. One time I lost my purse when I was drunk so I couldn’t get mad, but this time I was mad, they stole from me!” She apologized for taking so long and the very patient minimum wage clerk so assuring said, “Your fine,” her voice almost melodic.  Moving very quickly trying to gather her bags, the scooter lady kept dropping items from her bag, “I’m so sorry,” she said. Calmly, without hesitation, the clerk said, “It’s okay, it’s fine, take your time.” When the lady left the store I paid the clerk for my stuff. Never did she complain about the previous customer, or try to apologize for her. She was just helping one customer as they needed and moved on to the next, seamless, with the quiet dignity she kept for me and the scooter lady.

Stress and worry will always be in my life.  I will fall and I drop things, forget things, and try to juggle everything in my bag, and I will get frustrated and lose my way, and often not see what is just in front of me.  Just like the clerk, God will stand next to me and say “It’s okay, it’s fine, take your time.” He will be my eyes, and I will breathe, and remember I can only juggle what fits in my hands, not in my bag, and God will take care of the rest. 

Friday, August 3, 2012

Gina, the flying squirrel, goes for gold!

A funny thing happened on the way to the forum. No, really, I was on the way to the Forum shopping center to meet Donna and Cyndie for lunch!  I had a little bit of time to kill between dropping Doug off at the base and meeting my two friends for Donna’s birthday – yep I’m singing to you again!  Anyway,  I drove through downtown taking pictures out the driver side window, but only while stopped at red lights, or pulled over in a parking lot.  

If I ever make it as a photographer, you know get paid for a picture some day, I could call myself the “Drive By Shutterfly”!  I was winding through the one way streets of downtown, took a right, and ended up the beautiful and historic King William district, home of the homes we all like to look at and wonder how anybody could afford just the electric bill! 

 I took some pictures of the neighborhood as the sun beamed down in full force blanketing the canopy of trees as its rays squeezed in between the limbs to paint the streets with sunshine.  I drove up and down often forgetting to take pictures as the architecture and landscaping distracted my quest.  I turned on a street called Arsenal and ended up at a T in the road.  To my left sat a beautiful pedestrian bridge crossing the San Antonio River Walk in a not so commercial area.  The large trees provided enough cover from the sun’s heat and I thought I just might be able to get out of the truck long enough to run to the bridge and snap a few great pictures. I parked in the shade so the truck wouldn’t heat up too much and started down the dead end street leading to the bridge.  Suddenly to my left I heard a rather loud rustling in the ground cover. I focused my eyes on what looked like a rat, then before bolting, I realized it was a squirrel.  

I lifted the camera to my eye and started taking pictures of the little guy as it climbed up the iron fence and found a good spot to devour its lunch.  After a few pictures, I noticed something from the corner of my eye and lower the camera enough to see another squirrel perched on the fencing way down at the end.  The first subject of my pictures moved along down the fencing for a more comfortable spot to eat, obviously unaware of the unwanted neighbor and that unwanted neighbor stared down that first squirrel like a cat waiting to pounce.