Up in the Air

“Some days are diamonds.”  So sang John Denver.  And I had one of those days just before Christmas.  It all happened at Costco.

I walked in feeling light and left the same way.  It’s such a mystery why this happens.  Mostly my life has been heavy lately, crying and crying for my wife Jody.  But then …

I walked over to the photo department, hoping to bug my friend Tara.  But she wasn’t working that day.  Instead I said hi to Melissa, a woman I hadn’t met before.  I was carrying my trusty chocolate waffle cone, and licking copious amounts of the good stuff.  Suddenly, with no thought involved, I threw the cone into the air,  I watched it peak at maybe twelve feet and come plummeting down … into my right hand.  Nice catch.  Part of the cone shattered and the ice cream flowed down my hand.  Another employee got a paper towel and offered me the use of their sink.  I just stood there, though, marvelling at what had happened.  I’m not interested in knowing why I did it.  I’m just happy that I did.  As for Melissa, she seemed fascinated with the moment.

Earlier I had been sitting at the snack bar, enjoying a hot dog and Diet Coke.  A woman sat at the next table, with her three young granddaughters.  After a few minutes of conversation,  I asked the older girls if they’d heard of the poem “Twas the Night Before Christmas”.  They said yes.  “Would you like me to recite it to you?”  Yes again.  I told them that I had learned to recite it really fast.  “Fast or slow?”  “Fast.”  And so I launched into Santa’s story.  My record is one minute and twenty-eight seconds.  The girls’ faces were full of antonishment, but nowhere near as much as grandma’s.  After a rip-roarin’ “And to all a good night”, it was smiles all around.  I’ve said the poem to thousands of kids and they always loved Speedy Twas.

Sooner rather than later, it was time to leave my blessed Costco.  There was a woman sitting at the front, collecting money for the Salvation Army, I think.  I made a contribution and got talking to her.  From out of the blue, a question poured from my mouth:  “Would you like to sing ‘O Canada’?”   She said yes.  So we serenaded the incoming and outgoing shoppers with our national anthem.  As I remember, no one smiled … except us!

And then it was off into the twilight, humming along.  An hour of ease and fun.  Would that all my days be so.


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