#465 My special greeting no.2

I received the most golden of gold greetings today, and it came from none other than my shining light, my guiding star…

I was slowing down as I approached the house, being on the tail end of an hour long drive from work to home. As I started to turn into the driveway, I saw baby girl, jumping and scrambling up onto the brick pillar that contains the mailbox up front, trying to stand up – and then in pause, spotting my red car.

She stopped, her face serious, peering in. As I came closer I smiled at her, and her face went into a shocked frenzy, before breaking out into a full, whole face, smile. 🙂

“Ma! Ma!” she yelled with excited agitation, turning around to also call her Dad who was now walking up to her from the house.

As I brought the car to a stop, she jumped off the pillar and came around to my driver’s side, running into the door with a deliberate thud. I looked through the window to see her beaming at me.

Oh, my girl. All that, for me? She was that excited, to see me?

Heart melting.

Hubbie then added moments later, after repeated hugs and kisses and lots of laughter, that she had been calling out my name, and singing it out all day…

My sweet princess. My heart sings for you, too.

 

#437 Petrol cashier’s kindness

 

My gratitude came to me today at the insanely early and God-forsaken hour of 5:45am.

Godly indeed. Blessings certainly came my way.

Are you one of those people, where upon waking up, sudden thoughts and ideas and reminders, just pop into your head?

Pop, pop, pop!

Well as I was getting dressed for work this morning, I realised astutely, and begrudgingly, that I was fairly sure I had to fill up the car with petrol.

Damn it. The cons of working so far from home. I knew the tank would take me there. But the one time I tried pouring petrol in the city before my trip home, I was stuck in further traffic for so long, that I swore I would NEVER do that again.

I would have to do it then. Now. 5:30am.

Which I’ve done heaps of times before. No biggie. My car dash confirmed what I dreaded as I got in – yep, need the juice. Off we go, driver.

Standing in the freezing cold, rain whipping about me despite the elevated shade, it didn’t occur to me. Then, as I finished filling up the tank, it still, didn’t occur to me. Then, getting my wallet out of my bag, still, it didn’t occur to me.

As I opened up my wallet to get my card out, to make my walk across the petrol station to its indoors, I stopped.

Shock. Horror.

My card wasn’t there.

And just like that pop!

Another memory. 15 MINUTES TOO LATE.

The night before I had swapped the money Hubbie had in his wallet to take with me to work, for car parking, and put my key card in his wallet, just because, in case. I knew he probably wouldn’t need it, but you know.

I was being nice.

I didn’t even have a credit card. He had that too.

(Face palm).

I went back to the car, and got my mobile too. I didn’t know what I would do, other than I think I needed all the back up and technological gadgets I could get, for some unknown reason.

As the man at the counter called out “number 6?” with a smile, I grimaced.

“Yes, but I don’t have my cards! I’ve left them at home, and…”

I started rattling off random things. Should I call my husband? Should I get him to drop off the card? Both ideas were inconvenient – if I went home I’d most likely have to leave my driver’s licence with him, and that was if the cashier let me drive home. The other option involved Hubbie having to take baby girl with him to the petrol station down the road, just so he could give her scatterbrained Mum a freaking card from his wallet that HE DIDN’T EVEN NEED THAT DAY.

I waved my phone about. “Can I somehow pay, with this?” I racked my brain, realising that I didn’t even think our credit card had a mobile app, and even so, I didn’t have the card number on me!

And then as I was rattling off things sporadically, I came to some kind of end result…

I showed him my bank app, and asked “Can I pay the business through my account?”

Well, it wasn’t the business account I paid. But the man had given me his personal account number, and I transferred the funds into that. He didn’t explain, but my perception was that he would fix up the till, from the money I had put in there.

He held up his phone when it was done, and said “it’s gone through” with a smile. I didn’t step forward to check, as there was a queue of people in front of him waiting to pay for their items the normal way. I just thanked him profusely and left quickly.

But I wondered. Should I have taken a photo of his phone’s image, ensuring I had proof I had in fact paid? Would he report me to the cops and keep my money for himself?

Would my writer’s mind just shut up???

It’s sad that as we get older, we are often told to watch our backs, be wary of other’s intentions, and make sure we are not taken advantage of. I reminded myself of the facts – I had needed his help, and he had come through for me, going out of his personal way to do so.

And then, I said “breathe SmikG. This dude saved your arse.”

So, at 5:45am, I was grateful to the petrol guy. I think that station has gained a constant income from our family, from now until FOREVER.

#415 Good, baking, Friday

Just some of my W.I.Ps today:

I’ve got a lot of baking to do for Easter which is in two days, and I was more than happy to spend my day off today with my family, on a cold and grey and not too impressive day, just baking at home.

Baby girl played with her blocks, Hubbie played some instruments… and I baked.

Baby girl watched Tangled, Hubbie listened to music… and I baked.

Baby girl lined up all her Kinder ‘surprises,’ Hubbie watched youtube videos of cars he was frothing for… and I baked.

And I really enjoyed it all:)

The smell of muffins, melted chocolate, and moulded cake pops filled the walls of our home, and surrounded by that, and my family… well I think that makes for a pretty Good Friday, don’t you? 😉

#392 Quick reflexes

So, I’m glad I’m here writing this to you.

I’m so glad I’m alive.

And no, I’m not being melodramatic. I was nearly wiped off the road today, and my quick instincts saved me.

A colleague at work mentioned those ‘Sliding Doors’ moments after I told her the harrowing ordeal, and that just freaked me out more. Imagine if I had been going a bit faster, the guy could have, he really could have…

…Rammed into my left side and thrown me against the concrete wall of the Monash. Doing 100ks on that freeway, and then having to slam on the brakes, and swerve very abruptly towards the concrete wall, is NOT FUN.

I wondered: imagine? What if? Was I meant to get into an accident? Did I avoid getting mashed up – my real fate? Was that my ugly destiny?

I can’t think like that. In fact, I actually can’t. As a glass half-full gal, I believe that what is meant to be, has been, and that is, I miraculously avoided a huge collision and definite injury because, I’m meant to be around here for a while longer.

Call it fate. Call it intervention. Call it timing. Call it circumstance.

I’ll call it quick reflexes. And I am bloody well grateful for it.

 

#383 Somerville Family Day

We hadn’t yet been to Somerville, a 15-20 minute drive from our house back into bushland, so the Family Day being advertised during the Long Weekend there, seemed the perfect excuse to check it out.

There was something for ALL, which made it a great few hours spent. Cars were on show for Hubbie, the first point of call. Live music came from musicians playing up on the big stage in the centre of the grounds, with rides of all sorts scattered around it, for both the little and big kids. Food stalls were on the outskirts on one side, while craft and a whole other range of stalls bordered the other side.

There were a good number of jumping castles, pony rides took kids around for a walk, and again, FACE PAINTING.

Today she chose to be a “Roar!” Lion.

We grabbed some food – the twisty potatoes that I can’t deny myself, ever

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and wandered around ’til the brilliant sun made us oh-so-tired and ready for some cool surroundings, and home.

All in all, a great Autumn’s day. Definitely a Family Day winner 🙂

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#309 My town folk and Rain / Bestie’s surprise tree painting

A special edition. I had two interesting and special incidences today, and so I absolutely have to post both.

Lucky me. Double the gratitude:)

Part 1: The Rain.

I had just driven through the most hellish storm imaginable. I actually had thought to come to a complete stop while on the freeway going home from work. Many, many times, I found it almost impossible to see from the white sheets of rain in front of me, sweeping  across my car and enveloping it in a blurry fog of white. It was scary to endure, and I was relieved when after the longest drive, it started to lighten up.

And this, after the most incredible sunset last night. Ahh Melbourne.

Nearing home, the rain lessened. Finally. It had been a tense drive. I had to stop at the shops first, and got out of the car to light, wispy rain settling on the edges of my stray pieces of hair. I walked calmly into the centre.

After my post office stop and before I got to the supermarket, I heard it on the roof: the intense rattling.

Surely it wasn’t raining so hard, again, so soon after the hour of intense downpour I had just experienced on the way home?

15 minutes later with my bag of groceries in one hand, I was standing under the shelter out the front of the centre, looking in dismayed disbelief over the buckets of ran being heaved upon the car park.

My car was so close, yet so, so far.

I stood with others also holding out for the rain to ease. There were about 7 or so other shoppers, and I looked out at the car park, wondering just when and how long it would be until the rain gave out. It was heavy, and unrelenting.

The rain slowed, but only the slightest amount, not enough to brave the weather and walk through it… and yet, people did. Almost all the people who had been waiting decided to head on out to their cars. I watched, curious, as one by one they left, while I stood there, waiting, watching the Rain.

And then more came. I observed as people wandered in to the centre, soaking wet from the car park; and vice versa, as people exited the centre, and after a brief pause, a reshuffling of bags or searching of keys, kept on walking into the heavy rain towards their car.

The rain had lessened, ever so slightly. But I could tell what kind of deceiving rain this was, what with its big drops and generous weight. I wasn’t going out there, and getting soaked in 3 seconds time. I would keep waiting.

A man walked out of the centre with his son. They walked out and into the rain with little hesitation. A young couple walked out towards the car park as if they were taking a leisurely stroll.

Holiday-stayers, I observed. They don’t care if they get wet – they’re on holiday time.

An older man walked past me from the car park in his shorts and singlet, losing his thong in a deep puddle of water. He slowly stopped, walked back a few steps, his bare foot splashing through the puddle, before grasping the thong with his toe and balancing it back on. A nearby man smiled and they exchanged some words and a laugh before the man walked on, feet soaking, into the centre.

Ok, he mustn’t be driving. He can’t drive like that.

A woman walked out with her son. Flowy dress, telling him “now, don’t run!”

Run, why would you run? Ok it’s easier for her, he’s like 10, she doesn’t have to put him in the car herself.

Still I watched with how casually they made their way into the rain.

They’re all on holiday. I stood there in my wedges, pondering this fact. Skinny black jeans and a stripy singlet top. I was coming home from work. I had to drive home. I wasn’t on holiday time, not yet. These guys were not fazed at all if they got wet. They were moving about without a care in the world. I considered every justification possible.

Then, a woman walked towards the centre from the car park. As she moved forward, she too like the man earlier, lost her sandal in a puddle of water. She paused, her other foot hovering, as she fished it out of the water. I heard the splosh as it was brought forward and onto her foot. Her long flowy dress barely touched the deep puddles beneath her as she kept on going.

It hit me. My justifications were suddenly unworthy. These weren’t ALL holiday-makers. More than half were locals. And here I was, newbie in town, the girl from the ‘burbs looking on and wanting to avoid getting wet.

Screw that shit.

I waited for a slight break in traffic in front of the busy centre, and then started forward. Within seconds I could feel the warm drops sinking into all parts of my clothing, and it squeezed itself between my toes. My car was barely a minutes walk from the shopping centre shelter, and yet by the time I got to the car and plonked down in the driver’s seat, I looked down to rain splattered dark drops all over my clothes, saw the water on my arms as if someone had thrown a bucket on me, and felt my matted hair sticking in sections to my head.

And I loved it! I felt invigorated, refreshed, and alive.

Why the hell did I not do this earlier? We had moved to the beach for the lifestyle, which meant I had to live, LIKE the lifestyle. The locals had inspired me.

I wanted to live on the beach? Then live like I’m on the beach.

I genuinely, do love rain. And I also love my townsfolk 🙂

 

Part 2: The Painting.

I headed over to the parcel as my MIL was putting down baby girl for a nap. I had noticed it before getting changed out of my wet clothes, but hadn’t bothered to investigate further, feeling sure it was the coasters I had ordered a long time ago. Surely, most definitely, it was them. But as I picked up the parcel and the envelopes that read “card only” indicating the late Christmas arrival, the name at the head of the label jumped out at me.

SmikG.

Hmmm. I didn’t remember putting down my author’s alias when I had ordered the coasters. In fact, I don’t remember putting it down anywhere at all. As I looked at the parcel some more, with my actual name and address underneath my alias, the writing grew so familiar to me, that by the time I had turned the parcel around to see who the sender was, I was absolutely definite on who it was from, even though I had no idea what it was.

Sure enough, I was right.

I first opened the Christmas cards, wanting to save the intriguing and exciting surprise package from bestie ’til last. As I opened it, my very slight suspicions, and my judgments based on the weight and size, were confirmed.

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My very talented best friend has recently started painting again, after a long hiatus between high school and now. I actually had NO IDEA how talented she was until she started posting her work on facebook. I had commented on a painting she had done of a similar tree, as I love trees, and all symbols and images associated to them, as mentioned here, and here. However I didn’t think she would ever send me an actual, original painting of hers.

I immediately fell in love. It was perfect. The vibrant colour was reminiscent of our friendship too, an ode to high school, Prince, Purple Rain, and so much more. It was so personal of her to give me something so beautiful and creative of hers, and I immediately felt emotional.

I called her up to express my profound thanks, and later I placed it up high in our bedroom, until we find a more permanent home for it.

…When I walked into the room hours later, the painting of the purple tree was a sight for sore eyes. I didn’t realise how much colour was lacking in our room, in our house, and I was sick of seeing beige boxes shoved into corners all over the place, only I didn’t know how much until this masterpiece entered our home.

I love it. I am really grateful for this personal present gifted to me by a very dear friend, the heartfelt meaning behind it, and the sincere generosity of bestie to even think of giving it to me in the first place.

 

Dancing in the rain amidst friendly townfolk and purple trees by bestie. Not a bad day. Not a bad day AT ALL. 🙂

 

#296 What he said

His Dad died. He was 31 when his Dad passed away at 61. Healthy and fit, vibrant and strong. His Dad passed away, and though the battle was long, it still took everyone by surprise.

I know he was a grown man when he lost his Dad. With a wife, and soon, a baby. But still. It was his Dad. And when his Dad passed, he lost not only his Father-Figure, but a best mate. An idol. A drinking buddy. A shared car enthusiast. A shared music lover. A shared dancing partner. He lost, a lot.

It was really, really, really hard.

It still is.

So when he speaks now, know that he’s gone through a lot. He sees life differently. He says,

Life will never be the same.

He will never be the same.

He doesn’t take crap anymore. He makes the most of everyday. “We’re all gonna die one day,” he says nonchalantly. He says it so neutrally, yet he lives each day as full as possible, with wishes, hopes and dreams, thinking BIG while working long hours, making lists of what he wants to do with his life, and looking forward to coming home to his family at the end of each long workday.

“I don’t need anything,” he says to his Mum tonight. “Those cars I love – I’ll sell them tomorrow. This great job – I’ll find another one if I have to. We just moved house – but if I have to, I’ll move in another 2 years.”

He goes on. “All those things are replaceable. I can change them whenever I want. After seeing what happened to Dad, I wanna change things as much as I can.”

“But,” he says with a hand raised in the air. “There’s one thing I don’t ever wanna change. My wife.”

I smile, and all of my soul smiles inwardly. I peek into the lounge area where Hubbie is sitting with his Mum. Grinning my face off.

Our eyes meet, and I nod in shared acknowledgement.