Friday, June 17, 2016

The Ice Cream Man's Playing Christmas Music

Earlier this week I went to Target to re-stock on the typical day-to-day items I try to buy in bulk: diapers, laundry soap, floss. Of course, I also bought a new shelf for our laundry closet and a pillow for my sister. I chose a checkout line where a girl was buying a outdoor table and chairs. Smart, I thought, because it looked like she was buying a ton, but in reality it was only five XL items. But then, none of the patio chairs had tags and then the cashier had the cash register manual out and quickly my bright idea seemed terrible. After 20 minutes, it was my turn and lo and behold, I forgot my wallet. Once I found it in the bottom of my skate bag in the car I got back in line to pay. I walked out in a hurry, but dropped the diapers out of the bottom of my cart. By the time I realized it, they were already gone and no one had turned them in. When I told Scott about the ordeal I said, “I feel like I used to have good luck and now it’s gone.” I’ve even been wondering if God is mad at me for praying less.

This afternoon I went surfing. Basia and Phil are in town and they watched Avalon for me. I could see them holding her hand in the waves as I looked back at the shore. The water was rough and windy, but perfect wedges kept coming right towards me like tiny marching mountains. I could see straight to the sandy bottom on every duck dive.

Later, the air was still and the grass was hot and there was an ice cream truck playing Christmas music down the street. Why would an ice cream truck play Christmas music?

Avalon and Phil were napping and Basia and I were making things with beads and fishing wire in the living room under the fan. Basia needed a clasp for her bracelet even though she said she could just tie the ends together and double wrap it. I got an old pocket watch chain from my jewelry nest and insisted she use it. “I would have given it to Goodwill if I’d gone through that drawer anyways, honest!” I said. Then we realized we needed to cut the chain clasp free with a sharp tool. I went into our storage shed. “Scott has tons of random tools”, I told her. I went into our storage room. I found wire stripers and a razor blade; one useless, one dangerous. I went to Papa JJ’s tool box. Scott’s always saying how he finds the right thing in there, but I never met Papa JJ before he died so I thought maybe the magic wouldn’t work for me. But then, right there, the first tool I grabbed was a sheer sharp enough to cut the metal chain, and more. And I thought, maybe my luck is changing.

Maddie’s chemo party is tomorrow. The end in this case is something so happy. And then, maybe my luck was never really bad afterall.


  1. Sometimes the little bits of luck have to divert to bigger things. Sometimes mums have so much on their minds they can't hold all of the information, such as where their wallet is, in the handy place at the front. I think your luck will be good. It made me smile that Phil had to have a nap as well. So very pleased for Maddie to come to the end of her chemo at last. I hope the party is a good one. I imagine it will be. CJ xx

  2. I went to the grocery store the other day in the heat of the afternoon. I knew I should have stayed home, but I was feeling cooped up with my daughter June, who is nine months old and wild. As I got her out of her car seat, I dropped my cell phone and broke it. We wandered the aisles and filled our cart, only to discover at check out that my wallet was at home. The cashier suspended my order and I raced outside to my van where it sat, waiting for me, the door completely open like I had left it.

    Anyway, this story is all to say that these maddening moments of life always make good stories. So, maybe it's not about good luck or bad luck, but instead embracing each opportunity to find words. Words are always the reward.

    I always appreciate your words. Thanks for writing.

  3. Hooray for the chemo party! So glad that this is the end for her!

    As always your pictures make me happy. I love seeing your little girl growing up!

  4. The celebration of Maddie"s conquering cancer is the important part of this story. Papa JJ's tool box is a magical place. He never spent a ton of money to buy the best tool but he always spent his money on the right tools that usually had impact on many jobs around the car and the house. He always said "if you don't have the right tool, take the time to go get it and quite wasting time trying to make the wrong tool work". It was advice I use today in all parts of my life. Pappa D


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