Gifts from the heart

It wasn’t a new car smell at all, but something akin to glue that crinkled my nose.

And put a wrinkle in my spirits.

I’d arrived at the shop to pick up my car after its two week spa visit, which included a partial body redo and plenty of candy red polish.

It sorely needed some TLC after being rear ended on the interstate.

Yet upon opening my front car door I noticed a mirror that was to be fixed had some how been forgotten.

And then the body shop manager happened to mention, “Oh, and by the way I think your battery’s shot.”

My heart sank as I drove off and tried to find someone willing to put one in on a weekend afternoon.

But a nearby station mechanic announced after testing it that there was a spark actually left in the old girl, and suddenly my heart rose again.

Particularly when the mechanic looked me in the eye and said, “No charge.”

Soon I felt my own spark return and so much younger.

I celebrated by traveling to the lake with my car windows down, soaking up the scents of spring mixed with clear blue water.

A soothing sailboat regatta in the distance quickly put miles between the unpleasant memories of rush hour highways and my busted vehicle weeks before.

Near the swimming beach I was greeted by my three young grandchildren to celebrate my grandson’s birthday.

But I found that I may have received the best present of all.

Each of them ran through the grass collecting wispy remnants of blooming dandelions in bouquets just for me.

Great gifts of the heart, pumped so full of love.

And we blew the old dandelions just like kisses, before I received a few special ones to call my own.

Right there on my left cheek, to remember always.

And you can bet I always will.

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Father Time’s Falling

I never was one to make New Year’s resolutions as I knew I’d surely break them.

Yet often on New Year’s Eve I’ll look back on the year gone by, as I did last night.

My date for the evening was my lively eight year old granddaughter.

She’d packed her purple and pink toy tea set for one of our beloved tea parties.

Possibly our last I was thinking, as soon she’ll be a ‘tween’.

I found our conversations over steaming cups of Earl Grey were skirting more towards adult topics such as bad drivers, technology, and bullying in America.

Later on we exchanged reviews of the rock stars performing on the TV before us, while waiting for the big crystal ball to drop in Times Square. I remember doing the same with my own grandmother, but I wondered could it have possibly been five decades before?

Suddenly, I felt old.

Father Time marches on, and ever so quickly.

Still I smiled as I looked at the sweet faced third grader before me:

-A girl who thinks it’s “so cool” I spend part of my work days now with students her age.

-A girl who believes it’s “so neat” that I’ve recently moved into a little grandma house, “so perfect” for overnight visits.

-And a girl who says it’s “fantastic” that Grandma adopted a young pup, just as energetic as the one Grandma had many years before.

As I took my two senior dogs out with the new youngster canine before turning in, I looked up at the stars while listening to the music of fireworks behind me.

Maybe…just maybe my move, retirement, a new job, and the new pup were good decisions for me last year, I mumbled out loud.

Sure, time is moving faster, but then so am I.

You see, I continue to be blessed with a muse.

And that muse is one spirited, sprinting granddaughter.

Who you calling Grandma?

I was dozing off in my little house at noon the other day to the lullaby of a train whistle.

The tracks sit just a block and a half away.

When I awoke later, I smiled thinking my Grandma used to do the same thing in her own little white house that rested by the rails eighty miles west of here.

Grandma’s home was directly across the street from the elementary school where she worked as a teacher. I loved playing school while helping Grandma set up her classroom each August for the returning students.

Sharpening yellow No. 2 pencils was my job.

I’ve working now with elementary school kids, too.

Just like Grandma.

And I still love No. 2 pencils.

Grandma’s sweet little house sat two blocks south from the town library where we’d always check out as many hardcover books as we could carry.

My library today is the same short distance from my little white house and I’m still known to take more than a few great reads back home.

Traveling the sidewalks back to my place tonight with my latest bound ‘treasures’, I couldn’t help but think my own home looks just like Grandma’s little white house.

I wondered have I become my grandmother?

Could be.

I am a grandma after all.

Yet I do know for one thing for sure.

Grandma never rocked and rolled down in her basement.