Monday, January 18, 2016


I did not win Powerball. I can honestly say I was disappointed. There were winners, regular people like me who bought tickets because at some point someone, or more than one someone, was going to win the jackpot. I thought, "Why not me?" Well, not this time but I will try again.

I did not get the job I interviewed for ten days ago. I was grateful to get the call because it meant that someone looked at my application and thought it was worth giving me a look-see. The interview was thorough; they were as interested in what I am currently doing in certain situations as they were in what I would do in the position they need to fill. I felt good about my answers but obviously I was not the best candidate. I will keep applying.

We have not had a snow day yet this winter. Snow has arrived overnight with time to clear the roads or the storms have waited for the weekend. I like snow days. They are gifts of time that are unexpected and much appreciated. I hope we don't go the whole winter without a snow day.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

It Started With A Line

It's three days in and I can say that the year has gotten off to a good start. Ken and I decided to spend the first few days of 2016 out of town. I made reservations for three nights at an in-town hotel in Portsmouth, NH. Ordinarily the room is not classified as having a good view, but New Year's Eve we had front row seats at a gorgeous fireworks display right out our window over the parking garage. Fortunately I remembered to make fashionably late dinner reservations, and the meal was everything we hoped it would be.

New Year's Day we made a trip to a nearby mall. We had a few specific things to shop for but mostly we wanted a chance to walk and window shop. Our last stop was JCPenney. I had five items to purchase at the first register we approached. Ken remembered one more thing, so we left the line and walked to another department.

That was our first mistake.

We picked up the five dollar item and joined another line at the "line forms here" sign. The woman in front of us had a few items, but the couple in front of her had several hundred dollars worth of merchandise. The woman moved with her few items to a second clerk when it was her turn. The couple with piles of linens was still checking out when the second clerk at the register became open. It was our turn but a gentleman with one item stepped up the counter. We thought it couldn't take long, and our turn would come shortly.

That was our second mistake.

The second clerk asked the man if he had a JCPenney credit card. He couldn't remember, so she offered to check the computer. It took her four tries to correctly enter his phone number. Alas, he no longer had an active account. The clerk offered to open a new account for him, and he thought that was a fine idea. The couple in front of us had a total of 51 items; the store allows a maximum of 50 items on a receipt, so the first clerk had to start a new ticket. About that time a clerk in jewelry announced that she could take people at her register. We thought that sounded like a good idea.

That was our third mistake.

I started toward the jewelry department saying, "Thank you! We have been in line a long time." Just then a man came out of nowhere and raced me to the register. He got there first. Ken said, "Let's go back to the first register."

That was our fourth mistake.

We walked across the store with our six items and got in line again behind two people. There was a woman checking out with over $500 worth of clothes. She talked loudly about her use of reward points, and the clerk announced that the woman had saved over $250. The customer grabbed her bags filled with purchases. We breathed a sigh of relief because the next woman was holding just one item.

That was our fifth mistake.

The woman stepped up to the counter with one shirt. The clerk reached around to a counter behind her and picked up two bags of clothes which she placed on the front counter. "You want to return these?" the clerk asked. The woman responded in the affirmative. There were two separate receipts so each item had to be matched with the correct one. Ken and I were shaking our heads and trying not to laugh. About halfway through the process the customer shared that she forgot her wallet, so she had no identification. A moment later she explained that the items were gifts and she did not have the credit card on which the items were charged. Then the clerk got on the phone to the manager because she was unable to complete the conversion of the return to a gift card. Ken and I were still discreetly laughing when another clerk showed up. Did we dare hope....

Finally we were able to make our purchase. Other than the fact that I had to bring to her attention to an item she missed, we were successfully checked out and went on our way. It took us 45 minutes to purchase six items at JCPenney. At the 40-minute mark I said that I needed to write about this experience because it was so ridiculous. And because no one would believe it. And because Ken and I were able to laugh at an absurd series of events in a situation that will likely never occur again.

This is my first post of 2016, the result of something that happened that I decided to share here. I want to celebrate that. There were few moments like that to write about last year. The birth of my granddaughter was such a moment, as were the quilting retreats.

I want more moments like that this year, moments where I am so present that I see how miraculous they are or how creative or how ridiculous.

Here's to a year of moments ~