Thursday, October 25, 2012

Like A New Pair Of House Shoes

One year my grandma told me she wanted a new pair of house shoes for Christmas. (For those of you unfamiliar with southern speak, house shoes are slippers.) Such a simple request, so I had no problem purchasing the house shoes for her, lovingly wrapping them in pretty paper, and placing them underneath her tree. I didn’t tell her what the gift was, though I was pretty sure she knew, and looked forward to seeing her open it on Christmas morning.

A few days later I visited her again. I was relaxing in her recliner when I happened to glance down at the gifts under the tree and noticed that mine appeared to have been tampered with.
I picked it up and examined it, and sure enough, the paper was wrinkled, and the tape had definitely been peeled off and replaced.

Grandma lived alone. There was only one explanation.
“Grandma!” I exclaimed. “You opened your present!”

Her eyebrows raised, but she didn’t even hesitate.
“Well, yeah,” she said casually. “I was just sitting here the other day, and I thought, ‘I’d sure like to put on my new house shoes’, so I did.”

I giggled in disbelief.
“So you just opened your present? You just…you just opened it up, put them on, wore them for a while, and then wrapped them back up?”

“Well, yeah...” she said. “They were too small.”
I rolled on the floor in a fit of laughter.

Grandma! You’re not five. You’re nearly eighty years old – you should know better!”
She just grinned as I laughed at the absurdity of a grown woman not being able to wait until Christmas to open her present (and mostly at her attempt to cover it up).

But you know what? Her casual admission said it all – I think she did know better.
At her age she’d probably spent much of her life waiting for things to happen…waiting for the gifts to appear…waiting for the right moment to enjoy them…and perhaps she had simply decided there was no point in waiting.

Enjoying The Small ThingsI want to be like Grandma. What a tiny, simple, unimportant gift, and yet she literally could not wait to open it.
How great is it to have something to look forward to? To have something that you’re so excited about that you just can’t wait for it? To have a goal, a trip, an opportunity, an event, a moment…something that you long for and go after with your whole heart?

And how much better is it when it's something as simple as a pair of house shoes?

As I walk this path of mine, I want to stop and unwrap my simple gifts along the way with excitement. I don’t want to wait for them if I don’t have to. Life doesn’t last forever, so I’ve got to open as many gifts as I can, right?
So what are my ‘gifts’, those things that I should seek in this journey? What fascinates me? To which parts of life am I irresistibly drawn? What captivates me?

They are the moments that I feel compelled to write about or that prompt me to grab my camera. They are the tiny hands that hold mine, the embrace that calms my fears, and the desires in my heart. They are the things that make me laugh, the things that make me cry, and mostly, the things that open my eyes.
They are everything that is simple and pure and true, and so often overlooked.

Things That Fascinate Me In Life

Those are the things I find myself craving. Those are the simple gifts I want to enjoy each and every day, and I refuse to wait until Christmas.


Mama’s Losin’ It