Changes in Gratitude

You do a favor for someone, or they do one for you. Do you expect at least a simple “thank you” and “you’re welcome” to be exchanged?

I recently found a videotape I shot of a former boss’ children at an event, with him as the person in charge. He was always supportive and friendly — a very nice, honest, hard-working man. We had enjoyed at least one lunch together after my leaving his employ. I figured it would be nice to preserve the video rather than leave it to rot on the tape.

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A Little Fall Color 2013

Here in north-central Texas, we don’t get a wide variety of fall colors, and there are very few large, old trees to amaze us with what little color they put on display. Behind the parking lot at work, these quiet woods flank defunct railroad tracks. Did I just quote a George Clinton lyric?

(click to enlarge)

A Little Fall Color 2013

Coffee and the Bee

I had fixed the boy’s breakfast and was running late for work. Only seconds after perfectly grinding my coffee beans I dropped the grinder. It bounced off the counter and landed on the floor, spilling all four tablespoons (pre-ground measurement). We have a cocker spaniel, and caffeine can kill dogs, but I didn’t have time to stop and clean up the mess, so I called out for assistance (it was about the time my wife usually gets up on weekdays, anyway — 6:40 or 6:45).

She grabbed our cheap vacuum cleaner and crammed herself into the kitchen with the rest of us.

While scooping my second batch of grounds into the coffeemaker, I thought I noticed something hovering around my legs. “Do you see something flying around?” I said.

Struggling with the Hoover, Shannon looked up at me like I was insane, her judgment obviously clouded by her grogginess. I slapped the coffee maker’s lid shut and punched Brew Now, then turned to face the kitchen island.

When I lifted my cereal bowl, something flew up into my face and I screamed like Lee Lee Sobieski (you know, girly, but with a low voice?). Flying, stinging insects are very unpredictable, and they can pierce your eyeball.

The bee fled to the fluorescent fixture overhead, where it camped out while Benjamin kept a safe distance in the living room. “It’s okay, son, I just freaked out a little bit because I didn’t know it was there and it got in my face,” I said.

It was not my finest Monday morning.

Are We in the Jerk Store?

The only customer in the shop, I stood waiting for the nice lady behind the counter to fill my meager order: one white creme-filled donut and two glazed cinnamon twists.

Behind me, the donut shop’s front door swung open with a resounding “ding” and in stepped a graying man, sharply dressed, with two small children flanking him. ¬†Also wearing their Sunday best, they rushed passed him, straight for the counter. ¬†Their dress shoes skidded across the slick vinyl floor.

“Now, remember, one dollar each,” he called after them.

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