A true appreciation.

Yesterday was a great day. That deserves it’s own paragraph.

I was heading out to my garage on 6th. I had a quick errand to run before that, which took me near the TJMaxx/HomeGoods store. I knew they were opening and I was excited about that. I already had plans to visit the store with a friend, but since there were only two people in line to get in, I thought I would just swing in and see what was new.

As I walked through the doors I saw the homemade sign that said “We have missed you!” I thought to myself, “Back atcha.” It was some time in February when I last visited that store. I enjoy that place. It is chock full of a lot of things that I like. I had my nose and mouth covered with a mask, but I tried hard not to focus on that. To say I hate wearing a mask is an understatement, but I know it is the best thing for everyone so I tried to keep my inner whining to a minimum.

I slowly pushed my cart from department to department. I moved slowly taking it all in. I walked this path with a cart countless times before, but this time was special. This time I was mindful of my freedom to do so. I was so grateful. This got me thinking about all the other things in my life that I take for granted. Little things. I said a silent prayer of thanks. I will never take that walk again without a deep appreciation of gratitude.

I didn’t want to stay long because I still want to be responsible. I don’t want to catch Covid 19 and I am very aware that while the numbers of sick and dying are no longer on the rise, the virus is still a real and dangerous thing.

When I got to the back of the store I noticed people forming a line. The realization hit me. THIS was the checkout line. Oh my. I immediately jumped in the line. Although I didn’t see the entire one side of the store I figured I could look at each aisle while my cart held my place in line. It was 1:15. I joked with the women in front and behind me that I bet it would take 45 minutes to get to the register. (Haha, if only). This was my view.

I began to have conversations with these two strangers. Although we were in line it was nice to be out of the house and talking with people. We each took turns visiting the aisles of candles and house goods. I spotted a cute fan and bought it for the garage. It’s cool there now, but it won’t be long until I’m uncomfortable when I am painting. I spotted a cute throw pillow with a bunny wearing glasses on it. I love near-sighted animals. Like all of the other Easter items, it was 75% off. In the cart it went. I picked up a few other items along the way. I was super excited when I got to the garden area and saw these three guys.

I swear my heart was singing! Years ago I posted a photo of three monks just like this on Facebook saying it was a need not a want. My thoughtful niece, Kate, gave me a small statue that I love that sits on my family room shelf. Now I have one for outside! A few years back I saw this guy sitting in almost the same spot. He was too heavy for me to lift to buy him. I told Sadie and she went back and got him for me for Mother’s day. His name is Stanley and he is quite a character. I have a thing for monks. I would venture to say I was one in a past life.

I saw my friend and hairdresser in the line. She said she would soon be opening up. I laughed and said that my gray/brown/blond/purple hair was happy to hear that.

An hour and a half later and I was at the register unloading my cart of stuff. I looked around and noticed that although the line was long everyone was in good spirits. We were all just grateful for our time in the store. I loaded my purchases in my car, put hand sanitizer on my hands and continued to my garage to paint.

It was so nice to see the extraordinary in the ordinary yesterday. I am going to make an effort to see things through my new TJMaxx eyes. Have more appreciation for the things I am able to do that so many other people in the world cannot. Be grateful. Be mindful.

Think of the things you do everyday without thinking about them. Turning on a light switch. The cool air that is blowing out of the vents in your house. The roof over your head. All of that, if gone would make a huge change in your life. What else? Sit in that thought for a while. Say a prayer of thanks.




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