Sunday, May 25, 2014

Everywhere a Sign

Bill Engvall has made some serious bank on his "Here's Your Sign" bit. Here's your sign is sarcasm at its finest -- drawing attention to the obvious at the expense of the one who stood motionless as it traveled right over her head.

Well, I got to thinking about signs, and how many there are out there. Signs that show us someone really cares, signs that point the way to a better tomorrow after an absolutely rotten today, and signs that shed some light on the similarities between us when only differences seem present.

Just this morning, I watched Tinkerbell as she trotted into the house for her breakfast. Our old girl is at least 8 years old -- 56 or so to her -- and it shows when she takes the stairs to bed each night. A bird flew across her path just as she started toward me. In a flash she was on it! She gave up the chase as it swooped straight to the sky, but when she turned back to me she was a puppy again. Her eyes were bright, her step was quick, and I'm not sure how, but for a split second her fur was the rich tan and black of her youth. Sometimes we just need to recall what it's like to be young again.

I'm having surgery in less than two weeks. The folks at work know all about it; I've already had to take some time off, and I will be on short-term disability afterward. One day a week a group of young (as in young enough to be my children) employees comes to my office to hang out with one of their friends. They're rowdy, opinionated and close-knit. They do not listen to the same kind of music that I do, they don't watch the same movies or take part in the same activities; their lives are very different from mine. They have graciously adopted an old-head like me, and I affectionately refer to them as "The Kids." They gave me a Get Well card last night. It was signed by each and every one of them. I was touched, really touched. They didn't have to do that, but I'm glad they did. Never judge a book by its cover.

Two weeks ago, I had my truck in the shop for some simple repairs and inspection; the bill was about what I expected -- definitely not my worst. This past week, I noticed a new noise. Upon returning it to the shop, I received a preliminary diagnosis of "something needing to be adjusted." $1800 later... Oh, yes, in addition to the first bill! I know the repairs were necessary, but it was money we did not have, and I wasn't entirely sure dumping more money into the old girl was a prudent use of limited finances. The next few weeks are going to be tough -- budget, budget, budget -- so on the way home I stopped at a discount grocer to pick up some items. I carefully selected those which would s-t-r-e-t-c-h my wallet. As the cashier asked for $30.48, the lady behind me exclaimed, "I'm going shopping with you! You really know how to shop." It was then I realized I had three bags -- milk, OJ, enough meats for five dinners and a couple of lunches. I did all right! I walked to my car feeling more confident than I had in days. The little things can mean so much.

The signs abound, we only have to be willing to look for them. It's not faith in the signs, or signs that rescue us from the snag we're in but it's our willingness to see the signs as gifts -- encouragement and inspiration for when we need it most, lessons to treasure for the long haul.

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