Yeah! And you know what? It is one of those increasingly rare Saturdays for which I have no commitments or obligations! This is a play-day Saturday! No guilt for leaving chores undone because I've helped a friend move, for example. No feeling bad about making it someplace on time. Nope. This day is MINE! All MINE! Bwah-haha!
It has started well. I slept in, and even when the clock radio went off I dawdled in bed and listened to the entire "Car Talk" on NPR this morning. Those guys are a hoot -- comedians and good information all in one. Makes me feel better about driving an old car when I listen to them, especially when I can diagnose car problems along with them from the listeners' calls.
To update y'all on my car situation: At the moment I am completely without any air conditioning. Last Saturday I was out of town, and an an inopportune time the compressor bearings went out and started creating an embarrassingly horrific sound. Nothing I could do would stop it. Leaving church was also embarrassing as there were plenty of people in the parking lot listening to it and wondering if my car was ready to explode.
Monday morning I learned that the evaporator core (No. 4 for those who are counting) is on back order until the end of August! Another week, probably, at the earliest -- that now puts us over the Labor Day weekend and I am betting that I won't hear a peep until AFTER the holiday. So I explained the problem has now contaminated the compressor and the bearings are squawling. They offered to disconnect the belt and change the clutch on the compressor to at least stop the noise. He'll also get me a compressor at cost, saving me hundreds of dollars, when the evaporator core is available and we install that. I may have cool air in October, right about the time we all have cool air.
This hot summer is tough on a delicate little wilty flower like me, although someone said I was more like a sunflower -- and sunflowers are tough! (Thanks for that, someone! But remember sunflowers are also tall, which I decidedly am not.)
Honestly, August heat and I don't get along. I'm also sporting a major sunburn from having spent a few too many hours outside without protection while doing some work. I'm about as white as a sheet of paper and it doesn't take a lot of exposure for me to get a serious burn, so a couple of hours outside in a rural area is just begging to get cooked to a crisp.
On the other hand ...
Yesterday morning I had a great experience, meeting someone for coffee at Starbucks. It's a whole different sort of place at 10 a.m. than at other times of day. There were a couple of moms there in different areas -- one momma giving her baby boy a bottle on the soft club chairs and another momma with her toddlers playing in a nook with a couple of love seats. The toddlers were enjoying some of the baked goods for a special treat, alternating between taking bites and coloring and playing with blocks of some sort. It was quiet and serene, and, I noticed, everyone had smiles on their faces. Especially the momma feeding the baby boy his bottle.
There was also a man at a table for one, reading the morning paper as he sipped his coffee, and an older couple. I think they were probably traveling through because they asked to have a thermos filled. It was fun watching them as they decided what to order -- one would pick something only to be reminded by the other why that was a bad choice. Then they flipped roles. It was a wonder they ever were able to place an order, but when they did get their treats they went to sit on the patio under an umbrella.
The cool slate floor and the blond wood ceiling features made the coffee shop a serene, almost holy place for these special Friday-morning moments. Through the windows we could watch a gardening crew replacing some of the small shrubs that had fallen to the summer heat.
Lazily watching these gentle moments made me glad that I had arrived early. I found myself able to breathe a little more deeply than usual, pulling out memories of my childhood and those special moments with my own momma when we would do something different, like going to a little cafe for lunch instead of eating at home. Such times as these are special bonding moments with children -- times when adults can show them, even without words, that they are special and deserve those prized moments and experiences.
I felt special too, when my acquaintance arrived. I wasn't sure why she had called for coffee, but had a bit of a fear of a serious conversation about some recent conflicts involving other people. I could not have been more wrong.
Instead, she started by asking me how I was doing, and was unwilling to take the glazed-face "Fine" that we all respond with. She gave me a chance to voice all the nasty little problems that have accumulated recently. And I appreciate it so much.
We wound up having a great, long, serene conversation, exchanging some real truths about what is happening in both of our lives. Sometimes just speaking the truths helps to take the pressure off of those things we're dealing with -- knowing that now there is another human being who knows and understands what we're facing.
During our conversation we also kicked around some creative ideas that we're going to discuss further, in another morning coffee session. Ideas for worship and a women's retreat and other spiritual expressions.
Funny how one morning's coffee klatch can have such an effect. Funny how one hour spent like this can take someone from an acquaintance to a friend. Thanks, my friend.