Thursday, January 17, 2013

Sitting Pretty

One of my best Christmas presents was a last-minute agreement with Gerald that we would wait until after the holidays to think about a gift for each other. Our live had been so over-full that there had been no time for shopping.  Neither of us had an idea for the other one—and neither of us had a suggestion to give of what we wanted.  One of the blessings of being elderly is that you have more than you need and ought to start disposing of things, so it is hard to come up with something you want to obtain.  I did not even have the name of a book in mind to suggest because all I could think of was the ones already acquired and waiting for me to read. (I do have some out-of-print books I’d like, but two days before Christmas would not allow anyone to find such books.)

Well, I was shopping for groceries at the local warehouse store and accidently walked through the book aisle.  And Proof of Heaven in $9.95 paperback caught my eye.  Back when Elizabeth Kubler-Ross’s book came out about near-death experiences, we had read and been interested.  For me that interest was intensified in that same era when a friend and pastor’s wife Nita Robinson shared her own near death experience.   I don’t know what happened to Ross’s book, which I think we may have owned, and I can’t really remember much other than its subject matter of death. (Now I want to read it again.) 

Anyhow I made the mistake of pausing to look at the Eben Alexander book and soon noted two other paperbacks on the same subject right by it.  Suddenly I had cheated and broken my pledge to Gerald by buying all three paperbacks for him.  At the end of Christmas day, I apologetically gave them to him as my first installment of his Christmas gift.  I still did not have any ideas for him or for myself.

Last week on Thursday we were supposed to meet friends in Carbondale for breakfast, and I’d packed the car trunk the night before to recycle while there.  And I had put in my hearing aid in the front seat.  It had gone bad two days before Christmas, and needed to be checked out by the technician in Carbondale. The next morning we had to cancel our breakfast date unexpectedly, so I began to try to plan again for a trip to Carbondale as I did not want to unpack the trunk. 

So I told Gerald he would get the rest of Christmas present on Monday and to reserve that day.  We would go to lunch together, recycle the stuff in the trunk, drop off my hearing aid, and do his usual errands at the large office supply store there where he gets camera and computer supplies.  Then late in the afternoon we would see Lincoln at a Carbondale theater and go out to dinner together afterward on the way home. (We were able to stop at Katherine’s house on our way over and again on our way back and do some adjustments for her and help just a mite there.)

It turned out to be even a better gift idea than I had thought.  We thoroughly enjoyed our day together and the movie.  And at the office supply store, we saw a very nice desk chair on sale. Gerald said my computer chair was broken and he had tried to fix it but it could not be fixed.  Didn’t I want a new chair?  This was all news to me.  I live life pretty much unconscious much of the time.  As far as I knew, my chair was fine, but I did believe him when he said it wobbled or something or other was wrong with it.  And the chair in front of me was much better looking than the one at home.  So suddenly I knew what I wanted for Christmas, and by the next day he had it out of the trunk and put together for me.  The old one is pushed over to another desk area in my office and can hold a guest, I suppose, until it falls apart.

I am sitting here enjoying my new chair as I write you this blog.  I am indeed sitting pretty.

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