Sometimes it’s the little unexpected gifts that surprise me most. A baby dove cooing on the windowsill or a bunny asleep under our crepe myrtle. I experienced one of those amazing moments today, in fact, but I had to go a bit further than my backyard to find it—or rather, for it to find me.
I’ve taken a break from social media, blogging and a few needless chores to finish my writing project. A thin layer of dust never hurt anyone, and no one cares if the bed’s unmade. But there comes a time when the toilet paper runs low and you’re out of all foods that are actually healthy for your diet. Naturally I didn’t want my husband living off pancake mix or rationing the last of the TP. So, I grabbed my list and headed out for what I thought would be a normal grocery run.
A trip to the store in the middle of a storm paid off in a great parking space, but the clouded sky and rain taps on the windshield lulled me into nap mode. I dragged myself out of the car and joined the rest of the shoppers inside. It was like slow motion in there. Everyone was running on empty. Then I smelled it—that dark bean roast whiff that makes your nose perk up. And I made a beeline for a caffeine fix.
Only one person ahead of me, I thought. Her drink order was almost done, credit card out. I was so close. Then came Betty and John (at least that’s what I’m calling them). Right as a second barista emerged from the back, a couple rounded the other side of the coffee display and rolled their cart up to the counter.
Honestly, I’m short, like, 5’2” in heels short. I knew they didn’t see me over the display, and it really wasn’t a big deal. But when John turned and saw me, he literally blushed.
“Did we . . . cut in line?” John asked.
“It’s fine.” I threw in a shrug, like, seriously, it’s not an issue. Besides, they were older and had just come in out of the rain. Betty was rubbing her arms like she wished she’d grabbed a jacket before they left.
John tap, tap, tapped on Betty’s shoulder. She turned mid-order and said, “Oh, no. Was she here before us?”
I repeated my go ahead’s and after an awkward pause, the barista got everyone’s drink order. Like I said, it was fine. I honestly didn’t think anything of it. Until I tried to pay.
“Yours is covered,” the barista said when I took out my wallet.
What? Now I was the one fumbling for what to say to John and Betty, but really all that mattered was, “Thank you.”
We talked until our coffee was ready, wished each other safe travels then parted ways.