I’ve come to really appreciate and rejoice in days that unfold in unexpected ways. They feel like sweet reminders of what I’ve gained by learning to let go of control and live in the moment. Yesterday was just that kind of day…
Dennis and I had our first “Date Day” since early in the year. Busy season tends to put a hold on these fun days where we both take time off from work, take the kids to school (free babysitting!), and go out to enjoy time together. Our only real plan for the day was having breakfast and coffee at our favorite place in downtown’s East Village – Café Chloe. Oh my goodness, how I love this place! The food and coffee are always amazing and the French atmosphere is such a joy.
We had the idea to go hit at batting cages later in the day, since we’re playing in a coaches softball game next weekend at the RPLL Closing Ceremonies. We’re both pretty rusty so we need some practice! But, we also wanted to relax and let the day unfold naturally. After breakfast, we decided to stroll through downtown and explore a bit. We lived walking distance from downtown for three years when we were first married, and then just up the way in Hillcrest for another five years. While downtown feels very familiar and like a walk down memory lane for our relationship, it’s always changing. Old places are shut down and new restaurants and shops opening. Dennis still comes downtown daily for work, but it’s a rare trip for me these days as my suburban life has evolved!
I’ve recently had an itch to redecorate and add more Mexican style to our home. So, I suggested we visit Cost Plus, which has been a frequent stop on our downtown visits over the years. The downtown location is in a huge old warehouse and really eclectic. As we approached the store we saw the ominous, “Store Closing – Everything Must Go!” signs. We were sad but also recognized the chance for some good deals! The store didn’t open for a few minutes so we decided to walk back to get our car and move it closer. If we got anything significant from the store, we didn’t want to haul it back the 12 blocks we’d just walked.
We spent a long time slowly perusing the store. So fun! When I came across the Madera console table, I instantly recognized it was exactly what I’d been looking for! We have a bare wall that’s needed a console table, but I wanted to get one that was just right. Now that I’m trying to evolve the living room to a more rustic, Mexican style this table was PERFECT! It had a scratch that gave it character and an opportunity for me to ask for a larger discount. The manager agreed and gave me a measuring stick so we could decide whether the table would fit in our small sedan. It wasn’t happening. I was so disappointed. But, we agreed that it didn’t make sense to spend our entire Date Day driving back to get the other car, when it may not fit anyway.
I distracted myself with more shopping and found some fun things for our bathroom, then we headed out of downtown. The phone rang and I just missed answering it, but I recognized the phone number – it was Donna, the school nurse. Sure enough, Teo was in her office, he’d thrown up after lunch. “We’re on our way,” I told Donna. Our kids have an uncanny ability to become ill while we’re on a Date Day. Once, Sienna was complaining of several afflictions while we were in the middle of the bay celebrating our tenth wedding anniversary. We didn’t come back that time. But, we agreed that Teo probably wouldn’t or couldn’t make himself vomit just to spend the day with us.
Once we’d picked up Teo and gotten home, we figured why not at least measure the other car to see if the table would fit. Nope, not happening. Then, I remembered our dear friends Natalie and Mahmoud’s repeated offers to borrow their pick-up truck if we ever needed one. Teo seemed to have recovered, so I made a quick call to Natalie and soon the three of us were headed back downtown in Mahmoud’s truck. I kept marveling at Dennis’s ability to drive a stick shift! He did great and had fun driving a truck, which I know means he’ll grow ever more insistent that we need a truck!
So, now we have the table and it fits just right! I loved how the yesterday unfolded. Had Teo not been sick, we wouldn’t have come home and then considered the option of borrowing the truck. But, since we had to drive all the way home anyway, that possibility presented itself and it all worked out.
We never made it to the batting cages. Guess we’ll have to play this weekend so we don’t embarrass ourselves at the game next week!