A little birthday tradition and a chilly walk


This morning was a beautiful morning…..for staying in bed with a good book!  It was so dark and overcast.  A chilly breeze was blowing and the temperature was about -6 C.  What I ended up doing turned out, strangely enough, to be just as soothing (if not as cozy) as curling up in bed with a book.  I went on a walk.

Now I am not big on walking, jogging or any exercise in general.  And the idea of going out on a dark freezing day doesn’t appeal to me.  I couldn’t summon up the guts to do it yesterday, but today was different:  I was going to walk to the “corner” grocery store.  For my son.

I haven’t pulled out my winter boots yet, since it is really still supposed to be fall, so I prepared for my walk with knee-socks and my tennis shoes (hee hee!) and a hoodie, heavy overcoat, scarf and my new toasty mittens.  I’m sure I looked fabulous, especially with 2 hoods on!  (I could hardly see).  Oh yes, a mug of hot chocolate was needed to warm up my insides in preparation for the outdoors, too.

Surprisingly enough, it was a beautiful walk.  Most of the trees have dropped their leaves in piles on the sidewalks and lawns, but a few have stubbornly held onto their yellow and lime-green leaves.  I also really love those Mountain Ash trees full of bunches of red berries and rusty leaves, so gorgeous.  It was a solitary, chilly walk, but I enjoyed the quiet.  Only a couple of bundled up people passed me, walking their doggies and breathing through their scarves.

I made it to the corner grocery store, though I had to pass many corners to get there!  Someday I hope to do a post on “my little store,” the Elsafadi Mediterranean Market.  I love shopping there!  Today especially was rather nostalgic for me.  It reminded me of my growing-up years in Guatemala and the shops we used to go to, the products we used to buy.  I walked the aisles and looked at every interesting item, from packs of chloro-“chiclets” to jars of honey with the beeswax in them, cans of tomatillos and green mole sauce to packs of corn tortillas.

Especially nice was chatting with the baker and getting him to specially slice some fresh-baked bread for me, and for 99 cents a loaf!  Did I mention that I was shopping for my son’s birthday dinner?  I’m planning on making those special party sandwiches

Another fun purchase was some soda pop in real bottles with real bottle caps!  I know that’s going to be a hit!  And they are extra fun because they are Jarritos brand from Mexico.  Haven’t tried them before but orange and pineapple flavors with natural cane sugar look yummy!

And here’s where the birthday tradition in the title comes in….it’s just a little tradition we’ve been doing for a few years, but it makes the birthday morning that extra bit more fun (especially if it’s a school morning!).  The birthday person gets to choose their favorite cereal!  That might not sound like a big deal to you, but I must explain that we normally buy “healthyish” cereals, full of protein and fiber and iron, in those jumbo boxes and not cutely-colored cereal full of fun thingys!  So it is a treat for the birthday person.  It’s fun to see the kids discussing their options and trying to persuade the birthday person to pick their own favorite!  I’m always trying to convince someone to pick Honeycombs or Captain Krunch, my old childhood favorites!   Guess I just have to wait ’till my birthday….

So I spent awhile in the cereal aisle, looking for the birthday boy’s selected favorite.  I also spent awhile in the aisle where there are all sorts of unusual middle eastern treasures…wooden and tin gadgets that remind me so much of the fun things we could find in the downtown markets in Guatemala!  I’m not sure what they are used for exactly, but I’d like to own a few nonetheless.

Then came the walk home, happily pushing my purchases in a baby stroller, probably looking like a bag lady.  This time a tiny snowflake floated down and settled on my lapel, and a few more gradually drifted onto the plaid blanket that was holding my grocery bags into the stroller.  (I was trying to make it look like I really had a baby in the stroller…so I wouldn’t look too weird…mission-probably-not-accomplished).  It was so nice and peaceful and nostalgic, walking home with pop bottles and fresh bread, candy and chips, passing the empty playground and hearing the seagulls squawk and the stroller wheels crunching over some fallen leaves.  The really great thing (and not nostalgic at all) was the feeling of peace and safety.  Complete aloneness and security.  Thank the Lord for that.  Then home to a cozy house and a plate of delicious reheated leftovers.  (I’m not being sarcastic, I love leftovers, these ones above all).   It’s a good day, it’s a good life.

I’m thankful for small enjoyable moments, those seemingly plain moments that are really wonderful moments in disguise.


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