More than 20 years ago, I lived in a big old house in a charming town along the Connecticut River. It was my first apartment, and despite the ghastly, green carpeting and dark paneled walls, the ancient kitchen appliances and the windows that sometimes stuck, I adored it.
I was fresh out of college, working two jobs to make ends meet — and they barely met. Bills were paid with furrowed brow, grocery shopping was always a challenge, and any easy breath was a blessing.
Every morning in summer, I drove past a small farm stand where five dollars in an honor box earned you a colorful bouquet of zinnias and snapdragons carefully set out in antique Ball jars. If it was a good week, I’d allow myself the splurge.
I remember that time in my life, the feeling of being that person in that place, with the kind of affection we save for our best memories.
It is why, when a friend and I stopped at a farm stand yesterday, I could not resist the bouquet of summer flowers that called my attention. I happily tucked them into my basket with the stories of those long-ago summer mornings alive in my mind.
And then, on the way home, my car died. Dead as a door nail, Dickens would tell you.
It was right-away easy to bemoan the event. To get mired down in the Universe’s uncanny ability to select just the worst moment for these kinds of things. But as I grabbed the flowers from the back seat and hoisted myself up into the tow truck, I couldn’t help but get just a little perspective — bills get paid now, grocery shopping is a weekly event, easy breaths come most every day, and there will be flowers on the table at the end of the day.
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©2013, Jen Payne