I often astound myself with my own stupidity, but every now and then I am even more surprised to realize that I’ve had a really good idea.
Take today, for instance. Today was my monthly foray into the world of watercolor, at which I never get any better. (You will see proof of this below.) But anyway, there I was with a bunch of rowdy middle-aged ladies and one very sweet young girl. And as I climbed the stairs to our meeting room, I felt guilty, asI always do, that I hadn’t bought a drink.
Our group meets in one of the upstairs rooms in a combination used bookstore/coffeeshop, and usually some of the other ladies get fancy coffee drinks to sip on while we paint. Since we get to meet there for free, I always feel guilty about not supporting the place by getting coffee—but I just can’t. We meet onTuesdays, and for the last several months and for the foreseeable future, Tuesdays are fast days for me. In fact, Tuesdays are “dry” fasting days for me, meaning I neither eat nor drink anything at all until late afternoon or evening.
So even though the coffee shop does offer tea that I don’t mind drinking, I can’t have it on Tuesdays, which is when I’m most likely to be there. You see my problem.
Today, while I waited for everyone else to arrive for the painting group, I browsed the bookshelves in the upstairs hallway. There are two very dangerous shelves up there—the poetry shelf and the art shelf. Sure enough, I found a book that caught my fancy. It’s a picture book full of fabulous photos of houses by the sea. As I reluctantly put the book back on the shelf, my brilliant idea came to me, and after the painting group, I acted on it.
I went back to the art shelf and picked up that book. Then I went down to the coffeeshop and bought it from Vangie, the barista (who was also manning the store for the afternoon). Here’s what struck me like a thunderbolt: The book cost about what a fancy coffee drink would cost. Buying it was my way of supporting a store that I like very much. It will bring me much more enjoyment than a cup of coffee would. When I have drooled over every single photo and read every line of text, I will have gotten much more than my money’s worth from this book—and I can still sell it back or pass it on to someone else who might enjoy it.
So, new strategy. Every time I go to an event at that bookstore on a day that I’m not drinking, I will find and buy a book of similar value as a cup of coffee, and thus increase my quality of life while supporting the store at the same time. See? Brilliant.
In other news, I had to ask my autoharp teacher (whom I haven’t seen since January) to help me with a Christmas carol I’m supposed to play on Saturday. I couldn’t get the chords to come out right on one of the lines. I felt so stupid. Turns out the song changes key in the middle of the line and then changes back to the original key! So, I feel a little better about my failure now. More practicing coming up.
I had a writers’ meeting this evening, and I had to borrow Mercy and Daniel’s car to go since we still only have one vehicle. The van should be fixed tomorrow, and we’ll be in debt for a few months paying it off. This is a terrible time to need an expensive repair—right before an expensive trip to Colorado for our son’s wedding!
Lucy is recovering well, by the way. She went to classes yesterday and today, and today she started her new job at the library! Thank you for all your prayers for her recovery.
A very amateurish Christmas tree I did this afternoon