Slogging through the store aisles populated by a harried mom pushing an over-filled cart from which children dangle precariously, a man standing like a deer in headlights in front of the jewelry counter seeming in search of the perfect gift for "her", children standing awestruck and full of hope as they gaze at the latest hot-ticket item that every kid who is worth anything will have waiting under the tree in another few days, I plastered a big smile on my face trying to manufacture a feeling of joy and anticipation of the upcoming Christmas holiday. It isn't that I am not looking forward to it - it's more facing the holiday with a new life circumstance. Things are not the same as they used to be.... thank goodness. So, everything seems sort of new and foreign this holiday season.
As I threaded my cart through the masses, I noticed something kind of weird. Every now and again, I would run across a post-it note plastered to the floor in the midst of the detritus of a Midwest winter. Each had something written on it - some of the messages were tentative, some emphatic, some cryptic. On a bright blue one - DON'T FORGET THE COD! A Day-Glo orange note sported "Aunt Sue's top secret banana cream pie recipe.... the rest was blank.. Green quietly listed the following - light bulb, turpentine, ironing board cover, oreos - ? A pale yellow stickie added this to the mix: PGU 2235 - check parts. There was even a rather plaintive "help me!".
As I went down aisle after aisle that stocked nothing that was on my list, I experienced a feeling of expectation. What would I find next? The smile on my face was no longer forced I didn't see anymore notes until I was leaving the store. On a pretty beat up looking post-it, written in very precise, intensely legible script: Chase Bank, Account Number ########### , PIN - 73564 - deposit $2000.00. Feeling the milk of human kindness flowing through my veins, I picked up the note, tore it into little pieces and tossed it in the garbage can just outside the door. The Christmas Spirit appears to be taking hold.