Stay On Target

Yesterday I drove my daughter to dance class and rehearsal. Took our cat to the vet. Then met up again with my daughter to enjoy some of Taste of Vienna where we basically ate lunch in open air as we sampled the fare of local restaurants. Then home. Then back out to more dance rehearsal. While she was at dance, I did some grocery shopping at Target. Then I picked up the kiddo, took her home, and made dinner.

Somehow all this seemed notably less busy than January, February, and March. Thank god!

During those months, Robotics season was in full build-and-competition season. First Robotics, while a fantastic learning experience for teens, is a major time suck for kids, volunteers, and parents alike. The robotics team did a great job this year. There were so many improvements over last year! But I spent mega time in my car driving my daughter to somewhere or picking her up from somewhere. 

Plus with her so busy after school, she was often up late at night to get homework done. That led to a frequent missing-of-the-school-bus. Which meant I had to drive her to school in the morning before I went to work. I was tired before the day started.

Along with Robotics, my teenager had several dance classes and Science Olympiad. Two things that are also no small commitments. I was running on fumes from driving her places and trying to keep track of everything. 

The schedule is more manageable now. 

I was relaxed as I shopped at Target. My well honed life skills include efficiency while grocery shopping, so I quickly filled my cart. At our Target, a gallon of milk is only about $2.40, so I find Target to be easy on my wallet too. I was not in a bad mood at all. 

While loading a few beverages into my cart, I was blocking the aisle for another shopper. She said, “excuse me, pretty lady,” to get me to move. I’d have moved anyway. It’s busy there on a Saturday. We all have to make accommodations. (Most of us anyway.) But somehow adding “pretty lady” to her request caught me off guard before making me smile as I scuttled out of her way. 

Realizing this stranger had singlehandedly coaxed a grin out of me while on my speed-shopping mission, I looked up. She had chocolate skin, a bright green and blue patterned blouse, and white earbuds. I’m not sure if she heard me when I uttered a heartfelt, “and thank you!” I should have called her beautiful. She may say those words to everyone, but her soul made a bright spot in my day. 

I may have brightened the day of a dog owner earlier in the morning. While waiting for our cat’s blood-pressure check at the vet, I leaned over to check my kitty-buddy. Fletcher is a laid-back cat, but he was meowing more than usual. As I straightened back up, I realized that my shirt had spilled open during my lean, revealing a healthy dose of cleavage and bra to the man across from me. At I sat up, I noticed him grinning. I stifled a laugh but smiled back, and made sure I held me shirt closed the next time I checked the cat.

Kitty’s blood pressure is better but not great. At 18 years, he’s an old cat now. But he’s still lively, and I still adore his company. One of the techs at the vet said he was more like a dog the way he’d get in and out of his carrier. I’ve said this about him many times myself. It’s strange to think he’s almost as old as some of the employees at the vet.

It was a quick trip to the vet. And that was also my goal at Target — quick.

But I slowed myself up at check out. I started loading the contents my cart onto the check-out belt. Milk. Ice cream. Again, trying to be quick. I had other things to get done. I reached for the cans in my cart and noticed a young father standing in line behind me. He held a toy, an apple, and the hand of his young son. Nothing else. I asked him if that was all he had — gesturing to the boxed toy and apple. Then I told him he should get in line in front of me. He declined at first saying that his son could learn patience. I practically insisted as I pointed at my full cart. He accepted and his check out was speedy. 

It was a lovely day.