Today I love the unexpected gift.
It started a week or so ago, when I asked the children's librarian at my favorite local library for a new book on CD to listen to. (I don't drive without story.) She knows that I teach middle school and selected an author that many of my older girls have been reading. The story was one that I knew would be on the somber side...a young adult reeling from her best friend's suicide...so I told the library lady I'd better balance it out with some Ramona Quimby. Well, somber is not the word for the first selection. I found myself dreading the drive time that I normally look forward to. I mean, I wanted to find out what happened (I am a confirmed story addict!) but the depressing nature of the story and the language (eek! the language!) left me feeling shell shocked every time I got out of the car. I stuck it out, and two days ago finally got a decent ending to an otherwise very sad story, and was happy to hear a TON of suicide prevention information at the end of the book.
Enter Ramona Quimby in all her 8 year old glory, as read aloud by none other than Stockard Channing...the PERFECT choice for the voice of not only Ramona, but also her big sister Beezus, her mother, father, and even the neighborhood children Willa Jean and Howie Kemp. Ah, what a blessing that story has been. Now, don't get me wrong...this was no new adventure for me. My kids grew up on Ramona ala Stockard on long car rides and I can practically recite along with her. She is one good friend of the family!
Today, however, as I received the unexpected gift of the sun shining down on a day forecast to be gloomy, Ramona and her family were enjoying a nice family dinner out to eat, and suddenly there was an unexpected gift for them as well. The man sitting across from them in the restaurant had watched them, determined that they were a nice family, and missing his own children and grandchildren, paid for their meal as he left the restaurant. What a treat for a family struggling with finances and just wanting a little change in pace!
But the unexpected gifts didn't stop there. On my evening walk, not only did I get to enjoy that sunny blue sky some more, but I happened to notice actual buds in the neighbor's tree! Spring really is on the way! For a confirmed sunshine-aholic, this was good to see indeed!
And that's not all...The Man needed me to run to Wal-Mart for him, something I am normally loathe to do, but it was something he really needed and that blue sky was calling me, so off I went, with of course a side stop at that lovely library I mentioned before. More Ramona found its way into my back seat and guess what! There was an entire teacher's collection I had requested just waiting for me to put to use right after Spring Break! Book lover's heaven!
And then, Wal-Mart...well....I got what The Man needed, but in the process, I just happened to walk through the baking aisle, and I just happened to remember a recipe that I wanted to try from The Pioneer Woman's latest episode, and I just happened to have my very smart phone with me, and I just happened to find the recipe and the ingredients and well...the rest...including my nice relationship lately with My Fitness Pal...is history! Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Chocolate Lava Cakes with Vanilla Ice Cream...the final unexpected, but most delicious gift of my day. (You can find the recipe here.) Now there's an unexpected gift for you! Enjoy!
But that's not all! You know how this deal works by now...now YOU need to pass it on. What unexpected gift can you provide for someone who needs a lift in their day? Can YOU pay for a meal? Can you cook a meal and deliver it to someone who ISN'T sick or recovering from surgery, but just because? Can you lift someone's day? Sure you can...go for it! (If nothing else, you can make Chocolate Lava Cake!)