There were three people in front of me at the Walmart checkout. I was on my way to a drawing assignment and stopped to pick up a large sketchbook. Walmart has them cheaper than the art store, although David Art of Metairie is a great place with wonderful people and I keep them in business.
In front of me was a Hispanic lady with a toddler in her shopping basket. I opened the sketchbook and did a hasty drawing of the child. I signed it and handed it to her. She was thrilled and said, “Merry Christmas.” That was around November first, and she was the first one to greet me in this way this season. A Spanish pastor friend heard this and laughed, “We Latinos love to celebrate our Lord’s birth for months!”
Driving the interstate that day was no fun. We were returning from visiting our son and his family (I’m working hard not to say the truth here, that we were visiting our grandchildren!) and all day long the highway had been beset with rain, fog, mist, at times so heavy we turned on the blinkers and leaned forward to see the lines on the pavement. But finally, we arrived and checked into the hotel and drove down the street to the Cracker Barrel restaurant.
“You have a 15 minute wait,” the hostess said. That was fine. Margaret began browsing and I hung around close to the line.
Behind me stood a young mother with her daughter about 5 years old. Now, I’m the grandfather of six little girls (little, ha! They range in age now from 16 to 24.) and love children. So, I struck up a conversation with the child.