This year Christmas comes at the end of a very enterprising year. Many crucial decisions were made, and looking back, I am right where I need to be. The Christmas spirit has shown itself to me in a series of brief, but glowing moments. I’d like to share these flash miracles.
An act of kindness
My daughter came to visit me recently when I was working on a big writing project. She is a technical writer and talking to her about the article I was writing was refreshing and helpful. It is not her general practice to hang out late, but time went by, and she stayed for dinner. She told me a story about her boyfriend taking her to breakfast at a diner uptown. They overheard the couple in a booth behind them attempting to pay for breakfast with an Amex card that the establishment did not accept. It was an ordeal as the other couple discussed who would go to the ATM for cash while the other stayed behind to wait.
My daughter’s boyfriend turned around and told the couple he would like to buy them breakfast. The couple was happily surprised and so was the worried waitress who way politely trying to resolve the issue. When my daughter and her boyfriend got ready to pay their tab and leave, a nearby couple said they wanted to pay for their breakfast because of their previous act of kindness.
I went to the post office to mail a Christmas card to my sister along with a bill. I needed 2 stamps and brought $2 with me thinking it would be a quick trip in and out the door. I got to the post office and the parking lot was backed up out the entrance and onto the road. The holiday season was in full swing. No problem, I parked across the street and walked over. The line of people was out the door so I thought I’d go to the machine for stamps, but realized it only took a card, not cash. I walked back over to the double doors going into the service side of the post office to wait in line.
I helped the woman behind me find a place to set her packages down as I heard the post office personnel announced starting another line just for people who needed stamps…but again, only if they had a card. I laughed at the irony and made a joke about needing 2 stamps. A woman ahead in the line said, “I have 2 stamps if you need them”. I looked and smiled, making a remark about Christmas and handed her a dollar. She said, “You don’t need to pay me for them”. I insisted and wished her a heartfelt Merry Christmas.
A Fortunate Turn of Events
A couple days ago I took on a new client I had been working on getting a contract with for over a month. They are very busy and need lots of writing done in the coming months. The topics for the articles are especially enjoyable for me and have allowed me to complete some extra Christmas shopping. I’ve also met some really great people lately while attending some networking functions as well. I can’t remember the last time I felt community support, friendship, and satisfaction at work all at once and to this extent. I am thoroughly grateful for the gift because it is not often that something like this comes together at the same time.
This past weekend I had several articles due, but had planned to be an extra in a movie and then go hiking in the mountains. I had researched the articles already and packed my laptop. Off I went on a three hour drive to the mountains with coffee in hand. My first background scene opened as hunters arrived in a camouflage decaled truck. I began to video my acting family as they celebrated a hunting trophy; a 6 point buck hanging outside of the hunting lodge. Josh Brolin and Danny McBride were on the set and the movie extras endured several takes in a typical winter climate, searching for patches of sun in between filming to find temporary warmth. I had a decent catered lunch before pretending to have a buffet dinner in the lodge with 110 other extras for 4 hours while the stars of the movie did take after take. When all was done, it was a unique experience for sure. Having left Charlotte at 6:15am, we wrapped up around 10:45pm, and I made my way to a hotel. I was tired, but felt accomplished.
I slept like a rock after Friday’s filming, but woke up at 7:30am and wrote 2 short articles before heading for a hike to Glen Falls in Highlands, NC. It was about 3pm when after the hike and I happened on one of the best lunches I’ve ever had: a truly amazing bowl of tomato basil soup and a chicken, avocado, and bacon sandwich with chipotle mayonnaise. I ordered a glass of wine to celebrate the successful hike. There was plenty of amazing photographic proof of the experience including photos of icicles hanging from moss covered rocks, rushing waters descending rapidly from staggering heights and recent rainfall, translucent rainbows forming in the spray, a crystal clear blue sky peeking between dark spikes of naked tree branches; nature thriving in the cold, crisp fresh air.
A Perfect End to 2015
Christmas day will be spent with both of my incredible daughters with their dates, my mother and her significant other, and my boyfriend who joined me on my weekend excursion and took all the remarkable photos. We will be dining on a traditional Christmas brunch of ham and quiche with mimosas, after opening stocking gifts over coffee and cookies. Dysfunctional or not, family is the best company when reflecting on life and another passing year’s trials and triumphs. Cheers!