August 31, 2006


Today I am driving around running a few mundane errands with HHgirl in tow. Nothing special, picking up some birthday cards. The music is playing and my mood is light. I decide to rip into a drive through for a cold beverage. It's been in the 80's today which is pretty warm, and I am thirsty. The weather is considered to be warm if you are a native Californian.

I've been told Taco Bell has the best cold drinks. As we drive by TB, we decide to make the stop. As I cruise into the drive through (lazy, I know) I look over and I see a women who looks to be on the cusp of her 60's. She is laying in the grass, enjoying a beverage. With a face that portrays a care free world with no worries. Beside her lays her rugged, greasy old bicycle. Her ruffled grey coif is noticeable, she is dressed in clothes that look as if they could tell stories of a hard life. Laying next to her are two dogs. I proclaim the dogs to be her best friends. One a older shaggy lab mix with a red worn bandana around his neck. The smaller canine a mut of some type with a aged collar.

As I look up at this women, I declare her homeless or just down on her luck. I instantly feel sad.

She smiles the biggest smile. At me. I can't recall the last time I've seen a smile of this caliber. With eyes that smile, this stranger shows me that she is happier then most people I know. Her smile is contagious. I smile at everyone I see as I am about.

Why do I feel sad?

Actually I don't think deep down I am feeling so much sad, more ashamed. Here I am driving around in my overpriced SUV. Louis Vuitton handbag. So on and So on. Feeling as though there is nothing worth mentioning to complain about. Thinking about my recent complaints about my housecleaner stealing from me and my family. Really listen to that sentence. "My housecleaner." S-h-a-l-l-o-w-

I realize I am leading a fairly privileged life. HHfamily has been lucky and I am able to stay home with our children. Meanwhile maintaing a middle class lifestyle.
For this and many other reasons I know how lucky we are.

What I don't want to loose sight of is my capability to remember the times when my son was first born. How we would worry about being responsible parents by living paycheck to paycheck. We worried about paying for our rent each month. When we picked out HHhubby's wedding ring, we thought we wouldn't have enough money. Have I forgotten? I still wear a wedding band that is bent and cost less then my handbag.

Life is what you make it. It is the people in one's life that matter. Friends and family and those shared moments and not the things. I do like the things and they make life fun. However I never want "things" to define me.

When an oppurtunity comes along to help someone out, I always like to lend a hand. At least this is what I would like to think. Am I delusional? Do I help in any capacity? I know I try to. I guess the American way of living sometimes makes us all guilty in some fashion of being part of the "jones."

Please feel free to give me a complimentary kick in the dumper once in awhile.

I thank the women in the grass for smiling at me today, she reminded me of who I am.


Blogger Jeri said...

eloquent feeling being that as long as you take the time to consider and voice these concerns that you are far from being shallow or so removed that you feel no is the questioning that keeps you balanced and able to take action should it be required of you. A really great sincere smile is a beautiful thing and always helps redefine just what happiness is...a cold beverage on a warm can be simple and sweet.

August 31, 2006 5:22 PM  
Blogger Mon said...

This is true! I felt similar when watching all the KATRINA footage this past week. The people who had no homes, no clothes, no nothing, still laughing and smiling, and moving on. It's amazing when you can find happiness like that within yourself! But, you did take the time to acknowledge that you are lucky, a shallow person wouldn't.

September 01, 2006 6:22 AM  
Blogger Tracy said...

Have a good weekend, hon. I'll see you on Tuesday!

September 01, 2006 8:37 AM  
Blogger Hothousemomma said...

I guess everyone knows the feeling. re-checking yourself.

Have a good weekend!

September 01, 2006 1:20 PM  

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