Tag: Chocolate

Lessons from a Parking Lot

It’s going on 6:00 pm. I’ve got a date in a room with a dozen other writers for something called Late Night Write, a specific brand of National Novel Writing Month torture. And I promised them chocolate.

Fred Meyer is only a couple blocks from my house. On the way to the next town over where the librarian who is also the organizer of the write-ins reserved a room at the library after closing hours. I’ll stop by the store, rush into the Christmas candy section, snag a bag of Hershey’s Miniatures (something for everybody in there) and be on my way in a snap.

Or not.

Instead, everyone will choose to drive down the row where I parked. The man next to me will pull out at the same time I stick my vehicle in reverse without so much as a glance behind him. Good thing the guy in the pickup truck was respectfully waiting for me.

The armored vehicle is parked along the curb across from the exit from my row. All traffic is squished into a single line.
Here are the things I learned that night:

  • Trucks pulling trailers should not squeeze by in a single lane
  • There are polite drivers who will let you into the congested stream of unmoving traffic
  • Plenty of drivers are myopic. Watch out for them because they don’t see anyone else
  • The traffic flow from the gas pumps stymies the regular pattern
  • If someone lets you in, you need to pay it forward and let someone in
  • If you let too many someones in, the seemingly-polite driver who showed you favor might morph into a Gremlin who lays on the horn
  • People don’t walk and talk on the cell phone at the same time very effectively if it requires dodging a snaking snarl of slow-moving vehicles

All in all, I’ve determined that unless there is an emergency, I won’t be returning to Fred Meyer or any other grocery store with a gas station in its parking lot on a Friday in the vicinity of 6:00pm.

On a positive note, it gave me something fresh to write about when I got to the room powered by creative energy.

What lessons have you learned from a parking lot?

What’s your take on Valentine’s Day?

Easter: What Does it Mean?

Easter: another holiday that can inspire aisles of candy in WalMart. Is it just another excuse to eat to much or indulge in chocolate?

Plenty of children grow up searching for colored eggs hidden in the grass, under trees, beside vehicle tires and tucked among flowers in the windowbox. These days, the festive egg hunt doesn’t have to include dye-stained fingers or weeks of egg salad sandwiches. After all, you can buy two dozen plastic eggs for a buck. Stuff them with candy (or money for the older kids) and the hunt is on.

My family will have a structured dinner on Easter. It will include ham, buttered noodles, vegetables (probably not asparagus, my favorite), salad and dessert (sounds like cheesecake this year). We’ll laugh and play games together.

Of course, we’ll be in church first. Easter means resurrection day to me and my family. There will be songs about Jesus Christ defeating death by raising from the grave. I’ll reflect on what his power over death means to me in the future.

I’m not getting any younger. The closer I get to death, the more I revel in the fact that death is not an end. The conqueror of death lives and promises eternal life to me, as well.

I love chocolate as much as the next person (more than some, like my husband), but the true meaning of Easter surpasses a lifetime of chocolate fixes.

What does Easter mean to you? Do you have any special Easter traditions?