Each day passes in its allotted 24 hours, no more, no less. But last Friday was one of those gluttonous days that seemed to chew through more than its share of time.
Nine pm found me assisting my final customers, a married couple who had loaded three carts full-to-overflowing with assorted home improvement supplies. I can’t even speculate as to what made Mr. and Mrs. wait until the closing moments of the business day to make such a sizeable purchase, yet there we were—customers and customer servant—smiling, but looking bleary-eyed at each other, all wishing to be somewhere else.
Thanked and sent on their way, Mr. and Mrs. wheeled their carts out the service door for loading into what I could only hope was a military transport vehicle, while I began to straighten up my work station and prepared to head homeward. I was inches from a clean getaway when I heard Mrs. call to me from outside. “Hey, could you come here a minute?”
“What now?” I grumbled. “It’s closing time!” I pictured the cold drink, good book, and soft bed that awaited me at home. And what about Mr. and Mrs.? They were a young couple; surely there two beautiful children needing to be tucked in, or perhaps something more romantic was in store. What on Earth could be so important at 9 pm on a Friday so as to keep us all from better options? Still, I grabbed my pen and joined Mrs. outside the service door, where she simply pointed and said, “You need to see this:”
We both looked skyward and marveled at the beauty of the magnificent sunset. “Just think,” said Mrs., “if we hadn’t been right here at this time, we’d have missed it.” And then she joined Mr. in the family car and pulled away, leaving me smiling at a well-timed reality check. If you ain’t where you are, you’re nowhere.
Thank you, Mother Nature. And thank you, Mrs. Kind Stranger.