Men Of The World, Seriously?

Please don’t take this personally, but I have a bone to pick with you…

If you think that I’m about to say, “Please put the toilet seat down,” I’m not. I’m smart and actually capable of doing that myself… just sayin…

I live with four men, not to mention my son’s friends, who frequently sleep over, especially during the summer months. That being said, let me point out that all of you lift the cover and toilet seat during many bathroom visits.

If you’re following along thus far, let me ask you one question, “How is your vision?”

Let me answer that… Pretty damn poor.

I can not for the life of me understand why in the world you wouldn’t feel compelled to clean the rim of the toilet as well as the underside of the toilet seat for the next person.

ARE YOU BLIND, or are you just waiting for me to make it pristine for your next bathroom experience?

Unless you have been living under a rock, I’m pretty sure that you are as grossed out by your “bathroom experience” as I am.

What gives, and what is behind this power struggle?

Can we possibly call a bathroom truce?

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If not, I’m planning on starting my new diet by stopping in the bathroom and lifting the toilet seat before every meal.

Check back with me in a month when I’m thin… I think I might be onto something here.

You are ALL pissing me off, no pun intended.

Erin Cooper Reed

Note to self: Seeing that I’m raging right now… If I had to lift up the toilet seat EVERY time I went to the bathroom, you’d be able to lick it with no repercussions after the sanitizing I would willing do on your behalf. That’s just common courtesy.

I just don’t get it… and maybe I never will…

This has been a Public Service Announcement.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Take That, “Garbage Can Nazi!”

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You may remember my post about the garbage can wars with my next door neighbor, whom I call the “Garbage Can Nazi.” If you missed it, here’s the link below, just to get you up to speed.

https://mylifeiswear.com/2017/06/09/the-garbage-can-wars/

Just for the record, he never moved my garbage cans again.

Unfortunately, during our three-week battle, the Garbage Can Nazi did weed-whack all of my sunflowers… well, all except for one.

Did I mention that sunflowers are my favorite flower? There isn’t another flower that truly replicates the appearance of the sun. Just like a sunny day makes your mood brighter, so does a beautiful sunflower.

My one surviving sunflower has grown to be at least 8 feet high with a trunk as thick as a baseball bat.

Personally, I think this little sunflower, grown from seed, is with me and flourishing just to spite the Garbage Can Nazi.

Here is the photo I took today.

 

Take that, “Garbage Can Nazi!” I win!

 

And in the future, never piss off someone who writes a blog or underestimate the power and beauty of a single sunflower.

Just sayin…

Erin Cooper Reed

 

Write Late, Sleep Hard, Dream Weird

Have you every had a weird dream so powerful, it just kept going on even after you woke up to hit snooze and to fall back to sleep?

I had one early this morning… and it left me running late for work.

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This doesn’t mean the dream was good or even made any sense, it just means it was too strong of a dream to just shut off, or for it to fade away.

In my dream, I snipped off one of my fingers with something resembling wire cutters. There was no blood, no pain, and I simply held my unattached finger in my opposite hand.

Not only was I not upset, I really didn’t seem to care about the loss of my finger at all.

Buzz of the phone alarm clock.

Open eyes.

Hit snooze.

Back to the dream.

A woman in my dream mentioned to me I should really do something about my unattached finger.

It was then I remembered I had a cousin who accidentally cut off the tip of her finger when a window slammed down on it. She put the tip of her finger in a glass of milk to preserve it on the way to the ER. (Okay, this part of my dream, this memory oddly enough, is true.)

In my dream, I put the my unattached finger in spaghetti sauce, but that didn’t work. Then I placed it in a cup of milk, but the spaghetti sauce residue was swirling in the cup.

That’s about all I remember before I heard John ask, “Erin, what time do you have to be at work?”

I bolted upright, glanced at the clock and replied, “Now!” as I hopped out of bed.

“Now?” John asked, “You told me you didn’t have to be at work for another hour.”

“Well, when you asked me I was sleeping, now I’m late for work because I cut off my finger in my dream,” I stated, as I rushed to get ready.

When I left, John was standing in the bedroom looking perplexed. There was no time to explain.

I arrived at work half an hour late, and frazzled. As I passed by my boss, I said,”Sorry, I’m late, I cut my finger off in a dream.”

Strangely, he didn’t reply… in fact, he didn’t say a thing.

I guess after all this time he understands my uniqueness.

I wish I had a better story as an explanation… like, I’m still recovering after a late night of clubbing in the city, I had to stop and put my winning lottery ticket in my safe deposit box at the bank, or the installation of my new Jacuzzi took longer than I expected, but I always go with the truth.

All day long, this dream kept crossing my mind so I decided to Google it.

Dream Symbol Search Results:

To dream that your fingers are injured or have been chopped off denote your anxieties about your ability to accomplish some demanding task or perform in some waking situation.

“Accomplish some demanding task.” All I could think about was writing and publishing this book…

And now, as I sit at my computer keyboard, I’m really concerned because I’m going to need all of my fingers for that!

My Life I Swear.

Erin Cooper Reed

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Adventure Begins

I wrote my recent four part series within twenty fours hours and worked a double shift at my job. Although I’m planning to include some of my best posts, I’m feeling pretty confident that I can write a minimum of fifty new stories (That won’t appear on my blog) for my first book.

I was just texting with my friend, Bob.

Bob, is a gifted illustrator and I hope that he’s up for the challenge of designing the book cover.

So much to learn, so much to do… but I’m ready for a new adventure.

Stick around for the ride and I’ll keep you posted on my progress.

And, if anyone knows a good literary humor agent, please put in a good word on my behalf, I will be forever grateful!

Bob seems to think that I have an angel watching over me…

I hope he’s right!

Much love,

Erin Cooper Reed

 

 

Part 4: The Power Of Generosity – The Nun

John and I met her while taking our dog, Max for a walk in our neighborhood.

It was the flourishing gardens, and their vast contrast to her small, ramshackle house that originally caught our eye.

We often saw her out in the yard, digging, planting and watering at all hours of the day.

She was a short, robust, elderly woman, probably around seventy years old.

We would wave as we passed her house and she would wave back to us.

The first time we spoke to her, John had stopped to comment on all of her beautiful flowers and thriving vegetable gardens.

She told us her name was Cristiana, as she smiled with not only her mouth, but also with her sparkling blue eyes.

John and I both liked her immediately.

As the months passed, our dog walks led to personal tours of Cristiana’s garden, laughter and many conversations.

“Cristiana likes me, Erin, but she really seems to have an affinity towards you.” John said one day as we passed her house on the way to take Max to the park.

“Do you think so?” I replied, “Because, I think there’s something really special about her, it’s like we have a connection.”

“Well, it shows.” John stated, and I smiled at his comment.

We didn’t know much about Cristiana, other than she was single, Polish and could uproot a rhododendron with an ax like no one you’ve ever seen.

Cristiana, was funny, caring, soft-spoken and for the most part, a pretty private person.

By the time our friendship had reached the one year mark, we though it strange that she would invite us into her yard and share her passion for gardening with us, but never once invited us into her home.

There was a lot we didn’t know about Cristiana, but as with any friendship, we accepted it for what it was and carried on.

Eventually things in our life began to take another direction.

Our neighbor across the street, Madlyn, had an ailing husband.

Then we learned my mother’s cancer had returned.

Life became quite hectic, as we spread ourselves thinly between my mother’s and Madlyn’s home.

Max’s long walks to the park became a thing of the past and our visits with Cristiana ceased.

I felt bad. I worried about Cristiana living alone. I also worried about how she felt about us no longer stopping by to see her.

The seasons changed and we still hadn’t stopped over to visit Cristiana.

It was a hot summer day when we decided to walk Max to the park. Probably not the best decision when it’s over 90 degrees, but for some reason we went anyway.

I felt a twinge of guilt and as we passed Cristiana’s house and headed down the hill to the park.

Thankfully, she isn’t outside. I thought, feeling both embarrassed and as if I had abandoned a friend.

On, the way back up the hill, John, Max and I were panting from the heat and dying to get back home for a cold drink.

I glanced up when we reached the top of the hill and stopped in my tracks.

There was Cristiana standing at the end of the driveway wearing an old house dress and eating a handful of cheese bobka.

Max began running towards her, dragging John behind on the leash.

Before we knew it,  we were standing right in front of Cristiana, while Max jumped and yelped his greeting. She patted Max on the head as she tore off a piece of cheese bobka and tossed it on the ground, to Max’s delight.

“It’s so good to see you!” I said, as she gave me a hug. “I’m sorry we haven’t been around, but life has been hard.”

“I know it has,” she replied. “Please come here, there’s something I want to give you.”

We followed Cristiana up the driveway and into her backyard, as Max happily lapped up the trail of crumbs from the cheese bobka.

On a table near the house laid a pile of beautiful, freshly cut flowers from Cristiana’s garden. Her hands worked quickly as she formed them into a bouquet.

“This is for you, Erin.” She said, as she placed the most enormous bouquet I had ever seen into my arms.

“Thank you Cristiana.” I replied, shocked by what just transpired.

“Those flowers are absolutely gorgeous!” John added. “Thank you so much.”

“Cristiana, do you have something cold to drink?” John asked. “Maybe a bottle of water? I think Max could use a drink too, especially after that cheese bobka.”

“I don’t have anything cold.” Cristiana replied, “My refrigerator died, well, it was old and I just have some stuff in a cooler on the porch.”

We talked for a few minutes, but we all knew that it was too hot of a day to stand in the sun.

As John and I made the long walk back home we became fixated on the fact that Cristiana didn’t have a working refrigerator.

“John, she can’t survive without a working refrigerator.” I said with concern, “There has to be something we can do.”

“We certainly can’t afford to buy her a refrigerator,” John said. “But I agree, we have to do something.”

“Well, maybe somehow we can… we have to find a way.” I stated.

Once back at our house, and after having a cold drink, John got on the computer and searched for a refrigerator.

“Erin, come here and look at this!” He yelled.

I ran to see what he was so excited about.

“Here’s a 4.3 cubic foot, dorm room refrigerator. Perfect condition. Five minutes away. Fifty bucks.”

“How big is that?” I asked.

“It’s one of those tall college refrigerators.” John replied, “We can fit it in my car and have it at Cristiana’s in twenty minutes!”

“Oh, please call!” I told John. “I hope that they still have it… I hope they’re home.”

Someone answered on the second ring.

They were at home and would be waiting for us.

We could pick up the refrigerator immediately.

I let out a squeal of delight!

“Let’s go!” John said, grabbing his car keys.

We got to the house in no time, it was literally five minutes away.

The refrigerator was in perfect condition and John and I were beyond thrilled.

“So, you have a kid in college?” The seller asked.

“No, we’re buying it for a neighbor up the street…” I began, as I explained the story.

We removed the accessories from the fridge and the seller helped John get it into the back seat of our car.

I turned to pay the seller for the refrigerator.

“Forty bucks will do.” He said, as he gave me a hug.

“Thank you.” I replied, “I really appreciate it.”

We arrived at Cristiana’s and carried the college refrigerator up the driveway and into the screened in porch.

“What’s this?” Cristiana asked with tears in her eyes.

“We got you a refrigerator,” John and I replied.

“Thank you,” Cristiana managed to say. I’m not sure if she looked more shocked or relieved, maybe it was a mixture of both.

Together we began moving food and beverages from the cooler as well as from the broken refrigerator in her small house.

“Are you sure you want this refrigerator out on the porch?” John asked.

“It’s better here.” Cristian replied, “There isn’t much room in the house.”

When the job was complete, Cristiana took me by both hands.

“Erin, I have something to tell you, that I haven’t told anyone since I moved here.” She said.

“You can tell me anything, Cristiana.” I replied.

“I’m a retired nun. I prayed for you, for this. I asked God for help and I wasn’t sure how it was going to happen, but I trusted him.”

I stood looking at her in disbelief.

“And there’s one more thing, you and John are the angels I prayed for. Thank you.”

 

I have thought about Cristiana’s words many times since that day. I’ve also thought of all of the coincidences, all of the things that so easily fell into place, and then I remind myself that there are no coincidences.

What I’ve learned about generosity, I learned through practicing it. I have been fortunate enough to be on both the giving and receiving end, many times.

True generosity comes from following your heart, giving outside of your comfort zone, even and sometimes beyond your means, logic or reasoning.

And I know this: don’t be afraid to follow the direction of your heart, it will never lead you wrong.

Much love and good thoughts,

Erin Cooper Reed

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Part 3: The Power Of Generosity – The School Teacher

To say that the neighborhood wasn’t ideal, especially at dusk, was an understatement.

We drove past a few check cashing places, privately owned convenience and liquor stores, all secured with bars on their windows.

I pulled into a parking place and shut the car off.

“We’re going to a pawn shop?” Marc asked.

“Do you want to get a laptop today, or not?” I retorted.

“Yes.” Marc said, as he let out a long sigh.

We got out of the car and shut the doors, as I hit the lock button on my key chain.

“Well, let’s go in.” I encouraged.

Reluctantly, Marc complied.

Once inside, I was surprised to see how packed the store was with both merchandise, and people.

We approached the electronics counter and were greeted by a man covered in tattoos.

“I’m looking for an affordable laptop.” I stated.

“Well, take a look at everything on this shelf and let me know if anything catches your eye.” He replied.

I immediately spotted a small laptop on the third shelf. It looked to be in good condition, maybe even fairly new.

“Let me see that one.” I said, pointing my finger.

The man placed the computer on the counter in front of me.

I asked, “How much is this?” As I opened the laptop and turned it on.

“Two hundred dollars,” He replied, “but it’s over three hundred brand new.”

“I actually need two laptops like this.” I said, “Both of my sons need one for school.”

“Mom, there’s another one just like that on the second shelf.” Marc yelled, sounding excited.

The man turned and grabbed the second, identical laptop and placed it in front of me.

“Do both of these work?” I asked.

“They work, you just need to reset the passwords and do a factory reset on both of the laptops,” he replied.

“I have no idea how to do that,” I confessed. “Plus, it’s more than I can afford to spend.”

“If you buy two laptops, I’ll give you both of them for two hundred dollars,” he offered.

The price had piqued my interest, but what was I going to do about the factory reset and the passwords, I thought, hesitant to make the purchase…

My deep thoughts were interrupted by a male voice.

“Hey, Marc! Good to see you!”

I turned to see a middle-aged, well dressed man with a big smile on his face.

Marc gave him a high-five, then turned to introduce me.

“Mom, this is my computer teacher at school, Mr. Bradley.”

“Nice to meet you, Mr. Bradley. I’m Erin.” I said, as I extended my hand.

“Nice to meet you, Erin,” Mr. Bradley replied. “So, what are you guys doing here?”

“Shopping for laptops.” I said, “I’d like to get these two, but I have no clue how to change passwords and perform a factory reset.”

“I’d be more than happy to do that for you,” Mr. Bradley said. “Let’s see what you’ve got.”

The man behind the counter handed over power cords and quickly cleared a space where both laptops would be accessible.

Before I knew it, Mr. Bradley was hard at work resetting both computers.

What I didn’t realize was the entire process was going to take two hours. Mr. Bradley diligently performed his computer magic, as we watched and waited.

Just before closing time, both of the laptops were reset and as good as any brand new computer.

“Marc, your computers are just like you got them new out of the box. The first thing that you and your brother have to do is set up your passwords,” he said with a smile.

Marc was beaming as he thanked his school teacher and gave him a hug.

“Mr. Bradley, I can’t thank you enough!” I said with delight. “I feel like I should pay you for your time.”

“No worries, Erin.” Mr. Bradley replied, “It was my pleasure!”

“See you at school, Marc!” Mr. Bradley said, as he headed out of the store.

I turned back to the counter as the tattooed man said, “That will be two hundred dollars, plus tax.”

I took out the two hundred dollars that I had saved for an emergency. Then I counted out the tax from the remainder of the money I had left after our visit to Job Lot.

I paused for a moment as I watched Marc wind up the power cords and carefully gather both laptops.

We were both smiling, as Marc held his and his brother’s new laptops close to his chest.

My mind flashed back to the smile on the face of the woman with the EBT card, then to the tears, and the smile on the face of the once homeless woman, clutching her new tablet, as she waited for the bus.

It was dark as Marc and I hurried to get to the safety of our car.

On the way home, Marc was a flurry of joy and chatter…

“Mom, can you believe it? I can’t believe it! I can’t believe that Mr. Bradley was there… and we got these two identical laptops… and it was just what we had to spend! I can’t wait to use my new laptop and I can’t wait to give Rocky his! He’s never gonna believe this! Thank you mom!”

“You’re welcome, Marc.” I said, “Just know that when you give in life, you also receive in unexpected ways.”

“I know mom, I feel like that lady with the tablet did today, and it feels good!” He said.

“I’m glad, Marc.” I replied, “I hope that you always remember this day and all that you’ve learned.”

“I will, Mom. Can I be the one to give Rocky his laptop when we get inside?”

“Yes, Marc you can,” I said with a smile. “You definitely can.”

 

I can end this story here…

But sometimes stories don’t end, and certainly true giving never ends.

Get ready for the grand finale…

Part 4

Could you imagine doing something generous, for an ordinary person, who actually turned out to be a Nun…

Sometimes, you’re called to help another human being…

Or, unbeknownst to you… you may be the answer to one of their prayers.

Stay tuned for part 4!

Erin Cooper Reed

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Part 2: The Power Of Generosity – The Homeless Woman

“Mom, can we go and get the laptops now?” Marc asked on the way home.

“We have to go back to the apartment and get these groceries put away.” I replied.

“You don’t have enough money to get both of us laptops Mom, do you?” Rocky asked.

“I wasn’t expecting to buy laptops today… but I’ll figure it out.” I said, having no idea how I was going to make good on that statement.

“Maybe we can just go look around.” I added.

“Look around?” Rocky questioned, “We’re never going to be able to afford them. I’m not going with you.”

“I’m not going.” Kevin stated, “I have a laptop.”

Thankfully, Kevin did have a laptop that his grandparents had bought him for Christmas. I was so grateful for that, especially at this moment, when purchasing two laptops could have meant having to purchase three.

“Well, I’m going.” Marc said, “Everyone in my class has their own laptop, to go on the school portal and do their homework assignments.”

“Well, good luck with that.” Rocky added, “We need laptops, not tablets, and laptops are at least three hundred dollars apiece. I know mom can’t afford that!”

I started to feel sick to my stomach. Rocky was right. I didn’t have six hundred dollars, but I had managed to stash two hundred dollars away, in a hiding place in my room.

We unloaded the groceries from the car and put them away.

“Mom, can we go get the laptops now?” Marc asked.

When Marc gets something in his head, he is relentless, I thought.

Luckily, I also had a little bit of cash left over from grocery shopping. I went and grabbed the two hundred dollars I had hidden, and motioned to Marc, “Let’s go.”

Our first stop was Wal-Mart.

As Rocky had predicted, I couldn’t afford any of the laptops there.

We headed over to Best Buy. Maybe we could find something on sale.

I couldn’t afford anything there either.

Marc looked discouraged.

“Mom, we’re never going to be able to buy two laptops.” He sighed.

“Don’t give up hope yet, Marc!” I said, although I was thinking the same thing. “Let’s go to Job Lot.”

“Okay,” Marc agreed, not wanting to give up hope. “Do you think we can afford something there?”

“We’ll find out.” I said, as we parked the car and entered the store.

All of the electronics were displayed in the front of the store. We stood with our backs to the cash registers, staring at shelves of tablets. They didn’t have any laptops.

“It’s getting late,” I said. “Why don’t we just get two tablets. They’re less expensive and you can do the same things on a tablet that you can on a laptop.”

“They can’t be tablets, Mom.” Marc replied, “Our school said they have to be laptops.”

“Well, not everyone can afford laptops…” I began to say, when from behind me I heard the voice of the cashier…

“Ma’am you’re $36.00 short. Do you have another $36.00?”

I heard a woman’s voice reply, “That’s all I have. I don’t know what I’m going to do, I need this tablet for work tomorrow.”

Without turning around, I pulled $36.00 out of my pocket and passed it over my shoulder to the cashier.

The cashier completed the woman’s transaction, as Marc and I began to argue.

“Mom, why would you do that?” Marc said, raising his voice, “We don’t even have enough money and Rocky and I need laptops for school.”

“Marc, lower your voice.” I instructed, “We’ll get your laptops.”

Angrily, Marc turned and headed towards the exit of the store, as I quickened my pace to catch up with him.

“Marc, wait up!” I yelled.

A woman I had never seen before stood in front of Marc and stopped us both in our tracks… She was crying.

“I just want to thank you for what you did for me.” She said.

I realized it must have been the woman for whom I had just paid off the remainder of her purchase.

“I took the bus here,” she continued, “With the last bit of money that I had. I was homeless, and Wal-Mart was the only store that would take a chance on hiring me, although I didn’t get enough hours. Now I’m starting a new full-time job tomorrow but I need to have my own computer, that’s why I got the tablet.”

“You’re welcome.” I said, as I gave her a hug and she hugged me back tightly, “Good luck with your new job.”

Marc and I walked to the car in silence.

As we drove away, we both looked toward the bus stop. There stood the woman, waiting for a bus, holding the bag containing her new tablet. She looked happy.

Marc was the first to break the silence in the car.

“Mom, that was really nice what you did for that woman,” he said.

“Everything is Karma, Marc. It all comes back to you. Just follow your heart.” I replied.

“Okay, I get it. ” Marc said, “But how are we going to get two laptops?”

An idea popped into my head.

It was a long shot, and we were running out of time before the stores began to close, but I was determined to get my boys their laptops.

We would have to go to a bad section of town…

And it was starting to get dark.

Join me for Part 3,

The School Teacher

As the story continues…

 

 

 

 

 

 

Part 1: The Power Of Generosity – The Woman With The EBT Card

Sometimes the most normal, everyday occurrences lead to some of the most incredible moments of your life.

These moments are never planned, they just happen.

I live for these moments. They are as raw and real as life can be. The situation may seem small or mundane, and one could easily ignore it and let the moment pass.

Not me.

These are the moments that come on like a freight train and before you know it, you’re standing right in the middle of the tracks.

You could either step away, or stand directly in the path and get hit with the weight of the impact.

I automatically make the same choice. Every time…

I react with my heart.

It was a hot day in Charlotte, North Carolina. The combination of the extreme heat and the act of taking three boys grocery shopping led to high levels of impatience and irritability for everyone involved.

I only wanted to get in and out of the grocery store without a ton of requests from my boys for things I could not afford.

Being a working single mother of three, is hard. It tests your limits on every level: emotionally, physically and financially.

This day would be no different… except for the heat.

Somehow we managed to drive to the grocery store without a major fight breaking out among the siblings. One small victory for me.

I had to tackle my shopping list without buying anything extra the boys would beg me for, or randomly throw into the cart when I wasn’t looking.

Surprisingly, my “No, we can’t get that today” statements, were heard and accepted without much backlash. I remember thinking my children were being amazingly compliant. In retrospect, I think my children finally came to understand, although their mother worked hard, she had very little means.

Finally, we approached the checkout… perfect, we were next in line.

In front of us stood a woman and her daughter who were placing all of their purchases on the conveyor belt.

I began to pull my own groceries out of the cart thinking, “I wish I could afford more for my boys…” yet, I was grateful for what we were able to purchase that day.

I jumped when the woman in front of me shoved my groceries back and slammed the plastic divider between our purchases.

“These are MY groceries!” she yelled. ” Yours go behind the divider!”

I was so shocked by her outburst I didn’t respond.

The woman began yelling at the young cashier: “Cold items go in a paper bag! What are you, stupid?”

“Really!” The teenage daughter joined in. “I think she is stupid.”

The cashier began to cry.

I glanced at my sons, all three of them staring wide-eyed, with their mouths open.

The young cashier began sobbing and ran out from behind the register. It was the last we saw of her.

A line was now forming behind me and I could hear people making comments and becoming impatient.

A replacement cashier entered behind the counter and continued the transaction as the security guard approached.

“What are you looking at?” The woman yelled at the security guard.

I heard Rocky mumble, “This is about to get good.” I nudged him with my elbow to keep him quiet.

“Ma’am, I’m just here to see that everything goes smoothly,” the security guard replied.

“You ain’t nothing but a fake cop,” she stated. “I ain’t afraid of you.”

I must admit, I rolled my eyes. For once I had made it in and, well, almost out of the grocery store in less than thirty minutes, with three kids in tow.

The new cashier hurriedly rung up the items and hit total.

The woman extended her arm and handed the cashier her EBT card.

“I’m sorry,” the cashier stated, matter-of-factly. “EBT does not cover, shampoo, conditioner and this lotion. That will be $15.98.”

Before the woman could respond, I said, “I got it!” I handed the cashier a $20.00 bill.

Slowly the woman turned around and looked at me.

Her entire demeanor had changed.

“Thank you,” she said, staring me straight in the eye.

“You’re welcome,” I replied. I collected my change and slid it straight into a donation bucket on the counter.

The woman and I exchanged smiles.

Her teenage-aged daughter leaned across her mother and also said, “Thank you.”

They gathered their bags and slowly made their way to the door while everyone stood in silence.

 

“Mom, why did you pay for that lady’s stuff?” Rocky asked.

I was aware that everyone was staring at me, including the security guard.

“Because it was the right thing to do.” I replied, “You never know what someone is going through in their life… remember that.”

But that wasn’t all there was to the story.

In the car, on the way home, Marc and Rocky announced they both needed laptops for school.

“Laptops? Are you kidding me?” I asked.

I had no idea how I was going to pull this off.

Then I met the homeless woman…

And the school teacher.

Stay tuned for Part 2.

If you keep yourself open to it, incredible things happen every day.

Much love,

Erin Cooper Reed

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NEVER Go To The Department Of Motor Vehicle When You’re PMSing!

Two days…

Two different Motor Vehicle locations…

And two attempts at getting Kevin his road test for his drivers license.

I can’t even bring myself to relive day one and today’s visit was just a fiasco.

We had a 9 a.m. appointment and arrived early at the DMV.

Our visit required a copy of my registration and insurance so Kevin would be able to drive my car for the road test.

Simple enough.

I grabbed a copy of my registration and most current insurance card from the glove compartment (Where I have never in my life kept any gloves, just sayin…) and we headed inside past the droves of people waiting in a long line, in front of the building.

I could already feel my blood pressure going up.

It was at least 20 minutes before we were able to check in and make our presence known.

Eventually, a DMV employee asked for my registration and insurance card. I handed him the paperwork. He walked away and I sat as my paperwork was passed off to another employee, then to yet another.

We waited…

And waited.

Finally the original DMV employee, who I had handed the paperwork to, returned.

Mr. DMV: “Ma’am, your registration is expired.”

Me: “No, it isn’t. My registration is paid and current.”
Mr. DMV: “The registration that you gave has an expired date. I highlighted it for you.”

Me: “Well, I must have forgotten to put the new one in my car.”

Mr. DMV: “You know you’re supposed to have your current registration in your vehicle.”

Me: “Of course I know that, but life is busy and my registration IS current!”

Mr. DMV: “We’ll have to reschedule.”

Me: “Reschedule? What for? Why can’t you just check the status of my registration in your computer… I mean, this is the DMV!”

Mr. DMV: “You’ll have to stop talking when I’m talking.”

Me: “I’m not. This is just ridiculous!”

Mr. DMV turns to the two other men who hand handled my paperwork. “Did either of you check this registration in the computer?” He asks, as both men shake their head, no.

Finally, Mr. DMV hands my paperwork back to one of the men behind the counter.

The man fumbles at the computer keyboard.

“Her registration is valid!” He shouts over, so we can hear.

Me: “That’s what I told you.”

Mr. DMV: “You need to purchase a copy of the current registration. It’s twenty dollars.”

Me: “Fine.” I sputter, as I pull my check book out of my purse and write a twenty-dollar check. for a single printed copy of my registration.

I hand Kevin my car keys in preparation for him to take his road test.

And we wait…

And wait.

Mr. DMV approaches us and says, “This isn’t the correct copy of your insurance card.”

Me: “What do you mean this isn’t the correct copy of my insurance card? It’s the most recent one that I have! It just came in the mail!”

Mr. DMV: “This says August 2017, its July 2017. I need the card for July.”

Me: “I don’t have the card for July. I have had the same insurance company for five years and I have insurance! Obviously they wouldn’t send me the new insurance card if my insurance wasn’t current. It’s current, just like my registration is current!”

Mr. DMV: “We need the card for July or we’ll have to reschedule.”

Me: “Can I call my insurance company and have a copy of the July card faxed here?”

Mr. DMV: “We don’t accept faxes.”

Me: “Isn’t that accommodating? What if I go to the closest office store and get a faxed copy of my July insurance card and then come back?”

Mr. DMV: “You’d have to do it by your appointment time for the driving test.”

Me: “THE APPOINTMENT TIME FOR THE DRIVING TEST WAS AN HOUR AND TEN MINUTES AGO!”

Mr. DMV: “Then you’ll have to reschedule.”

Me: “This is TOTALLY ridiculous and the reason I hate this place…”

“Ma, ma, ma, ma… let’s just leave.” Kevin interjects.

I apologized to Kevin and after thirty more minutes of waiting, he was called up to get his rescheduled date.

Kevin’s appointment for his driving test is September 22.

I just hope that I won’t be PMSing.

My Life, I Swear…