I’m staying at my mom’s house tonight. We are planning to head off at 5:00 AM on a 15-hour road trip to see my brother in North Carolina. That will mean getting up at 3:30. But at the moment, I am waiting for laundry to finish. And writing.
Earlier this evening, we took my stepfather’s jeep out for a spin, to keep it up to snuff while he is serving another tour in Iraq. Even close to 8:00 PM, it was 85 degrees outside. So, rather than just ride around, we used it as an excuse to get an ice cream. Here I was at the drive-thru, a full-grown adult with my full-grown adult mom, ordering two soft-serve vanilla cones in a monster truck. Gotta love it.
As we drove away, taking the first licks from our ice creams, I thanked her (she paid the $2.14) and said, “Driving out for an ice cream cone — it sure brings back memories.” And it did. Honestly, to this day, I still treat myself to ice cream cones just for the nostalgia. And because I can. Since I was a kid, I’ve never gotten over the thrill that I can go out anytime I want and buy an ice cream cone with my own money! Life is good.
The ice cream excursion brought back another memory. My friend Dib’s son, Sam, was five or six at the time. It was a hot and sticky summer day, and Sam was wilting. His freckled face was all flushed and sweat beaded his forehead under his copper curls. Sam was always a nervous fellow, and so it was with timidity that he approached his mom and asked with many a pause, “Um … mom … um … do you think I could … well … maybe have a Popsicle?” In my mind’s eye, he looks as if he’s asked for a million dollars instead of a mere frozen treat. Dib gave him an appraising look, with narrowed eyes and a finger thoughtfully tapping her chin. Sam wilted all the more. Then she delivered her verdict: “You know what? I think you should probably have two Popsicles.” A wide grin took over Sam’s shy face and his nostrils flared. It was all very Charlie Brown. He felt like two million dollars.
Even the smallest of gifts do wonders for the soul. By their very nature, they say, “You are important to me.”
I have found that the best gifts are the simple ones. Dib and I have taken to calling these little thoughtful, impromptu or creative gifts “treats.” Treats don’t have to cost much, if anything at all. Here are some treats I’ve received and cherished:
A smooth beach stone with a ring around it (which my friends call “ring rocks”).
A retro gym T-shirt from the $5.00 clearance rack.
An iced coffee, just the way I like it.
A framed montage of all the ticket stubs from movies a friend and I had seen together.
Coupons to an eatery I frequent.
Coins from a trip abroad.
A timely fried egg sandwich on toasted, buttermilk bread.
A car full of balloons, each with a hand-written note inside.
A used ottoman with a sticky note tacked to it, containing the words “my love” (don’t ask).
Recent treats I have given have included a tulip, a book I enjoyed, a doughnut, a poem, and exfoliating scrub. It’s truly an endless list of possibilities.
And the thing about treats is — they don’t require any reason at all beyond “You were on my mind,” making them yet another fun and easy way to create others-centered moments.
Are you ready for some real change in your life right now?
The Best Advice So Far is about choice. Filled with wit, humor and poignantly real stories, The Best Advice So Far shares collective wisdom through a new lens, as well as practical application for living like it matters (because it does).
August 12th, 2011 at 11:57 PM
[…] and how cool it feels, the texture of the canvas on my skin. This seems a special privilege and treat. I am safe at the home of friends who love me and have given me this moment for my birthday, so I […]
July 15th, 2011 at 11:57 PM
[…] at a coffee shop today. It was nearing 4:00PM and I hadn’t eaten yet, so I decided to treat myself to an iced coffee and the “guilty pleasure” of a breakfast sandwich. Why not? […]
July 14th, 2011 at 10:23 PM
[…] — *ahem* — other places in the blogosphere. Presently, I’m talking about little treats or kindnesses which, instead of being lavished on others, are a gift from you to yourself. They […]
July 13th, 2011 at 10:41 PM
[…] see the car.” I even got to thinking that maybe he’d picked me up a little treat or something and was just eager to show me. I went along with it. I traipsed over the sodden […]
July 7th, 2011 at 8:07 PM
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July 1st, 2011 at 7:34 PM
[…] me back around to my birthday gift from Jon and Kayla. It is a stellar example of the kind of treat I posted about early last month. Thoughtful. Personal. Made with care. Infused with […]
June 22nd, 2011 at 1:23 PM
[…] treats :: June […]
June 10th, 2011 at 11:52 PM
[…] Yesterday, I shared with you that I was getting ready to head off on a road trip to see my brother in North Carolina. The last load of laundry didn’t finish until after 11:00, and then I posted the blog entry. I still hadn’t packed by the time I went to bed, just before midnight. […]
June 10th, 2011 at 10:39 AM
Ahh, the gifts that truly keep on giving =) Cheers to unexpected TREATS that exceed expectation. One of my favorite posts!
For me, sometimes the “buying things with my own money” bit goes hand-in-hand with “I feel like having buffalo chicken for dinner tonight and can go down to a grocery store and select from different brands, pay for it, and return to an oven in which to heat it.” Gift? Blessing? I dunno!
June 10th, 2011 at 7:55 PM
All of the above, I’d say!
June 9th, 2011 at 11:43 AM
Getting caught up (starting from the most recent backwards). What can I say, the strawberries drew me in.
So, how many times can I say “thank you”? Your blog is my treat. I love reading these little reminders; they help put things back in perspective. A little treasure during a tumultuous time. So glad you are writing this blog and your book.
June 10th, 2011 at 7:53 PM
What a terrific compliment, Kathy. I trust your tumultuous time is back to peaceful seas again soon.
June 9th, 2011 at 11:38 AM
June 10th, 2011 at 7:49 PM
Of course, you get it!