Be Free

Friday, January 9, 2009

My sister's birthday is tomorrow. Like me, she loves Starbucks. Also like me, she considers imbibing rather indulgent. Unless somebody gives her a gift card; then it is totally OK. I had begun to feel a little bit guilty about regular trips to Starbucks last fall because I would sell a pound of our latest beef to somebody for $3.00 and then turn right around and buy a Tall Expresso Truffle for $3.25. It didn't seem sensible. In some ways I felt like a traitor to poor Roy (the freezer beef). He was such a nice steer. It didn't seem right somehow to be paying more for a cup of coffee than I was getting for a pound of his flesh. Before this quandary took root, though, we found out that Kevin's youngest daughter is getting married. Next October. We like her fiance extremely much and are not sorry that this union is pending, but, finding the resources for this upcoming expense required us rethinking our budget. I immediately realized that whatever guilt I had felt about Expresso Truffles was going to be compounded. So, I hastily swore off them. I estimated (or Kevin did the math for me) that I'd save about $400 by not going to Starbucks. Here it is January 9th. I have abstained 'til today. But, I determined that I would buy my sis a gift card for her birthday (this saves HER guilt; that's a nice twist, right?) I start out at the closest Starbucks: the one in the student union. Because of the holidays (break between semesters) they are keeping some very weird hours. Closing at 11:00 a.m.. I arrived at their locked door at 11:20. Now, I could have taken that as a 'sign' that I should think of an alternative gift, but, I just hiked on over to the next nearest (2 blocks away). That one was open. I bought her a gift card and well, since I was there, I bought myself an Expresso Truffle. I didn't think of it as falling off the wagon, just as taking advantage of the gift card visit. Back to my office I go. I finish writing in her birthday card and start to insert the little folder with the gift card into the envelope. But first I opened the folder to make sure that the amount was evident on the gift card. There was no gift card. The folder was empty. What did that mean? I hike back to the Starbucks. The manager happens to be at the counter. She says she saw the card behind the register and guessed what had happened. She didn't hassle me a bit. In fact, she refunded me the price of the Expresso Truffle for my trouble! How about that!? I haven't blown my promise and I still had my coffee! Providence and His protection! You may think I'm silly seeing it this way, but I know He arranged it. I also got some nice exercise. It is lovely outdoors and soon to turn cold again.

So, the pics are of the bride-to-be when her affections were on another fellow. She's older now. She's matured. But, it is fun to look back on this time of her life.

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