Monday, November 21, 2011


On Saturday I read an excerpt my friend Grace Greene posted from her debut inspirational romance, Beach Rental. In the opening, the heroine, Juli, is working as a waitress at a fancy schmancy catered party. She sees a man across the room and feels a pull of attraction. But he looks right through her. She’s a nobody to him, invisible. This realization triggers a panic attack that sends Juli running out into the garden, where she meets her future husband.

Shortly after reading this excerpt, I went to the commissary at Fort Sam Houston to do my normal weekly food shopping. Piss poor timing on my part, considering it was the last Saturday before our American Thanksgiving. The place was a zoo. I worried I’d be in line forever, but management was on top of the situation with a boatload of extra cashiers. I was out in near record time. As I directed the bagger to the aisle where I’d parked my car, I started planning the workout I’d do when I got home.

Then she said, “I haven’t seen you in a while.”

Say what? I looked at the middle-aged woman. I could swear I’d never seen her before in my life. She was a Juli to me, invisible. Shit! I’m a writer. I should notice things, and especially people.

I mumbled something about how I’d been shopping on Sundays lately. I was pretty sure she wasn’t fooled, but she tried to ease my discomfort by saying, “You probably don’t recognize me because I’m not wearing makeup.” She went on to explain that she’d been called in to work at the last minute and had rushed to get to the store for one of the biggest tipping days of the year (baggers work for tips only).

Then she mentioned that the holidays make her sad, because her husband, who died a little less than two years ago, loved them so much. They’d been married for 19 years. She reminded me of my friend W., a recent widow who’s struggling. My heart ached for them. At least my family is in good health.

We got to my car and I pointed. “That one.”

“Yes, I remember,” she answered, “the fancy one.”

Fancy? I love my car, a Mustang convertible, but it’s eight years old and I don’t think of it as fancy. I’d been wondering if I should paint it red, or replace it, even though it still has low mileage.

All this reminded me of how much I take for granted – how often I look at the hole instead of the donut. In the spirit of this week, I’ve decided to be more grateful.

For my day job, which isn’t perfect but puts good food on a very nice table.

For my family, who aren’t perfect but love me even though I’m not either.

For my car, which isn’t perfect but still makes me look like a hot chick in a convertible.

And for the people whose belief in me as a writer keeps me going when I’m having trouble believing in myself – my agent, Jill; the Sanibel Divas, Liane, Saranna, Jenna and Robin W.; the Uno’s Goddesses, Kate, Peggy and Robin K.; and of course the Writers Gone Wild. May your blessings and the turkey on your platters be abundant!


Kaylea Cross said...

This is a wonderful post! Unfortunately most of us take the most important things for granted--our health, our family/friends, and our freedom. It's a good lesson for us to sit up and take notice, be truly thankful for all that we have.

Hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Gail Hart said...

Thanks Kaylea!


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