The Time Keeper PMM

Or, “The Time Keeper: Post-Market Modifications and Other Digressions.”

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I really love my Time Keeper.

There are two things I do to make it even more user-friendly for me. I suppose I could suggest these to its creator, but they seem like the kind of thing not everyone would like.

1. I snip the corners as I go, so I can easily find my place.

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2. And I create a little envelope for my Aldi quarter, and glue it inside the front flyleaf.

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You have no idea how hard it is for me to keep an Aldi quarter on hand.

Those of you who shop at Aldi know this: you have to put a quarter in the cart before you take it, your little pledge to return the cart (and reclaim your quarter) so as not leave it out in the parking lot. They are uber-smart, these German grocers. I’ve been watching and researching their business policies, and I have to say I’m impressed. But I digress.

You would think it would be easy to keep a quarter tucked in the van for such a time as this. You would think.

But you would be wrong.

In fact a quarter is often in demand, for parking meters in town or for slot machines that dispense candy to children who have been good while shopping. (Did I say that out loud?) The quarter grows wings.

For a long time, God and I had a little game going in which I forgot my Aldi quarter and He came up with creative ways to supply it. This amused and inspired me for a long time, until I thought how irresponsible I was being and started carrying one with me.

Often, a stranger would offer me a cart and then say “Just take it! I don’t want your quarter.” (Not that I had one.) Or I’d find a cart outside the store without an owner, just sitting there waiting. Once I had a dollar bill with me, and changed it at the cash register. (If you knew how seldom I carry cash you would appreciate this more.)

Once I was driving to town and God nudged me in the middle of me thinkingaboutsomethingelse.

How about that Aldi quarter?

Oh NOO, I’d forgotten again!

This one’s going to be good, He said.

And it was. When I pulled into the lot, a lady was up fumbling with her cart near the other carts. By the time I got out of my van and approached her, she was ramming her cart into the other carts, shoving and shoving. She said, “I can’t get it to go in. Do you want to take it? I don’t want your quarter.”

I said “Yes! Thank you!”

And then I looked underneath. There was a large cardboard box getting smooshed between her cart and the next one.

Yes, I laughed out loud.

But it also made me feel kind of like a taker, especially after I witnessed The String Cheese Incident, which has nothing to do with the Time Keeper and does not belong in this post. I will tell it to you next time, I think… Should I do it before or after I host a giveaway for the prettiest object this blog has ever seen??

Now I tuck my quarter in that little envelope and do not pull it out except in the parking lot of Aldi. I always have my planner along in town, because that is where my shopping list lives. So. Am I quenching the Spirit in creating a little pocket of security, or am I presuming on His grace to be careless about carrying what I know I will need?

How do you modify your planner?
I just asked you three questions. They are important, and you may answer them all.
Or not…

Giftings and girl things

Confession: Every day of my life, I benefit from the gifts of others.

In the past week, Kelly and I have been blessed with girl-gifts above measure.

  •  Two Sundays ago my friend Amy (my business-woman, mother-of-five, immaculate-style friend Amy) turned to me just before Sunday school with a look of illumination on her face. “I’m going to Lancaster this week!” she said. “Do you need any clothes for Kelly?” The result was this:

… five adorable outfits she carefully chose from the secondhand stores she visited. And she only charged me half of the price she paid.

You can tell what Kelly thought of them.

 

 

 

 

  • This week my friend Carla (my soon-to-be-mother-of-three, radiant, vibrant friend Carla) met me unexpectedly in Aldi. Joy sparked between us, laughing and calling and shoving our carts down the aisles fast so we could catch up with each other. She had a package for me, something she had made and intended to drop off at my house after her shopping. May I open it now?

I found a fantastic apron set—full-sized for me and half-sized for Kelly, handmade to match my new kitchen.

I don’t know if Carla meant it for a Mother’s Day gift or not; right now it seems like the most perfect one I’ve ever received.

 

 

  •  For weeks my friend Shaunda (my laughing, mother-of-four, spunky-and-placid friend Shaunda) has been giving me little pushes to go visit my sister. “I’ll help babysit your kids,” she said. “I know you want to make it easy for everyone, but I want to do this for you even if it turns out to be hard. I want you to go.” She helped me believe it could happen, and it will. In two days, if the Lord is willing, Kelly and I are bound for Virginia to spend half a week with Jean. Oh Jesus, what a gift!

In this I am also made rich by the cheerful sacrifices of my husband, my sons, my mom, and my brother & sis-in-law, who are each making it possible for me to go.

Each lady gave what she’s been given. Amy: a sense of beauty and a good head for shopping. Carla: practicality, and the skill to sew something beautiful. Shaunda: super-ability with children, and a strong sense of family. Every day of my life, I am blessed by the gifts of others.

I will not be blogging till after Wedneday. I will be living, rich with the love of others.

I asked this question before: How have you loved and been loved this week?