I knew I wanted to start off in an amusing fashion. I knew this story would be a good one. I had been thinking and planning this one for quite some time now. But where were my notes? I specifically made a list at the time of all the reasons I was grateful. I can think of a few of them, but it was a great list?! Where on Earth is it? I put it in notes specifically so I could search it! What is going on! Hmm, if I am going to be doing this bloggy thingy, I suppose it makes sense this will help you get to know me RIGHT off the bat! Even my organized and searchable notes can get scattered. Makes life more interesting. And I can be grateful that I had the time to stop and REvisit why I had been grateful, without even the notes to rely on. So here we go.... The gratitude is from notes. The story is from memory.
It was a clear dark night, in the middle of December. We were enjoying the unseasonably warm weather and this lent itself a lovely opportunity to spend time with a dearly soon to be departing beloved friend. This friend would soon trek across the country once more to a land far far away where we may never see them again! This friend has long hair like I do, loves tie dye like I do, and has such a calming presence, which can help anyone go with the flow. Mellow as can be, he recommended we see a light display. Now I didn't know what to expect, and it was a far drive. A far.......drive. As I am not the biggest fan of driving but I have improved on this front in leaps and bounds over the past year and a half or more. So we went. My hope was that it would be worth it. We pull in and *GASP* IT IS WORTH IT!!!! Oh my goodness it is worth it! I did NOT expect QUITE such a display!!! And all for free! Unbelievable!
I just figured we'd drive through, but lo and behold my friend is one for walking and so we went for a walk in the dark through the park. Lovingly lit up by the Christmastime lights. What a sight to behold! And quite a different experience to get up close! How nice to have a friend to walk with, as one can muster the courage to do things alone, but in the dark in winter in a strange town, it's just not ideal to be walking alone. What lovely company and what a lovely send off for my friend.
I do recall slipping up a hill on some leaves, but figured wet leaves will do that. Had no reason to think anything beyond that. Until later, in the car.
I have a very strong sense of smell, and I kept noticing I'd get a whiff of an odor. A rather unpleasant but unidentifiable odor. I could not identify the origin, I could not identify the location nor source nor type. I did notice that when I would turn my head to the right, that's when I got the strongest scent. My nose sniffedly started decreasing distance between itself and my shoulder. WHAT had gotten on me? I know I drop food on myself regularly, and this did have a rather sour smell with some cheese type notes....did I rub against something? Had I left my jacket somewhere it picked up something? Had someone sat back against it when I left it in a chair unfortunately unattended? I much prefer when people avoid sitting on or leaning on another's property, especially that which they clothe themselves with. Often if one leaves that behind it's to reserve the seat, not to become someone's personal pillow or rumpus relief. So what unsavory character had come into contact with my garment when I wasn't looking? Hmm, this is so peculiar... I cannot seem to locate the smell any more effectively as I sniff down my upper arm.
At this point I'm not even trying to be subtle, and I can't remember the last time I was demure. I have my arm out in front of me and am inhaling vigorously. I may think I am getting closer, but then I lose the trail. I still don't know what the scent represents. I don't know where it came from or how it got there. I don't actually know WHERE it is located. If it was more skunk like, I would be certain it came through the car vents. I have never heard of even roadkill smelling this bad, and I've never smelled much passing road kill other than a skunk. This is like that time we could not identify a certain awful smell and now there's the family joke of "Is this whole TOWN rotting!?!!"
If it wasn't on my sleeve, and didn't seem to be coming through the vents, was it on the car somewhere near the window? Did a bird in need of a probiotic somehow land its deposit right inside the car "windowsill?" Never heard of stinky bird poop. Maybe it was in my hair or behind me? We walked under a lot of trees. Do they do this when they are sleeping? Never heard of squirrels pooping on people walking behind...I can't come up with feasible reasons. I keep thinking.... I keep pondering... but the mystery remains.
Now I was sitting with my left leg crossed over my right, with my ankle resting above my right knee. At some point I believe I must have been looking down-ish when we passed under a street light that illuminated the sole of my shoe just enough for me to notice that the outline/profile wasn't what it usually is. That is quite the hunk of mud it seems. With some grass bits sticking out. Maybe mud has some bacteria or something that would cause such noxious fumes to be present. As my nose gets closer and the stench gets stronger and my panicking heart beats faster, my calm and collected friend announces "I think you stepped in dog crap." I trust his judgement. He was a boy-scout after all. I may forget this from time to time because his long hair tie dye self just doesn't conjure the image of a uniform wearing, badge collecting variety of young gent....until I remember how at ease he is with camping. Then it all comes together.
My fast talking, glitter wearing, high energy self already probably pushes the limits of this laid back, go with the flow, "heeeeeyyyyyyyyyy" kinda guy can deal with. I've already felt the inner freak out, and the former self who "just can't even" with icky things. So I take a deep breath...through my nose. And I choose gratitude. I choose to find ways that I can be grateful for this super icky stinky experience.
- Oh I am so very grateful that I have a shoe on and had it on at the time. At some point when I slipped on the hill I think my shoe came off a bit and I had to readjust. Boy, if I had to step in dog poo, thank God I had ample rubber between my foot and it! Can you imagine stepping in that barefoot or even in a sock? There are parasites that can get in through the soles of your feet. And I believe some of them are fecally transmitted. What a Lucky break!
- I had socks on too! One more layer between myself and the offending corpus.
- I had pants on, which means while my legs were crossed, again, a barrier between my skin. And just the other day, I had pants that the back bottom edge dragged a bit at times. Somehow this edge remained unscathed and unfettered. What a relief and blessing!
- I did not fall! My cousin has a joke that Saint Bernards are so large that you don't step in their poop, you trip and fall into it! I had already slipped on the hill, thank goodness I didn't slip and land with my tuchas in it, because then what would I do about sitting in the car? Not like you can dangle that out the window on the ride home. And remember what I said about not wanting yucky things on my jacket?
- It was on my left foot. Which meant when I had to drive home, I didn't have to get it on the pedal! I mean that's proof of God right there! You can't take a pedal out and wash it! And they have GROOVES! Grooves that catch and collect like fly paper! Where there would be fecal remnants for the rest of the life of the car had it been my right foot! My GOODNESS was God watching out for me and taking care of me! He gave me this great opportunity to practice gratitude when it isn't lovely, and I already knew it was going to make quite the story.
- These were relatively old shoes. And overall they've held up quite well. I still need to call the Merrell company and find out how to get new shoe inserts, but they sure lasted longer than most sneakers! And we love comfort! I'd been contemplating recently using some newer shoes, and I would have been dejected on a whole other level if this happened with new shoes! Or even with dressy shoes! In that case it would have more likely made contact with my tootsies, and been harder to wash off, and been more of a hassle and frustration... so what a great position to be in to have shoes that have served their time and weren't glamourous anyhow.
Gosh and golly, I was just so grateful to have stepped in this dog poop! Look at all the wonderful things I was able to discover and notice because of it! Things I may not have thought of as relevant in any other situation. When was the last time I considered the car pedals or focused my attention on them? Usually if one is to stop and be grateful for shoes, it's in comparison to those who don't have them. But for the reason of it being a barrier? Less common. Quite welcome. Ah shoes. You know I am so not into shopping, and don't care much at all about shoes compared to the stereotype linked to females. But I sure was appreciative for shoes on that Christmas light night!