Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Parking Lots

Last week I spent my days working at the LPGA Tour, parking cars. (that's short for Ladies Professional Golf Association) It seems like a simple enough job to do, however in between all the drama that goes on with parking cars...I had ample time to ponder.

There were ALOT of "volunteers" running around doing the many things that were necessary to orchestrating an event of this magnitude. My part was to help park cars. It's funny how depending on what lot I got stationed at, it either seemed to be a "step up" or "down".
Let me give an example. I started out in THE GRASSY LOT finding spots for folks and just picking up the overflow from THE PAVED AREA. Things slowed down so I was asked to go across the street to THE DIRT LOT. There were already two volunteers managing that parking area which had absolutely no activity whatsoever, so you can guess how I felt...I had been demoted. Things were looking up when I was asked to cross back across the street to be in THE PAVED LOT moving cones for all of the VIP's.

Several days and parking lots later found me with a semi-permanent spot overlooking THE GRASSY LOT. Sort of reminded me of Goldilocks and the Three Bears. That particular spot was "just right" for me. I had a RADIO, I made decisions, I got to interact with both the VIPS and all of the other people who helped to put on the tour...

It was good.

Until the fourth day, when we had to divide THE GRASSY LOT. VIPS to the right, all of the rest of the world to the left...handicap spots also. Keep in mind this was a large field that I was told used to have tomatoes in it?? (at least that's what I told people who made comments of it being a cow pasture) The hill was very steep to drive down to it, and frankly I felt bad sending the elderly volunteers who were visibly handicapped down there to park. No one complained as they patiently waited to catch a shuttle ride back up.

Things changed when we ran out of VIP spots in THE PAVED AREA. The VIP's got sent to THE GRASSY LOT (the same one that the handicap spots were in) with assurances that a shuttle would be waiting for them as they parked. That's when the complaints started! The VIP's were not happy campers. Now I know that without the VIP's there would not be an event, nor a need to use the help of sweet older volunteers. It is sort of sad when people who make a nice living out of the strength and coordination of their bodies complain that they had to park too far, and folks who cannot navigate without the use of a walker get put in the same area and smile because they are just happy to be there helping out.

I came to the conclusion that we are ALL VIP's especially the ones in life who go about their business with a heart full of gratitude no matter what parking lot they get put in.

Thursday, September 09, 2004

The Pecan Tart Society

Maybe the coffee shop needed to be busier, maybe I had just a wee bit too much time on my hands. I would like to think that profound thoughts were just a part of coffeehouse ambiance. What ever the reasons, one morning as I was setting out the days baked offerings I found myself in a dilemma as to which pecan tarts to display for sale. This shouldn't pose too much of a problem since the answer is obvious.

The pretty ones.

Not the ones that bubbled just a bit too much over the side, or had a crack in their pastry.

The pretty ones.

THOSE are the ones people will buy, and pay full price for I might add.

In walks early morning regular Forest, who usually is unable to utter any form of communication before his "shot in the dark"... (espresso lingo for a regular cup of coffee with a shot of espresso added), and in his case copious amounts of half and half and honey.

"It's not fair!" I state as I pull his shot.

He looked at me, knowing I was just getting started on this one. "In a perfect world there would be no segregation of pretty pecan tarts and the not so pretty ones." "Tarts are judged by how they look on the outside and whether they are just as tasty, maybe even a bit more so, does not count. The attractive ones are given full honor, are paid full price and taken home to be ogled and awed at before being consumed. Most likely if they were overcooked or undercooked, all of that would be unimportant...because they look good. Placing them side by side, the unpretty ones are destined to get marked down in price. No one will buy them at full price. Keep in mind these pecan tarts may be the moistest, flakiest, most yummy of them all but because of their exterior presentation, they are not deemed worthy of full value."

How tragic is that?

More tragic is that by this judgment, this placement in the bargain basket, many people miss out on how delicious these not so pretty tarts truly are. Granted some are burned and hard and there just is no covering up their flaws...this isn't about them, this is about the ones that ARE good and that get passed by because of some crack in their pastry or over-bubbliness of their fill. Perhaps we need to look beyond the exterior flaws, and decide for ourselves.

A person might get more than they bargained for.

Sunday, September 05, 2004

Letting Good In

Having just returned from a wonderful little hike in Portland's Washington Park (we like to explore the trails at the Hoyt Arboretum) I am filled with gratitude for the awesome beauty that this world has to offer. Walking amongst the trees with my friend Nate and Lucy the dog, I was finally able to take a few deep breaths, (actually I took more than a few since I am a tad out of shape!) and let some positive thoughts in.

There is alot of woes in the world.

Children being held hostage and killed at school in Russia, hurricanes destroying peoples homes and dreams in Florida, politicians saying whatever it takes to get elected but deep down you know that they most likely don't give a damn whether you have health coverage or not....and on and on.

So when I get a chance to go out and let peaceful good feelings sink in that I get from a walk in the woods, I do. Maybe I can't do much to help/and or fix the woes in the world, however I do know that by allowing good in, some is bound to come out. This moment is all we actually can do anything about so why not do all I can to make it one that adds a plus instead of a minus in the whole scheme of things? I need all the help I can get. A quiet walk in the woods is a good start.