Wednesday, July 30, 2008

I Saw a Cat in a Tree; Ed Saw an Opportunity for Cherries

“Come on. Ride with me to get a newspaper,” Ed suggested. “Take a break from QuickBooks.”

I still had a stack of cash receipts to enter into the accounting program. “Not now,” I thought. “I’m in the middle of entering six weeks of expenditures.” I was tempted to let Ed make this three-mile drive to the General Store in Joyce alone. Then, I remembered a passage in a book I had read. The message: We say “no” too often, when saying “yes” can build a better relationship and create opportunity. So instead of saying “no”, I agreed to ride with Ed to buy a newspaper keeping my work before play ethic to myself. Well, I repressed the QuickBooks part of the work ethic, “I’ll take the paper needing a notary signature witness with us, just in case Leonard is at the General Store.” This made me feel better about the pause of my financial entries.

Joyce, Washington is the nearest town to Salt Creek County RV Park where we were enjoying rest and time for rejuvenation after our trek across the US and western Canada. Joyce is a small town with everything we needed in the General Store – post office, gasoline, food, newspapers, fishing supplies, and even some dusty greeting cards. There’s a relic of an old gasoline pump outside the General Store. Ed explained it was the kind of pump station attendants would crank to pull the leaded fuel up to the gauge that measured the gallons requested for the purchase. You can do laundry across the street or buy a cappuccino at the roadside trailer. And, yes, if Leonard is in the General Store, you can even get a document notarized by just giving him a broad smile as his reasonable fee.

Our little break was over…Ed had his newspaper and I had notarized my documents. We were about to drive away when I noticed a black and white kitten among the branches of a tree. When I pointed this out to Ed, he immediately went into action. All I saw was a cat; he saw cherries.

The frightened kitten had climbed the cherry tree, a cherry tree loaded with ripe red cherries. Ed strode to the door of the trailer in the yard with the cat and cherries. I could see Ed talking to a man, and then I heard the man say, “The kitten belongs to the little girl next door. I got it out of the tree yesterday and I will rescue it again today.” Then he handed Ed a large Ziploc bag. “Take as many cherries as you want. I hate cherries.”

We picked five pounds of red cherries off the trees in Joyce, Washington that afternoon. We ate some. We cooked some. We made some cherry jam too.

So now I wonder, what if I had said “No, I’ll stay here” when Ed asked me to ride with him for a newspaper?

July 29, 2008
Joyce, Washington

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