Yesterday, I took my car over to the Midas shop to get the brakes fixed, and I found, oddly enough, that they had a picnic table nearby, out in a nicely mowed area beneath a huge shade tree. The mechanic told me he had to send across town for a part, that the whole repair process would take over an hour, and that if I needed to run an errand, I could come back in about 15 minutes when the part should have arrived. I took his offer, drove home and made a full picnic meal (sandwich, chips, cookies, and cold milk), and returned by the time the part had arrived. While the mechanic worked on my brakes, I relaxed in the shade of the tree at the picnic table and enjoyed a splendid summer repast. While I ate, I listened on my iPod to a recording of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night – a delightful accompaniment to my picnic beside the car repair shop.
Now that my youngest son has moved out of my apartment (he secured his Masters degree last month and is ready for a professional career as a teacher), I am happily rearranging things back to my original “bachelor apartment” design. It was a pleasure, in every way, to have Matt with me these last two years (he is an ideal housemate), but it will be nice, too, to now be able to use his bedroom as a guest room. I’ve spent the last two days cleaning, hanging pictures, and generally tidying things up so I’ll be ready to provide a comfortable sleeping space for any potential visitor. Perhaps no visitor will ever come, but it’s good just to be prepared – to know that if someone needs a clean and welcoming place to stay, I have it ready for them.