1. Favorite childhood memory?
We used to go apple picking, the six of us. Our transportation was a nineteen-seventy-something Granada Ghia, a car far better suited to four people than six. My siblings sat in the backseat and, because I was the smallest, I shared the front with my parents, squished over as close as I could to my mother so as not to be in the way of my father, the driver.
We went, one year, and spent the day at the orchard. Come the end of the day, we stepped up to the scales. By the time we tallied it all up we brought home 81 pounds of apples.
Traditionally, we each selected an apple to eat on the ride home. In my memory, the one I chose that day was nearly as large as my head. Smooshed between my parents, I happily munched on my prize. My jokester father asked if he could take a bite and I watched in horror as he took the largest bite he possibly could, which was easily 3/4 of the fruit. He thought this was hysterical. Me? Not so much.
Decades later, I still think twice before allowing my father to sample anything I’m eating and 81 pounds remains the standard unit by which our family measures excess.
2. Favorite moment in the last 3 months?
In recent years, my favorite part of Christmas: Not having to travel to a bajillion relative’s houses. I now gloat about this in the same way that, after years of working retail management, I gloated about not working on Black Friday.
3. Favorite drink on a hot summer day?
Sixteen ounces of Pepsi Max with four ice cubes, preferably served in an insulated container to prevent warming.
4. Perfect day out: what, where, with whom?
Any perfect day would have to include MP. If he is there, no other detail matters.
5. Your most unexpected achievement?
I had to think about this for quite a while as I don’t consider myself to have achieved anything. I attended and graduated University, Summa Cum Laude, with a 4 year degree — unexpected because I did this as an adult, well past college age, with a small child.
Bonus: The kindest thing you ever did for a stranger?
Several years ago I was running errands. I had saved up some money to spend at the local fish store when I was finished. My travels took me through a parking lot behind a major shopping center. I pulled over to make a phone call and there was a knock at my window. I looked up to see a women standing there. I lowered my window. She asked for money explaining that the soup kitchen didn’t open until much later and that she and her son were hungry. I could see a little boy of perhaps five, sitting behind her some, distance away, waiting patiently in the back of a shopping cart. I dug a hand into the change cup in my car and gave her some coins. She thanked me and walked away.
I sat there, in the near empty lot. I thought about the twenty I had in my wallet. I really wanted to add a few fish to my tank. I thought about the cell phone in my hand. I thought about the car I was sitting in, the house I would be going home to. I drove over to her, covering the distance she had made while I was lost in thought. I got out of my car and handed her the twenty. She hugged me, said “God bless”, and went on her way, pushing her son in the shopping cart in front of her.
I think about her sometimes. I wonder if she scammed me. I wonder if she truly was as she presented herself. I repeatedly come to the conclusion that it dosn’t matter. If there is even a tiny chance that she was genuine then I absolutely did the right thing … and how could I not have?
Play along at TMI Tuesday.