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The Living Without Series

This is a series of posts that I wrote back in 2006 on living with less stuff. Check them out: liv011Living #2liv031liv04

Coal Creek Farm on Facebook

The Chicken Doctor


The Architect


The Birthday Saga Part VI ~ The Crescendo

If you want to start from the beginning of this story click:
Part I
Part II
Part III
Part IV
Part V

As I walked toward the reception desk I asked the ladies, “Do I need to pay for anything before I go?”  They both had huge smiles on their faces, “No, Clay took care of it and he wanted us to give you this.”

The sweet young receptionist held out a seventh envelope for me.  “Was Clay here?  Did he drop this off?”  They laughed and told me that he came in after I was in the massage room to drop off the envelope.  The girls were swooning over him.  I had to agree, he’s pretty awesome.

I knew I wasn’t going to go home, so maybe this envelope would tell me otherwise.  I could go home and clean up before going out tonight.  I was okay not getting a new outfit, I had stuff to wear.

Clay texted me, “Old Navy has cute dresses on sale.”

I texted back, “What have you done with my husband?  Please give him back his phone.”

How on Earth would he know that Old Navy had cute dresses and that they were on sale?  I was cracking up at him, he wasn’t holding back one thing on this birthday for me.

I had time to shop and since I was now on the “cheap” side of town I felt better about getting some new clothes.  I thanked the girls for such a great massage and for participating in my day and headed back out to the van.

I got in my van and there on the seat was a gift waiting for me.  But the most amazing thing was while I was getting my massage, MY VAN HAD BEEN CLEANED!!!!  HOLY CRAP!!!  THAT’S THE BEST GIFT EVER!!!!

I texted Clay, “MY VAN IS CLEAN! Can I open this present?”

He texted back, “Really? I wonder who cleaned your van?  Yes, open the present.”

Seriously, cleaning out my van was one of the best things anyone could ever do for me.  I hate-hater-hate-hate driving a cluttered, dirty vehicle and that’s exactly what I have been driving since my youngest child learned how to feed himself in 2005.  Seeing mud, crumbs, trash and sticky substances in my van sucks out my joy.  I can’t keep up with it.  I’ve learned to never look at the interior of the van behind the driver’s seat if I want to stay happy.  I’ve told my children that I am going to drive this van until it dies and then I’m going to get a really nice vehicle that none of them will be allowed to touch, but I’d be happy to pull them behind in a cart attached to the bumper.

Now, on to the gift.  Who gave me a present?

The gift was from Sledge, my side kick at work. He gave it to Ellen at school to give to me sometime since he noticed I wasn’t coming into work.  He gave me things that he has observed are a pretty big part of my life.  A GIANT coffee mug because I always come into the office with one of my mugs full of coffee or I’m toting a large coffee from that one place with the golden arches…because I love their coffee with all my heart (sorry), chocolate covered almonds because nuts and chocolate…YES!   And one of my favorite movies of all time.  Which is the gift Sledge gives everyone in his life, because that’s what Sledge loves.  I once told him that if my kids ever gave me a movie as a gift I would throw it in the trash, because I would NEVER-EVER-EVER ask for a movie as a gift.  Sledge told my kids about the $5 movie bin at Walmart and now they have to dig through it every time they walk by it.  I won’t let them buy any of them.  Sledge is a bad influence.

I told Sledge a long time ago that Family Stone is the only movie that I had watched and loved it so much that I clicked play and watched it again.  I am a huge fan of Diane Keaton.  I love her style, her attitude and she always seems to be in movies that feature awesome old houses with awesome kitchens, what’s with that?  Sledge loves this movie because of Claire Danes.  My oldest son loves this movie because of Rachel McAdams.  My daughter loves this movies because of Luke Wilson.  Clay loves this movie because it’s funny and it uses the term “freak flag”, which we like to say to each other every once in a while, “Honey, you got you freak flag flying a bit too high today.”  This was the perfect movie to give me and I’ve watched it twice since I got it.  Thanks Sledge, you’ve proved me wrong, I liked getting this movie as a gift.

I texted Sledge with a photo of his gift opened on the seat, “Thank you! This was really sweet! I love Family Stone!”

“You opened it in the car?’

“Yeah, it was waiting for me in the passenger seat.”

“Well, Happy Birthday!”

“Thanks! I’m having an awesome day!”

I had a little less than two hours to find an outfit and get back to the van by 6pm.  I headed to Kohls and Maurices and was successful in finding a blouse, dress pants, jewelry and shoes.  I asked the cashier in Kohls if it was okay to change in the dressing room.  She asked me if I was going somewhere special and I said, “Yes, I think so.”  I quickly changed in the dressing room and headed back to the van to put on my makeup and try to make my hair look decent and await directions from Clay.

A bag had been packed for me that had all my make-up and bathroom needs in it.  I was so impressed that not one single thing was missing.  As I reached up to pull down my visor to use the mirror to apply my make-up I found another surprise.


to be continued…..I know!  It’s the never ending story!!

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