I knew it was time to get away when I told off the lady at the Haney Bakery last week. I went in to buy some happy face cookies for a young friend who just had surgery and when the ‘mean’ lady greeted me with that inconvenienced look on her face again, I kind of let her have it…in the most polite way possible of course.
There are two ladies that work at the bakery and the kids call them the ‘nice’ lady and the ‘mean’ lady and unfortunately for the ‘mean’ lady, I wasn’t very nice that day. I have been buying the famous happy face cookie since Erin (our oldest) could eat solids…long before the mean lady ever worked there. And I guess I thought it was time to let her know that her attitude wasn’t appreciated.
It’s not what she says it’s how she says it. She tells me the cookies were just iced and if I want one or two of them, I can have them on a napkin. I tell her I want a dozen. She gives me a dirty look and proceeds to tell me with an annoyed tone in her voice that the faces will smudge if she stacks them. I ask if she can please put them in two boxes, one layer in each box. When she gave me another dirty look, that’s when I lost it. I asked her if she was okay, if she was having a bad day or if this is the way she treats all her customers. I proceeded to tear a few strips off of her while she put together two boxes of one dozen happy face cookies…six smiles in each box. And one big one on my face after putting the mean lady in her place.
I was a little testy last week…a little uptight…perhaps edgy…I guess you could say overwhelmed. Our trip to Victoria couldn’t have come at a better time. For Mike’s 50th birthday last January, his brother Gary and sister Aileen gave him a gift for the both of us – a two night stay at the Empress hotel in Victoria, on Vancouver Island…one of our favourite places!
The first thing we did when we got to our room was check out the view. One window displayed the Parliament buildings and the other, the inner harbour. It was a room with two great views! After exploring the room a little, we headed outside. Our first destination was Barb’s for Mike’s favourite fish and chips at Fisherman’s Warf where Mike has been many times with his mum and aunt. We took the ocean view route there and the long way back. We walked for miles and ended up at Pagliacci’s, another one of our favourite restaurants. It was too busy for us to go in with the wheel chair, so we kept walking and went back later and it was still too busy. We decided to go to a movie and when it ended at 9:30, we ran to Pagliacci’s to get there before they closed at 10:00 and Mike got the lasagne his stomach had been patiently waiting for.
The next day it was off to Dallas road to where the land meets the sea. The wind and the waves and the amazing ocean view, was just what the doctor ordered. My problems always become so small when I’m at the ocean. God seems bigger and my troubles seem smaller and my worries seem to wash away. It was a little therapy for the both of us and as we walked and talked and took it all in, Mike reminded me of the wise words of Abraham Lincoln: “And in the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years”.
On our journey back to the Empress where we were meeting Mike’s Aunt Aileen, we came across Faithful St. and right away I thought of one of my favourite old hymns: Great is Thy Faithfulness. It was one of the songs on the instrumental CD we listened to on our way to and from Victoria.
The last year has been very challenging to say the least and I don’t expect the next year to be any easier, but God’s faithfulness remains the same; great! He has provided for all our needs…comfort, strength, hope, peace, joy, encouragement and so on.
We had a very nice visit with Aunt Aileen over ice cream and a chocolate milk shake (for Mike). We stopped in at Roger’s Chocolates a few times. We enjoyed our room with two great views and slept with the curtains open so we could look at the Parliament buildings all lit up in white lights. We took a stroll by Beacon Hill Drive Inn where Mike's uncle Kaye use to take all of us for ice cream. We had a picnic in a park in James’ Bay before heading back to the ferry. When we got to the ferry, we soaked up the sun while we waited for our boat and enjoyed every minute of our getaway.
We had a great time and feel rested, energized and relaxed. And I’m sure if I’m at the Haney Bakery any time soon, to pick up some of our favourite cookies, I’ll be more patient with the mean lady. I’ll be nice…I’ll put on a happy face and thank her for being careful not to smudge her perfectly iced cookies.
Great is Thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord unto me. Thomas O. Chisolm - 1923
Mike and his favourite fish and chips
A walk in the tall grass at the ocean
The wind and the waves and the salty air