The Gift of Time

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I’m standing at the pharmacy counter in San Miguel de Allende, asking for directions in Spanish to Belles Artes when the other woman on my side of the counter approaches.

“Are you American?”
“Yes.”
“Do you have a moment you can spare?”

I assess my personal agenda in a nano-second  for the last day I’m in town.

“Yes, I can.”

I can see the relief on her face when I say yes.

“And you speak Spanish?”
“Yes.”

She launches into her dilemma – she can’t get through to America on her cell phone. Her daughter, actress in Mexico City, who’s been there 22 years has set her up with a phone. She needs to find At&T. She’s got a plan. It should work. The download of information comes in rapid fire.

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“First things first, let’s find AT&T,” I say.
She sighs. “OK.”

We wander the street we’re on. It’s supposed to be close. I pop in and out of stores asking, “Donde esta AT&T?”

Multitudes of answers come. Just up the street.

We find our destination and I spring into action.
Questions are asked.
Responses given.
Money paid.
Sighs released in frustration.

After a good ½ an hour of sorting through the confusion, paying more money, and getting her cell phone number sorted out, Sandi makes her call to the United States.

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“I’m never letting you go.” She says, a wide smile shining out from underneath her broad brimmed hat.

“My pleasure,” with the utmost sincerity.

I’m relaxed. Like this is my purpose for having gone into the pharmacy – to help sort out the confusion for Sandi.

She beams. She’s connected now.

It’s now been an hour since I met her in the pharmacy. I have the afternoon to go see the last sights and shop for a few items. And yet this diversion from my own “plans” feels like the most important thing I will do today.

Sandi and I hug, we exchange phone numbers and emails. She invites me to her farm in upstate New York.

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The whole encounter wakes me up to how the gift of time and attention are more valuable than anything else I could give anyone.

As the heaviest shopping time of the year approaches, I’ve decided to take this lesson to heart and put it into practice.

I will give the gift of time….by either spending time with people, doing something with them, or making them a hand-made gift.

As I leave Sandi, she pops into a shop where she’s spotted a pair of pants she fancies. As I walk down the cobble stone streets, my heart feels fuller than it did before I’d bumped into her.

Thank you, Sandi! Happiest of holy-days to you!


Whose Dog is that Barking?

It’s 3 am and there’s a dog barking. I’m groggy and annoyed. “Whose dog is that anyway?” I wonder in my melatonin stupor.
“Is that Zara (our dog)?” I mumble to Erez.
“Hmm dunno,” he mutters and pulls himself out of our cozy bed to go check.
“Nope,” he says upon return to slumber-land.

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It’s 6:30 am, I’m still asleep. Erez bursts into the bedroom.
“I found that dog whose been barking. He’s been tied up all night in the park.”

When I come downstairs, I see my husband in the park with the dog. He’s laid down a blanket and has what I can only assume is a bowl of food in his hands. He’s doing some fancy moves walking back and forth, talking to the dog.

That’s when I fell in-love with him all over again.

We just celebrated 10 years of being married last weekend, and right there I see the man I fell in-love with the moment I met him.

He’s the brave one. The risk taker who’s willing to approach the lunging, scared, barking pit bull tied to a tree all night.

I just stand and watch him work his magic.

“Come. It’s ok. He’s warming up to me. I’ve already pet him.” I approach with caution, get on my knees on the blanket and put my hand forward. The dog sniffs and begins to relax. I move in to pet him.

Within minutes, (and after an hour of Erez being with him) he lets us both love him up, rubbing his head, his backside. He offers a kiss.

“We need a name for him,” we say almost simultaneously. “And then what? Facebook? Animal Shelter??”

He has no name tag, his ribs are showing and he needs a bath.

The morning wears on with texts, Facebook posts, calls to shelters, a visit to see if he’s chipped. We relax into the fact that “this is what we’re doing now.” We aren’t going to “get any work done.”

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He migrates with us to our front porch where we keep him on a leash. He’s had a meal, done his business and he’s so tired he crashes on the hard wood floor..

With each passing hour I fall more in-love with him. We’ve named him Cuba. I can feel how I want him to be part of our furry family of two dogs and a cat, but Erez tows the line. “No, we don’t have room or time to take this on. He’s a puppy really. And strong. Not the time.”

I know it’s true. But my seven-year-old heart wants him. There’s room for everybody at the Inn when she is in charge.

With the help of our Corbin Park, yoga and Spokane communities, not to mention friends in other cities lending their kind encouragement, “Cuba” finds a home and is moved to that home in the early afternoon.

I cry. It’s just my nature.

Letting go of him breaks my heart.

I already love him even though I know we can’t keep him.

I love his sweet, fierce, loving disposition.

We pack him off with his new Mama, Denise, who has fallen in-love with him on sight too. As evening comes, I cry some more and Erez holds me, loving me for my own tenderness. I am once again reminded how grateful I am to be married to this man.