The Pickle

Well, I have got myself into a fine pickle of a mess in my life once again.  And in thinking about that, I remembered this little writeup of meeting a fine young fellow who referred to himself as a pickle.  Much the better pickle to dwell on!

January 2007

Well, today was a great day. I have been quite low for some time now, dealing with situations that are either consequences of my own poor choices, or simply bad situations that unfortunately seem to occur over and over and over again in my life. Sometimes, I get the feeling I will never shake these circumstances – the “pickles” I somehow end up in – I must somehow be inviting recurring bad circumstances into my life. But not today.

There is no “real” or what you might think of as “tangible” reason for today to be a great day. I’ve had a severe cold or flu for one week and had to miss work last Thursday and Friday. On those two days, I was awake for about 12 hours out of the 48 hours. I forced myself to stay up for longer periods on Saturday and Sunday. Because of this illness, I missed lunch plans that have been in the making for months as well as a trip to Saskatoon with my friend Jocelyn to visit one of my favorite people in the world – Irene Stiller – a 90+ year old model of good living, I believe, and a new but dear friend. Oh how I would have loved a visit with Irene.

My project at work is plugging along at what seems like the pace of molasses. I’m running into stumbling blocks that are training me well, but putting me behind. There are good aspects of the delays as we are discovering gaps in data processing that need to be rectified, but I continually hope I don’t let anyone down, yet fear that I will (see paragraph one of this post for reasoning).

But, I’ve certainly prayed for some relief for what seems like a long time to me, so I attribute today’s removal of my feelings from my circumstances to God’s hearing and answering my prayer and his continued demonstrated mercy in my life.

The flu has not entirely left me yet – and so, at 4:30 today, I petered out and made a hasty exit from work. I just missed my bus, but hopped on another one that would require me to transfer. I met a few ladies on this bus and we had a good chat. Little groups form on these popular bus routes — groups that see each other only or mostly on the bus. Relationships develop and bonds grow. These ladies today were in my age category and in all different categories of life – married, divorced, single, with children, without. Half an hour later, I transferred to the bus that would take me close to home.

I climbed on the bus, and just a moment later, a little boy, perhaps 4 years old, climbed on the bus, marched up to and plopped down in the seat next to mine. His feet did not even come close to the floor. He had a mop of reddish brown curls poking out from under a red hat with ear flaps that was quite askew on his head. I looked at him in surprise. His returning impish grin spread to his light brown eyes. I looked up to see his older brother sit down across the aisle and then saw his mom smiling apologetically at me – I shook my head to negate the apology. I can’t resist conversations with the little ones.

So, I spoke to the little guy, “So, if you are going to sit next to me, tell me your name.”

He mumbled something like Peter, but my cold prevented me from hearing correctly, and I made him repeat it several times. Finally, his mom told me, “He’s been telling people his name is Pickle.”

I was surprised. “Pickle? So, Pickle, it is nice to meet you. My name is Onion.” He laughed quite charmingly.

Then he said, “My name’s not Pickle, it’s Dar…..”, but again, the cold in my head prevented me hearing the full name and after attemping several times, his mom helped again and said, “His real name is Darien.”

“Ah, so you are Darien the Pickle, and I am Kathy the Onion.” That earned me another giggle from the youngster.

He showed me a stamp on his hand, and I asked him where he was that he got that stamp. He told me quite a story, most of which I could not understand, but it sounded as if he was at his “Nana’s”. I simply nodded in agreement at most everything he said, and added “oooohs” and “ahhhhs” at appropriate times, and he seemed to think I understood. Listening to his chatter and watching his expressions was indeed a pleasant way to spend the time on the bus.

He asked his mother for a cookie. “Now, why would a Pickle want a cookie?” I asked, and was promptly rewarded with the laughter I was seeking in the first place. Ahhhh, how I love to make a child laugh!

He showed me how he chewed with his mouth closed, and we continued to talk in between bites and chewing. All too soon, we approached my bus stop. The Pickle’s mom asked Darien if he wanted to say goodbye, and to my absolute surprise and delight, he turned and gave me a big, huge hug and waved and said “bye” until I was well off the bus I am sure.

Ah, Lord, thank you for sending me a Pickle today!

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