I have a new hoodie. It was a spur of the moment purchase. But the spurring happened because of an … um … inciting incident.
Peter was here a couple of weeks ago. I had interesting things planned, like story hour at a local library on Friday morning, Gibbon Day at the zoo Saturday (which was Baylor Homecoming, and I thought, YES! everyone will be at the parade and the zoo will be empty), playing outside in the big, big box that the fridge came in, working in the yard together, and Sunday was going to be “Worship in the Park,” in the park across the street from our church.
Then, the weather forecasters said “rain.” And lots of it. So much rain that Baylor cancelled Saturday’s Homecoming Parade, an astonishing decision that had happened only once before in the school’s history (from 1943-1945–wartime–so actually three times; and fortunately, things did ease up a little in the afternoon, and the game went on as scheduled).
But I thought we’d try to get as much in as we could on Friday, so Peter and I set out, mid-morning, for the South Waco Library. There was the merest sprinkling happening when we arrived, but Peter wanted to carry his umbrella anyway, so I opened it and handed it over, and the happy little boy walked across the parking area. After story hour, there wasn’t any rain falling as we walked back to the car. Some drops fell intermittently as we drove to the nearby HEB grocery store for a few food items.
I found a pretty good parking place and parked the car. I got out, walked around to Peter’s side, got him out of his car seat, and handed him his opened umbrella, to fend off the light rainfall. As I shut the door, the skies above us opened and something like Niagara Falls dumped down on us. I figured that, by time I fumbled around and got my own umbrella out and up, I’d be drenched anyway, so I just tugged Peter along by the umbrella, “Hurry, hurry, Peter!” “Why, Mimi?” Oh, yes, he’s in the “why” zone now. “Hurry, hurry! I’m getting wet!” “Why, Mimi?” “Hurry, hurry,” and so on.
By time we got to the covered area of the front of the store, I might as well have been standing in a shower stall, for a long time. Peter was pretty dry (and he was wearing his great boots), but I and the several other people who’d just walked in, were dripping. I lifted Peter into a cart and fastened him in, and entered the store, where the temperature was about 60 degrees. I was FREEZING! (But, I felt happy that I had put on a slip that morning, underneath my white shirt, so I didn’t feel quite so, um, exposed?)
We did a little shopping, and I became more and more and more shivery.
I wonder …
I found the clothing department (it was a big ol’ HEB Plus that has a clothing department). I found the men’s area, and TA-DAH, there was a stack of boxes that said, “Men’s Hoodies-$8.00.” Hooray, just what I was looking for! I dug around for an extra large and pulled it out to put on over my wet shirt. And stopped and thought things through. A nice new fleece hoodie over my drenched white shirt wasn’t going to do very much.
I looked around for a nice, quiet, secluded corner in the men’s clothing space. And found one. I quickly unbuttoned my shirt. I pulled off one sopping sleeve and pulled the hoodie sleeve over my damp arm. Then I pulled off the rest of the shirt, and shrugged on the rest of the hoodie, and I don’t know when I’ve felt such a wonderful warmth across my back. I zipped up the hoodie, and off we went, for eggs and milk.
The most interesting thing is that Peter, who “why-ed” me all weekend, apparently didn’t think anything amiss when I started taking off my clothes in the grocery store.
I did realize that there must surely be security cameras all over the store. But, really, I was sooooo cold. And, I’ve seen those photos of “People Who Shop at WalMart,” and I was waaaay more clothed that lots of them.
You are my place of safety. You are like a shield that keeps me safe. I have put my hope in your word.
Psalm 119:114 (New International Reader’s Version)
I’m glad I found a temporary shelter to take care of my physical needs. I’m peaceful knowing I have an eternal place of safety.