Wellington Street

In which we take a stroll down a very strange lane.


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Bus Stop "Something on the Roof"

Last night I met a woman at the bus stop that sits on Wellington Street. She was loaded down with bags, to the point where I was unable to find a place to sit. It was raining, and the storm was only getting worse, making me wish I had stayed home. The woman was a terrible mess, and it was clear that she had left in a hurry, her bags being mismatched and without any sort of order. I asked her where she was headed, and she admitted she had no idea. She was unsure when the bus was supposed to arrive, though she seemed anxious to know.

I told her that it would be arriving soon, and it was clear to me that the delay made her nervous. When I asked her if everything was alright, she broke down crying, pointing at a house down the block. This is the story she shared with me.

Three weeks ago my husband and I began hearing noises in the night. At first we though it was just the rain. It had been raining a lot lately. But the night after that long stretch, the sound of pattering on the roof returned, and when we looked out the window we saw nothing but a clear sky.

My husband and I went outside. Our kids hadn't been woken up thankfully. I found myself breathing heavily, the hairs on the back of my neck rising. I tried hard to control the trembling that was going through my body, hoping my husband wouldn't notice. It didn't take very long to tell he was trying to hide his own fear, and that only made it worse. I turned around every couple of feet, but I saw nothing. Soon I was in the middle of the street, looking up at my roof. I could hear faintly the light noise, like a heavy rain, but nothing was there.

We figured it was just some squirrels. There are a lot of them in the neighborhood, and they are hard to see at night. But as we went to go inside, I could feel myself growing more anxious. By the time we reached the front door, I was shaking, my hands coated in sweat. Had my kids not been inside, and had I not convinced myself I was acting crazy, I may have just left the house then and not come back...I did go back inside though an soon after that the sound stopped.

The Little Things - Considerations About what Truly Matters in Life

On On the Road to Find Out

As a (divorced) father of two children, for me somehow Christmas was a time that made me feel incredibly guilty for the twisted situation I had helped to put my kids in - it was a time to subconsciously ask for their forgiveness by showing them how much I loved them by showering them with things. Remember strolling up and down every isle in Toys "R" Us thinking to myself, "If I was my son...If I was my daughter, what would I want." And the crazy thing is I didn't stop at one toy or 13, if I saw something I thought I'd want at their age, I bought it.

But the real lessons for me in all of this and what inevitably brought an end to the madness was what actually transpired on Christmas mornings when the presents got opened. The first lesson came when my son was three and after he tore the paper off and opened oodles and oodles of gifts, in the end what he was playing with was this huge ball of tin foil one of them had been wrapped in, not one of the dozens of new toys he just unwrapped. The thing that happened which ended the insanity for me a few years later was when my 4 year old daughter, after opening what must have been 30 different things and came to the end of her personal mountain of gifts asked with disbelief, "That's all daddy?"

Finally the light shined on me. The "joy" came not from the quantity or even quality of the gift - the real spirit of Christmas is just being together with the ones you love most. The joy is not in the getting, it's in the giving. A gift I have discovered, is as magical a present for not only the person receiving but equally for the one presenting it. The first step to put out in to the Universe a request for something very special for that special someone, to go out and find something that moves you, it talks to you when you see it on the shelf or your computer screen or a suggestion given to you by a friend. In that object or what ever it is you are giving, you know in your soul it was meant for them. What I have since learned is that even more wonderful than a gift of a thing is to give something of yourself.

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