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Autumn Leaves
The frigid cold grips my bones as the October wind seeps into my skin. I don’t mind as much as I normally might, not today. I look into the sky and see the golden sun greeting me and I know today will be a good day. I stop to look at my feet and see the brightly colored leaves beneath me. Hues of purple, red, orange, and yellow are scattered on the ground as far as my eyes can see, which granted isn’t that far I suppose, but it seems endless to me.

I ponder the days events and as nice as it would have been to stay in bed, I know things must get done. There are bills to pay, plans to be made, a birthday party to plan for, and so much more. Rest will come in due time, but that time isn’t right now. So, I clutch my coat closer to my body as another gust of wind attacks me and starting walking forward once more.

I must have slipped into a daze as I was walking and I am not sure for how long I was lost in my own little world, but a voice calling my name brought me back.

“Miranda!” shouted a familiar voice.

I turned around to see my sister rushing towards me. I admit I was a bit surprised to see her, but not unpleasantly so.

“Lexi? I didn’t think you were coming into town until Saturday; why didn’t you call?”

“It was a last minute decision, decided to come here on a whim late last night and I didn’t want to wake you.” She still sounded a bit out of breath.

“I see, well, I am on my way to pick up a couple of things for Drew’s birthday party this weekend and then pay a couple of bills. My car is in the shop and Greg couldn’t spare his truck today because he was going to be all over town for work today, so I was on my way to the bus stop, but perhaps you wouldn’t mind giving me a lift since you’re here?” I asked ever so sweetly.

“Yeah, that’s fine. That will give us a chance to talk before your hubby and kids get home for the evening.” Lexi said with a smile.

“It wasn’t just a random decision to come early was it?” I asked suspiciously.

“Not quite, no, though the reason did just come to me last night.” Lexi admitted.

“Well then spill it.” I urged her as we turned to cross the street where her black Explorer was parked.

“I won tickets to tomorrow night’s hockey game and thought it would make a good early birthday present for Drew. Would you mind if I took Drew to dinner and the game, spend some quality time with my nephew?” Lexi asked.

“I mean, does he have anything going on at school or do you guys have plans?” Lexi continued.

“We were actually just going to spend the evening cleaning the house and getting things ready for the party this weekend, but I can spare Drew from that for the evening.” I laughed as I know how much Drew hates cleaning, even if it is for his party.

“Great, sorry about the last minute notice, but I had just won them at work, been waiting to see who won for weeks now, was hoping to win so I could surprise Drew with them. I didn’t tell anyone before because I didn’t want to get anyone’s hopes up. I had a backup plan if I hadn’t won, so don’t look at me like that. Anyway, I didn’t have time to call while there. By the time I got home, it was late, thanks to that project I told you about last week. It’s been ten months and we’re still not making any real headway, wish my boss would figure things out so we could wrap this up already; I have a few pending projects I’d like to give some attention to.”  Lexi vented.

“Ten months is a long time to not at least have a direction to go with it.” I agreed.

“Yeah, it is. I am not here to focus on that right now though. While my boss is arguing with the client and belittling his secretary, I took a couple of days for myself before I exploded. I want to enjoy the nice autumn day, perhaps have a pumpkin latte, and spend some quality time with you while I can before I have to go back home and deal with reality again.” Lexi sighed and tiredly smiled at me.

“It will be a bit hectic running errands and getting things ready for the weekend, so I am not sure how much time you’ll get to relax.” I told her.

“Running errands with you sounds a lot less stressful to me than being in Boston right now.” Lexi said.

“Yeah, I suppose it does. Well, unlock the doors so we can get to it.” I clutched my coat even tighter to me still as another burst of bitter wind passed through me.

She unlocked the doors so we could get in. I buckled up while she started the car. As the engine roared to life, I looked at my sister and thanked God for her showing up today. I am happy the sun is out, but that waiting outside for the buses today with that wind wouldn’t have been fun. I knew today was going to be a good day and seeing Lexi just reinforced that thought in my mind.

Life is full of unexpected events, some good and some bad. It’s not those circumstances that define our lives and who we are, it’s how we handle them that shows our character. When my car broke down, initially I was angry and wondered how I’d ever get everything taken care of. When I took a few moments to stop and think things through and weighed my options, I realized the situation wasn’t as bleak as it first had seemed. The weather this morning made me want to stay in bed, till I took a good look at the sun peering through the windows. I decided to have a better outlook on things and then that’s when things began to work out. My sister showing up is such a blessing. Looking out the window, I glance at the sun and smile, grateful for it’s reminder that life is good when we let it be.

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