Putting holiday prep on hold yesterday, my friend Arden and I went into town to celebrate her birthday with lunch and a little shopping. Both of us being the last of the big spenders, we cruised the aisles at Dollar Tree and Grocery Outlet. From start to finish, it was a day filled with smiles, and not just mine and Arden's. Placerville is a small town and we stayed up at the far east end, but it was the neatest thing. Everywhere we went, people were smiling. Clerks in stores were joking and laughing with customers. A busker who hangs out on the sidewalk with his guitar was singing Christmas carols and did a riff as I walked by to catch up with Arden and asked if I'd been a good girl (at my age?!). Santa hats were prevalent. I happened to be wearing jingle-bell earrings and a holiday vest over my bibbies; nuthin' if not stylin'. Customers standing in check-out lines were polite(!) and wishing each other happy holidays. It was as if the small-town Christmas spirit had infected everyone and gone viral.
Arden and I got back just in time for me to put the kids to bed. The girls were all standing in a cluster at the corner of the pen, waiting and watching for my return at sundown. Ginger came pitter-pattering when I approached, anxious to rejoin the flock before dark. Bessie Anne came out to say goodbye to Arden and then it was back in the house for her. I'd barely gotten my purchases into the kitchen after barn duty when Celeste began herding me to my chair as if she'd waited all day for a lap, plunking herself down as soon as I'd sat. It's nice to be missed. I did not get one single thing done at home, but I wouldn't trade yesterday for anything. It was a good day and I'm happy my friend shared it with me.