I got to meet one of my favorite people last week.
I met Montserrat, of Chocolate On My Cranium. She graciously spent a few minutes out of her packed schedule to say “hi” and let me squeeze her cute little baby. It was wonderful to hug her, too.
She was just as I imagined she would be. Did you know she can make homemade lip balm with cute little labels that look professional and darling? Did you know that she has spearheaded this wonderful celebration of the family event online for years now that has really brought a lot of light to the internet world? Did you know she epitomizes grace, but also has a fantastic sense of humor? Did you know she does all this with humility and a kind of sassy sweetness that I love?
So, I felt a little dorky as I opened my mouth and inserted foot about the entire time I visited with her. Why did I do that? I don’t know. I was just flustered. Maybe I can blame it on the SMeE. Or maybe on the parking garage. Or my van.
Okay, so I drove my fifteen passenger van to Maggiano’s, which requires parking in a parking garage. That would have been fine, except for the fact that I forgot my handicapped placard.
I almost didn’t meet her because I couldn’t park it. I am serious, it was like parking a 747. In fact, I think I probably could park a 747 now that I’ve had this experience. So, I was practically almost going to cry because I couldn’t park the blasted thing.
Anyway, I just said, “Heavenly Father, please? I really want to meet her.”
And then, there was a space next to a space. It was a miracle. So, in the spirit of gratitude and November, I was really thankful.
By the time I met her, I was a bit flustered. You know, from parking the 747.
I felt like I do whenever I am in public. Like there must be something in my teeth, or toilet paper stuck to my shoe. I felt so silly.
I don’t even remember really what I said, because I just started talking as if we had known each other forever, because I feel like we do, but we only had a few minutes, so I didn’t get to the good stuff.
Like telling her she is beautiful.
Like telling her she has said some things that have literally changed the course of my life.
Like telling her that she has cheered me up on dark days and made me smile during some sleepless nights.
Like how I am so thankful that I get to know her and be part of her life, even in my awkward, weird way.
I wish I could have been eloquent. Honestly, seeing her cute little baby distracted me. He was so chubby and perfect.
I wanted to squish him. So instead of being eloquent, I was somewhat incoherent.
We took a picture and hugged and I left and got to the parking lot. Angels helped me back out of my space without crunching into another car (another miracle!). Then I needed to pay for the parking. The little parking thing wouldn’t take my credit card. It didn’t like it for whatever reason. Maybe my magnetic strip has issues. I don’t know. It just didn’t work.
So, I had to call the parking attendant person and I explained to her that I don’t get out much, and most certainly not in parking garages, and I really had spent the majority of the time just trying to get out of the parking lot, and I was scrounging around for change, and of course, the kids had taken it all to do pressed pennies at DisneyWorld (of course–why would we keep change in the van when we could be making pressed pennies?).
The lady smiled and laughed and then let me out for free.
I got FREE PARKING!
Like in Monopoly.
It was like a random act of kindness toward me. It was lovely. It made my day. (Well, meeting my friend made my day, but this double-made my day.)
I felt like I was just being watched out for today. Like there was a conversation in Heaven:
“Did anyone notice that Misty is going out today–and it’s not to DisneyWorld?”
“How will she find her way around? How will she park her van?”
“Exactly. And she will also be nervous and forgetful because she is meeting a special person today.”
“Oh, dear. Well, let’s call out the elite forces. We’re going in. Let’s hope we’re not too late!”
So, I am thankful. I am thankful that Montserrat made me feel not awkward and pretty and intelligent, even though I felt dorky, and I am thankful for parking spaces and kind people and also for Italian food because it really smells good.
In honor of these events, I have made Penne Rustica, like at Romano’s Macaroni Grill, only better, because it was homemade and also because Maggiano’s (where I visited Montserrat), is way yummier than Macaroni Grill could ever hope to be. I mean, ever. So, my family is thankful, too! (We, of course, tripled this recipe.)