Friday, July 29, 2016

Surprised at the Beach - #WYFF

We had an awkward, unexpected experience today which we've debated sharing. Michael suggested we go into town, run a couple of errands, have lunch at the ocean (I can't get enough of the ocean!), and then drop Nolan off to work before heading back to the Redwoods. This was a plan we all approved.
The gap is where I was sitting before I got up to take the picture and the surprise happened
 Before we headed to town I checked our bank and ebenefits to see if the VA and the DFAS (Defense Finance and Accounting Service) were playing nice yet. Nope. We are FINE - but I would LIKE to see all of our disability pay, our retirement pay and retro pay in our account. We do qualify for concurrent disability and retirement due to Michael's rating.  I was fussing about our "expense tracker" and getting "tense" about the ratio of income and expense.

We put our "go to town" clothes on - as opposed to our "work clothes." It was good to go to town. The benches by our van were taken and so we walked a bit down the embankment and found a nice bench. We sat, fed squirrels, enjoyed the view and ate our lunch.

Do you see what's captured Yuuki's attention? I was surprised she didn't chase them. She was content to simply sit, stay, stare and menace. 

I had packed sandwiches for the kids. Michael had a couple of boiled eggs, veggie sticks, cheese, meat and crackers. I had apple slices and almond butter. I was a bit cold and wrapped in our blue picnic blanket - the flip side is tie dyed. I did at one point check to see if Michael had any veggie sticks left. I had a bag at my feet - our "warm bag" for things which don't fit in our little cooler/lunch bag.

Are you picturing this with me? I'm wrapped in my tie dye blanket, enjoying lunch on a bench with family, eating my apple slices. Content.  I got up to take a photo, and a woman got out of her car and hurried up to me.

She handed me $10.

I was taken aback.  I wasn't quite sure what was going on or how to respond.

I told her thank you, but we were fine.

She said, "I know you can't cash checks, and this is all the cash I have, but please take it." She turned and walked away.

I sat back down. I showed Mike. We weren't sure what had happened and then we "got it." She thought I needed money. I wasn't begging. We have no signs. We were fairly respectable looking.

She was in a car behind our bench. We continued to sit on the bench, me holding the $10 and trying to figure out how to get out of this without awkwardly insisting we are not homeless....

Before she left she came up to ME again. She handed me 6 inches of a 12 inch sub sandwich. She said, "I promise I didn't touch this half. Please take it. I want you to have it." I tried to tell her again I was fine, but in the end, I smiled and told her thank you.

 Beyond being amazed we were taken as homeless - though the kids thought it was a hoot - this event stirred many emotions in me. There are still people with very big hearts all around us! This woman was insistent on giving, and her gift reminded me if there comes a time when we are truly desperate, God will be our source (the VA and DFAS are merely the current source).

I felt quite a bit of guilt for having 1/2 of this woman's lunch and her $10. I decided to pay it forward.  Her gift will bless as she intended and, I imagine, in a few ways she didn't intend.
Still don't know what said "Give me $ and lunch"
One of our quick witted children said, "Let's leave mom on the bench and see if she can collect enough money to buy a new RV."

Oy Vey!