There are many moments from this last Mississippi trip that I will never forget. Some are lessons learned that were a little painful, others were moments where I saw God work. My favorite moment had to do with duct tape.
A few years ago my friend N decided that I needed some pink duct tape. My guitar case was getting a little beat up from the airlines and so he bought the pink duct tape and I decorated my guitar case. Last February in D-land, my poncho tore, so N again came to the rescue, this time finding pink and purple plaid duct tape. My D-land poncho is now designer gear. In April the team in Mississippi found purple tie-dyed patterned duck tape and gifted me with as a special prize for being a Jefferson Award recipient. Cousin T found out about the different patterned duct tape and decided that because she loves anything ducks, that she wanted duct tape (or as we more commonly call it "duck" tape) for Christmas. I was happy to oblige.
While in Mississippi, I went to my favorite store to dislike shopping in but the only place available, and found a whole plethora of duct tape. Zebra striped, camo, bright yellow, red and yellow tie-dyed and flame patterned to name a few. I picked up the Zebra and red and yellow tie-dyed for Cousin T. That was Monday night.
On Tuesday we stopped at the Mini-Mart out on highway 90 to grab some sodas and coffee for the crew at lunch. As we walked up to the counter to pay, the lady behind the counter stood up and, as I said in a previous post, her stool that she normally sits had flames on the seat but was patched up by silver duct tape. I knew right then that I was getting her the flame duct tape.
Wednesday we went out to lunch, so we didn't go in the mini-mart. That afternoon, Ben and I had to make a run to Lowe's for more building materials. As we drove we started talking about what was happening in Pearlington. We talked about the new market that is going in on highway 604, which lead to a discussion about the mini-mart on highway 90. Ben doesn't hold high regard for that mini-mart nor the lady behind the counter. I commented that I actually got her to smile and his reply was that was because I was from out of town and that I wouldn't be around that long to bother her. It was a pretty interesting commentary on small town life.
That night, even though I was tired and had a blog to write, I drove a group to my favorite store to dislike but there are no other options and bought the flame colored duct tape.
Thursday lunchtime arrived and I was eager to get to the mini-mart. We pulled up and I jumped out and about bounced into the store. There was the lady behind the counter sitting on her stool. I walked up to the counter and produced the duct tape..."here, it's for you!" and then it happened. The lady behind the counter didn't just smile she laughed. A deep belly laugh. A laugh of surprise, a laugh of delight, a laugh that said sounded like music to my ears. I knew right then and there that my job for the week wasn't really about getting a ramp done, it was about bringing joy to the lady behind the counter.
As we left, she offered to pay for it and I refused..."it's my Christmas gift to you," I said. "Merry Christmas" was her reply. The smile was still on her face and I hope that every time she sees flame patterned duck tape she gets a smile on her face.
It's amazing what God and flame covered duct tape can do.