This morning when I made my daily stop at the coffee shop, the proprietor and barista were mid-conversation.
"I'm afraid those kids are going to be disappointed they they didn't collect much," the proprietor, said.
"Collect what?" I asked.
"Food for the Salvation Army food drive," she replied.
"I think their box is too big," the barista said.
"What box?" I asked, cluelessly.
At which point they both pointed to an enormous cardboard box with a big Salvation Army logo and a sign made by some youngsters participating in a food drive at the neighborhood elementary school.
An enormous cardboard box with quite visible signs, right next to the door I had opened every single day this week without noticing. At all.
If it was a snake, as my mother used to say, it would have bit me. Mr. James may well have peed on it on one of the mornings I combined my coffee run with the dog-walking.
As it was, I would almost have had to shove the dang box aside to get into the coffee shop without tripping over it. In fact, given my history with things such as bouncing into walls, stumbling over rocks and slipping on ice, it's a miracle I hadn't.
I have no defense, other than the likelihood that at that point in my mornings I am very focused on getting my caffeine hit. But after a year of making a conscious effort to be present in the moment, it would appear my progress is, uh, minimal.
This should not make anyone who shares the local roadways with me behind the wheel particularly comfortable. Red lights, stop signs, ambulances.... please, Lord, let me notice.
At least, now that I finally noticed, I have made amends. After enjoying my latte and taking the dog for a walk, I went to the grocery store and circled back an hour later to drop some jars of peanut butter and cans of vegetables into the big box.
But looks like Mr. James is going to have to step up his game if he's going to rehabilitate me.