I walked in and I just felt so at home. They had tractor supplies of course but they also had poultry waterers and chicken party mix made with raisins and broccoli and peas and sunflower seeds and meal worms
and they had pig feed and all kinds of farm animal toys and little farm sets and miniature trucks to haul your little farm animals around in and everyone there was so kind.
They did have just the boots I wanted, real leather and reasonably priced but they did not have Owen's size. I asked one of the guys working there if maybe they had more in the back. He said that no, they did not, but he could call Valdosta or Tallahassee to see if they had any. And the Tallahassee store did and Mr. Moon has already picked them up and so Owen shall get his boots. And this same guy was singing along to the Christmas carols and a little bit out of tune but he was so unself-conscious and innocent about it, just singing along, and his name tag said, "Moon".
"Is your last name Moon? I asked him.
"Yes," he said.
"So is mine!"
And we bonded and it was lovely.
There was a lady shopping with a little pointy-eared dog in her cart and a kindly older gent shopping for gun cabinets with a large boxer/bulldog mix fellow and that was the prettiest dog and I patted him and it was sweet. Although I wish with all of my heart that I was not a dog owner, I do not dislike dogs at all and can appreciate a friendly encounter with one as well as the next person. Whenever the man would open up one of the gun cabinets, the dog would poke his snout in to see if it met his approval as if perhaps they were shopping for a new apartment just for him. It was jolly.
Another man was looking for directions to Washington Road and none of us knew where Washington Road was but then a man who was wearing a Monticello Utilities Services uniform told him that Washington Road is also Highway 90 and he told him how to get there and we all went, "Really? Really? I didn't know that!" and we were so amazed. Every one of us in the store.
And I bought Owen and Gibson camo overalls and if you had told me even ten years ago that I would be buying my grandsons camo overalls I would have laughed and laughed and told you that you were insane.
Oh well. Life happens.
I bought Mr. Moon and Hank little presents and all-in-all, it was just a joyful holiday shopping experience.
I went into Monticello proper and ran into Kathleen and her husband. Kathleen was sending packages off in the mail. I do believe she makes and sends presents to everyone she knows. She is so good, that woman. So very, very good. I shopped in a few antique stores but found nothing of great interest and then I came home and finished Owen's quilt.
I hope he likes it. It is very soft.
And I packed Mr. Moon's snack bag and made his coffee drink and sent him off to Orlando and then...I put up the nativity. I cleared the mantel in the dining room and I picked magnolia branches to place around it as is my ritual and I did it.
I put Buddha behind the baby, I draped the lights.
Can you see the happy Buddha? I think that he is saying, "Yes! I am God too! We are all god, including you, you sweet donkey and you, you precious cow and of course you, you newborn baby, be you boy or be you girl. Let us all be joyful in our god and monkey souls!"
Or something like that.
I have realized that none of the Christmas shenanigans is going to occur at my house so every bit of decorating I do is for me and Mr. Moon who could not care less and so whatever it is I do must make me happy and that, that tiny nativity that I bought so long ago when Hank and May were little children, with the magnolia branches around it, with the tacky lights draped through and over it all- that makes me happy.
And so I have come back to the world or at least in as far as I can come, healed by the off-tune singing of a man named Moon at the Monticello Tractor Supply, by the finding of boots for my grandson, by the generous pouring of the sunlight over the part of the planet I live on. Also by the generous gift a friend sent for Owen and Gibson- a book so large that I staggered home from the post office with it under my arm, by the conversation I had on the phone with Hank, by the hug of a friend, by the kiss of a husband, by the warm attention of a dog whose fur was as soft as could be, whose eyes were as intelligent as any human's, by the fact that there are packages of Garden Delight in the world for chickens.
Let us all have sweet and good dreams tonight wherein we are all at home and where we are happy to be.