My diet coke arrives just as I become settled, because I'm known at this little restaurant. That is just so sweet to me, reminding me on a small scale how much we as humans crave to be known, visible, and noticed. Not in the famous way, but in the every day, you matter way. I tear up a couple times, because a group of older men sitting and talking just gets to me. A group of ladies are having a birthday brunch. The waitresses gather around the table, sing, and bring her a pancake. A pancake!! How perfect is that?! Random people throughout the restaurant join in singing, everyone claps, and I'm done. The day was a total waste of eye makeup in the best way.
Dining alone is a peaceful experience for me, providing me time to think and slow. I must have been thinking pretty heavily, because the sweet man in the booth beside me catches my eye and smiles. He comments on the intensity my face must be exuding saying, "You sure are focused over there!"
His name is John Teague, "Teague pronounced just like league but with a 'T'." I smile at that and proceed with, "I'm Jenilee. It's spelled as one word but pronounced as two."
I don't know, y'all. It just popped out in response.
I learn so much about him. He has two boys, 4 grandchildren, is retired, is a member of the worship team at his church, and has been married 50 years. He loves to read. We talk about work by Norman Vincent Peale and John Maxwell. I tell him about my family, my career, my dreams. He is going to mail me some little cards with his favorite quotes. And then Mr. Teague imparts upon me the gift of wisdom from his life experiences.
I thought I'd share a little of Mr.Teague's wisdom:
"Embrace adversity. Think of an oak tree. You have to have a little sway, or you will fall. A pine, sticking straight up, with no give, like a sign post, will fall with strong wind. The oak sways. It is flexible."
"The little things mean the most."
"It is not the elephants you have to look out for but the gnats. They will wear you out."
"Good things are going to happen for you. Trust that the Lord is taking care of you."
And he ended our sweet conversation with:
"Now be sure to tell you daddy this one. What vegetable does road kill like best?.......SQUASH!!!!"