Coffee and a Gift


We are finally here. I’m not sure of the date, but I know the book signing tour begins tomorrow. I’m pretty sure today is Tuesday. But you know how it is when you’re on the road. Just a series of rest stops and cheap motels. About that, Texas has some fine rest/safety stops.

So we were in the lobby of our affordable accommodations (nicer than “cheap motel,” don’t you think?) getting our free continental breakfast when we were joined by another patron. He was a small, older man, well-worn and weathered by life. (Only now in trying to think back and properly describe him as my son would–the better writer of we two–do I realize that I am not observant enough.)

As we sit down to eat our bowls of Raisin Bran, the man approaches and gives me a little piece of bent up wire. I haven’t yet been awake an hour and haven’t had a full cup of coffee. It takes me a moment to make out what it is as he continues to explain.

“It’s a cross,” he says. “I make them and give them away as gifts. See, I have more,” he explains, showing me a handful of them. I nervously wonder if I am supposed to pay him something. Not that I have any money on me anyway.

“Thank you,” I finally manage to say. He tells me that the coffee is very hot, that he doesn’t like it that way. “Oh, yes,” I agree, picking mine up, which is steaming. “It does seem too hot.” Just then the phone at the desk rings.

“Are you John?” the clerk on duty asks.  John takes the call. I hear him say, “Why I’m here on the phone, ma’am,” as if answering the question, “Where are you?” He decides he needs to take the call in his room, and that is the end of our meeting.

I’ll admit, I felt a slight sense of relief. And now I sit here, this two-inch bent metal cross to the left of my computer, remembering that it is Holy Week. With all the driving, a wedding, and now a book tour, it is easy to forget. But like Clare in book 3, Easter has always been my favorite holiday and I am grateful for the reminder.

Thank you, John, for your little gift.






S. Smith is the author of the awesome and award-winning middle grade series, Seed SaversVisit her Facebook and Pinterest pages. Follow her on TwitterSign up for the newsletter!



2 comments on “Coffee and a Gift

  1. Glad you made it safely there! I love the little cross. Hope the book signing goes well today. I’m envying you out on the road. . .

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