Lemon and I recently visited our local Ace Hardware store. I just love hardware stores! They carry everything except dairy. I don’t know about you, but I find great delight in exploring the aisles. A hardware store can best be described as an amalgamation of retro museum and bomb shelter. You can find groovy toys and candy that will transport you back to your childhood, but more importantly you will find all the necessities for building a bomb shelter for the impending zombie apocalypse.
After exploring the aisles for a bit and gathering an armful of items that would help me begin several unnecessary projects, we made our way to the row of cash registers. We stood patiently waiting; well, I stood, while Lemon sat at my side waiting for a register to free up. I watched a young couple with their little girl standing in the aisle in front of the registers. She was maybe four or five years old. There were toys, games, and candy along the aisle where they stood. I overheard them say to her that she could have any one thing she wanted, probably assuming she’d choose candy or a toy.
The little girl looked over at us with a smile that featured several missing teeth, and in a bouncing-skip walk typical of the very young, she was at Lemon’s side in seconds. Before I could react and put my items down, she had wrapped her arms around Lemon’s neck and proclaimed, “I want this one!” I was more than a little anxious as I had not introduced Lemon to young children yet. She had seen plenty of them on our walks and had not reacted to them in any way, even when some had snuck in a touch while passing by.
Lemon didn’t react at all. She patiently sat while her neck and head were enveloped by the little girl’s chest and arms. The parents of the little girl scurried over and apologized while peeling her arms from around Lemon’s neck. Lemon just sat there and looked up at me with a big dog grin and a gleam of happiness in her big yellow eyes.
Times are tough, and lately, I have felt as if all that is good and innocent has been drained from our world. That was, until I took a trip to the hardware store… you can find the BEST stuff in a hardware store.