Tank of gas: $46
Turnpike tolls: $13
Admission to botanical gardens: $48
Do we remember these price tags? For all the time spent tallying up the costs of travel and adventure, do we remember a single cent, let alone single dollar that causes worry and stress at the time of departure from our wallet to the credit card machine?
The last ten days have brought three beloved friends from far away locations to my front door. These are friends who have known me for my whole life, my half life, and my life before kids, respectively. These friends have racked up miles, invested dollars, and carved out chunks of time from their busy calendars to sit, eat French pastries with me, laugh, reminisce, down pots of coffee, and distribute hugs.
We spent today with Patty, the friend who once diapered me as a baby, fed me almost inedible pancakes as a teenager, and now sits laughing on my couch in her trademark bib overalls. We walked her through our beloved Phipps Conservatory, drawing in lungfuls of plant-purified oxygen and watching the first trial snow flakes of the season bash themselves against the glass window roof. Our backdrop was green and fern and frond and chrysanthemum and orchid. The flowers (and oxygen and protection from the punishing elements) paid immediate dividends from the investment of admission.
I won’t remember the price tags attached to these visits.
I will remember the laughter, the hugs, the conversations, the moments. I will be better for having breathed the friend-purified oxygen. It is worth every cent, every dollar, every minute. Family, and these friends who have become chosen family, are worth more than things.
Day 18 of 31 days. For the month of October, I’m joining in on 31 Days of 5 Minute Free Writes. Following the rules to write an unedited response to a prompt in 5 minutes, I’m grateful for the challenge of Write 31 Days.