The woman at the farm house told us the station in front of Walmart was 14 miles away. We only had gas for 8.
We were in West Virginia, driving to North Carolina. I had been looking for an open station for well over an hour.
It was pitch black. There was no cell service.
I stayed under 20 miles per hour to save gas. I turned my blinkers on and rolled through every red light without stopping. I held my breath up every hill. I exhaled every time we coasted down.
The “miles to go” on the dash read “0” with 3 miles still to go.
Somehow we made it. I coasted up to the pump and stopped - barely touching the brakes.
The pump said “closed. ... Just like all the others.
Walmart was open. We went in to call AAA.
It got me thinking.
Your evolution in life can be measured based on your feelings toward Walmart.
INNOCENCE: You LOVE Walmart. They have cool stuff. You wish you could get some.
SURVIVAL: You NEED Walmart. The baby needs diapers. You need to get groceries. You hope you can pay your credit card bills.
EGO RULED: You RESENT Walmart. You don’t like big box stores. You think you’re better than Walmart. You're better than the people that shop there.
GRATITUDE: You LOVE Walmart. You’re thankful. They have everything you need. The more thankful you are the more you are blessed.
I didn’t always love Walmart. I’m glad I do now.
I like to tell Sempai Shelly: “Since I can afford any single item in Walmart it’s like I own the store!”.
I pretend they are keeping all the stuff nice and neat just for me. They even give me multiple locations so no matter where I travel my stuff is near. All I have to do is bring in a credit card and I can take any of my stuff home. If it's too big to carry they'll even help me pack it.
My Thanksgiving adventure reminded me to be thankful for:
Tow truck drivers who give you impossibly long driving directions because they care. Ours worked for Triple AAA. The nearest station was 29 miles away. We followed him there.
Service people who work holidays and provide food and other items to tired travelers like me. I always talk with them. At every stop there’s a chance to make a new friend. It’s funny who I’ve become. I used to be shy and introverted with no friends. Now I make them at Love’s on 75 south.
Bad coffee. I’m thankful for burnt coffee. It tastes best with one of those lids you need to use your tongue on to find the opening. Sometimes it burns you. But somehow in the dark when everyone else is sleeping it tastes great. I’m also thankful for the guy who thought to put the little light in the cup holder so I can put my coffee back down.
I’m grateful for travel plazas with gift shops and a “Subway”. I’m thankful for dark haired women who wear boots and smile at you as you get the door for them.
I’m grateful for clean free bathrooms.
I’m thankful for Sempai Shelly and her sense of humor. Running out of gas and trying to get to safety in the middle of the night somehow ends up feeling like a sleigh ride. Her giggle is like a force field that protects from even the scariest situations.
If the the warrior Musashi threatened her with his sword she’d find something to giggle about. She’d tease him about his outfit. He’d probably laugh too. Then they’d both laugh. Then they’d end up drinking Saki.
“ ... hey Musashi - watch yourself - that’s MY girlfriend”!!!
Then she’d giggle at my jealousy. Then I’d see it and laugh too. Then we’d ALL end up drinking saki TOGETHER!
That’s the power of that giggle. She giggles and you get to hang out with 16th century warriors.
I’m thankful for being a guy. I’m thankful for all the guy things I’ll enjoy tomorrow. (Mainly beer and football).
And more beer.
I’m thankful that the guy I’m playing fantasy football with put in Romo at the last minute. Romo gave him a -1. Yes!!!!!!
I’m thankful for all the really incredible people in my life. There really are too many friends and teachers to mention. If you are reading this and even REMOTELY think I might be talking about you; I am.
I’m also thankful for Mr. Joe, Mr. Steven and Mr. Mike. They actually seem to run things BETTER than they would be when I’m at the dojo. I miss them and love them all.
I’m thankful for the Source of abundance. Wealth does NOT come from how much you have or what others give you.
Wealth comes from gratitude.
It's nice to find a little when you're out of gas in the middle of the night.