If you ask 50 people, whether or not they like surprises, you're likely to get a 50% response each way. I used to think I was one of the "I love surprises" people until recently. What I've discovered is that it isn't really the idea of surprises that people react to, rather, the surprise itself and what means for them. For example, I love surprise visits, phone calls, emails, letters (yes, some of us still write them from time-to-time), etc from friends that I haven't seen or heard from in a while. But, I hate the "out-of-the-blue" unexpected bad news surprises that tend to make me feel like the air is being sucked out of my lungs and causes me to feel the resulting breaks to my heart. So, I don't think its the "idea" of surprises in general that people love or hate, rather, whether the surprise is "good or bad."
Recently, I've had two "bad" surprises hit me, nearly back-to-back. The first actually caused my heart to break a little bit and actually caused me physical pain, though I'm positive the "surpriser's" intent was not to cause this heart break, the result was very painful. The second came the next day...(what is it they say about bad things happening in threes? Please Lord, two is all I need right now.) I received a phone call from a good friend in California. You might remember that Haime and I lived in California with Chipper and Boo for a few years. Anyway, I was immediately thrilled to hear from my friend. We hadn't spoken in several months and I thought "what an AWESOME surprise." And it was great to hear from her. Then, after the basics of "what's been going on with you" small talk was out of the way, I learned that she phoned to tell me she has a very early stage of breast cancer. There it was again, that damn "C" word. I HATE CANCER! It has taken too many people from us before we were ready to let them go; and even worse, in too many cases, it withers our loved ones until there is nothing left. I HATE CANCER! So, I told my friend that I was on the first plane out there as soon as she wanted me there. Mostly, she asked that I pray for her and for her family during this trial in their lives and I'm asking you to do the same. Thanks for that.
I am becoming quite the "people watcher". In my current "life phase," since I don't report to a job and don't interact with large groups of individuals on any type of regular basis, I've noticed that I spend more time "people watching" than I ever have before. OK, before you even go there, NO, I'm not talking about the sicko-voyeuristic-stalker kind of watching, (Geez, I can hear some of your thoughts from here...you know who you are!) I'm referring to paying more attention to people around me. Before I retired, I was so busy juggling my work, raising my sons, trying to be a good wife and mother, and just basically, trying to keep up, that I just didn't pay a lot of attention to the general "stuff" happening around me. Since retiring, however, I am taking the time to pay attention to people, nature and whatever happens around me. People are, by turn, entertaining, weird, compassionate, funny, annoying, inhibited and eccentric. (And I'm just talking about the first ten people I saw today). Let me preface this with a fact. I genuinely love people. OK, I'm no pie-eyed "everyone is wonderful" kind of person. There are certainly a few people who drive me absolutely insane! (I'm really working on that but GEEZ, just seeing them walk into a room makes the hair on my neck stand up and...OK, enough, you get the picture). But, mostly, people are fun. Remember my warning about the French Quarter in New Orleans, well, for adults, anyway, there is probably no better people-watching city and area. I guarantee, you will be entertained! You will be moved to compassion, you will be horrified, you will laugh and you will leave, certain that you have seen people from all walks of life, every life style will be on display and I guarantee you will not be bored. People are cool. For me, there is really nothing better than sitting on the porch with Haime, at a table outside a wine-tasting room or pub, sipping a nice glass of wine and watching people go by.