Tuesday, January 15, 2013

COMMENTARY: An unintended lesson

A-tisket a-tasket
Mac's buying me a basket

Those certainly weren't original lyrics, but my heart was in them. I was three or four and my grandpa, Estey Earnest McFarland -- aka Mac, was taking me to downtown Leedey, Oklahoma to buy me my first Easter basket.

I could have any one of the baskets at Breeze Dry Goods. I just couldn't have any of the filled ones, because they already had the candy--and Grandma and I would be making eggs. She had eggs, dye, and even a woman's magazine with patterns for rabbit ears! 

I got a green and white basket and we took it up to the counter.  Then Mac did something weird--he just walked out without putting any money on the counter.

"Mac," I stood at the register calling him back. "You didn't pay for the basket."

"I put it on my account," Mac said. "They count up everything I buy and then at the end of the month, they send me a bill and I pay for it then."

"I'm sorry," I apologized to him and the nice lady at the register.

"That's okay," Mac told me. "I'm proud that you are so honest at such a young age."

Was it the basket or the compliment that made this memory such a strong part of me?  I can't answer the question, but I can still remember the spring day, the filled baskets, the Easter grass, and later on, making pink Easter Eggs with bunny faces and ears with Grandma. 

This was the first time I ever heard about charging things. My Grandpa definitely did credit right because he paid for whatever he charged at the end of the month. He was a good man, a person who valued truth and honesty--and I knew that he valued me for those qualities.

I hope I thanked him for the basket. Pretty sure I did, but I should have thanked him for a lot more.

Rebecca McFarland Kyle, January 2013

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