There she was! The garage door was open, her back car lights were red, and I couldn’t tell if she was coming or leaving. My elusive neighbor was a regal-looking Asian Indian Grandmother who was new to the area. She worked fulltime, and then spent several nights a week learning English from community classes. Despite her hard hours, we had enjoyed connecting with each other whenever we were both around at the same time. I had welcomed her to the neighborhood, and offered to have her over for tea, or to help her with her English homework. We chatted throughout the summer.
Over Christmas I had returned home one day to find a Christmas present on my snowy front steps from her. Since then I had been looking for a chance to give her a thank you card, and a belated Christmas letter from our family.
There she was! As I was bending over my son’s chemistry homework at the kitchen table, I suddenly saw her car across the street. This was my moment. With no time to change, I glanced down at my casual grey athletic shorts, and patted my disheveled hair. “Oh well!” I laughed aloud.
Grabbing my jacket, and tan fur-tufted boots, I sprinted across the street. Horrified, I noticed that my long black peacoat hung just low enough to obscure my shorts. “What would the neighbors think?!” Stretching my grey shorts down low on my legs, and hoisting my jacket higher on my waist to prove to any observing people that I really was wearing pants, I emerged at her driveway.
“Kokila? Kokila!” I caught her in time, explained my odd attire, and we smiled at each other. We talked for several minutes, and I invited her over for tea in the future. I got a chance to meet her three grandchildren there in the garage too, and we talked briefly. Then I excused myself and scurried across the street, my legs beginning to feel chilled.
Shutting the door behind me, I laughed at the mental picture of myself flailing across the snowy streets in short grey shorts, and a hitched up Navy coat. But it was worth it. Jesus loves this woman so much, and I am enjoying getting to know her too.