Making much of something small

Esther on her favorite perch: the outside window sill
Esther on her favorite perch: the outside window sill

The other day as I was buying a few things Goodwill, I commented to Barb (the woman who is almost always at the cash register) that I really appreciated her friendly way with people, and she said, “There are lots of folks who come in here that need a little cheerin’ up and I do my best!” You can see that Barb has had a tough life herself, and yet she makes the effort every day to reach out to others. Before she actually got to check me out, it was time for her to go on her break, so as she gave instructions to the woman taking over the register, she pointed at me and said, “Make sure this one gets the senior discount”.

If she only knew how much this startles me (and not in that happy a way!) every time I realize (that other people realize) I am in the, “eligible for senior discount” category. I just had to smile at the sweetness of this gesture, laugh a little at myself and my still-intact vanity, and say thank you.

There are just so many things in life to smile at!


by Robyn Sarah

Make much of something small.
The pouring-out of tea,
a drying flower’s shadow on the wall
from last week’s sad bouquet.
A fact: it isn’t summer any more.

Say that December sun
is pitiless, but crystalline
and strikes like a bell.
Say it plays colours like a glockenspiel.
It shows the dust as well,

the elemental sediment
your broom has missed,
and lights each grain of sugar spilled
upon the tabletop, beside
pistachio shells, peel of a clementine.

Slippers and morning papers on the floor,
and wafts of iron heat from rumbling radiators,
can this be all? No, look — here comes the cat,
with one ear inside out.
Make much of something small.

(Thank you Susan A. for sending me this poem yesterday!)

“Bounty” by Robyn Sarah, from A Day’s Grace. © The Porcupine’s Quill, 2002.



26 thoughts on “Making much of something small”

  1. Pathmark gives a 5% senior discount on Tuesdays with a coupon. I love getting my “old lady discount”. Its offered at age 55. I usually get $4-5 off and use it to buy food for my church’s pantry. Thanks for your daily mood lifters! I found you through Jon Katz.

    1. What a lovely gesture Joanne! Give away that little discount to someone in need. You’ve inspired me to do this from now on – for me, it’s a Ross store – one day, I too, had to swallow my pride when the young girl said, “do WE qualify for the senior discount”? Well, honey, thank you, – I do, but you’re decades away. Thanks for the chuckle!

  2. The same thing happens to me, Mary, and I’m shocked every time. Once I (cheerfully) asked a young person, “How did you know?” and just got a smile. I don’t feel that old inside and I forget. The quotation today is perfect for my little let-down after the joy of a special Christmas spent physically alone but I prayed, emailed and called my friends from far away. It turned out to be lovely and I didn’t feel alone emotionally or spiritually. In the past, I would have told myself not to bother people that day; wisdom gained…now that I look old enough for the senior discount!

  3. I think of the senior discount as a rite of passage! I once showed a pic of my husband Jeff and I to the girl who does my pedicures and she said “is that your fodder?” I stiill laugh about that…I am older than he is!
    Wishing you all much happiness today…Marian

  4. I still am surprised with the senior discount thing myself. I know when I look in the mirror I am a senior (and thankful I’ve made it here). But inside I’m still thirty something!

  5. Live it up Mary and enjoy that senior discount! 😉 Age is just a number..I love your positive attitude. Use those extra bucks to get some nice treats for your little fur babies! I love the poem..I am always so inspired after reading your posts ❤

  6. Years ago, in my early 50’s I was offered senior discount at a Dennys and told the friend with me, how traumatizing it was to be taken for a senior and she informed me, that, fool that I was, just take it and say thank you! 🙂

    Yes, my sense of humor has saved me many times. Thank you for the reminder

  7. The other side of being over 60…the glow that I get when getting a CAT scan and the technician asks ‘are you pregnant’? REALLY?! I know they have to ask but it always gives me a chuckle…it kinda balances the senior discount!

    I just love “Bounty”…so very simple…the bounty and miracle of everyday things…today I will make much of something small. Thank you Mary for sharing it with us and thank you Susan for finding it as well as for the ‘bounty’ you share with us every day. Sending snowy warm hugs to all…

  8. Dear Mary. Oh! Those Senior Moments! At 62 years of age, I kind of like it when someone recognizes me as being eligible for the “Wise One Discount”. It’s all in how you look at it, right?! Thanks for your daily insights and humorous enlightenments, Mary!

  9. Sitting here with my first sniffles of the year – Kleenex and hot tea at hand, but you know, I don’t mind at all. I think it’s my body’s way of telling me to slow down! (thinking of Mary’s post on Christmas Day to ‘be easy’ with ourselves) – The post Christmas letdown maybe, after all the planning, preparing, and of course enjoying, but it can be a bit much. So, today I have given myself the permission to sit here in my Lazy Boy as long as I wish, in flannel PJ’s, and enjoy the bounty of the small things around me, – dogs sleeping at my feet, time to leisurely read these posts, – nowhere to go, nothing to do. . . Ah! and count all my blessings, this wonderful year of sharing here on Mary’s Farm. Love and blessings to all for a beautiful new year.

    1. Oh…feel better Susan and enjoy your day of ease. It snowed over a foot here last night and is still snowing and I decided it is a ‘stay in my sweats’ day…I think I’ll go make a cup of tea too and silently toast to our Bounty…

    2. You’re right, Susan, sometimes one’s body has to make itself heard in order to get one to allow it to rest. And there’s nothing quite like a ‘forced’ pj-day!

      Hope your sniffles will move on quickly and you’ll feel better soon. Happy New Year to you and yours!

  10. I read a quote of an 82 year old woman that went something like this: When I look in the mirror I’m startled by the old, wrinkled face staring back at me. On the inside I’m still eighteen! Sums me up. But I do admit to being pleased that my husband and I qualify for the senior discount at the movie theater (I’m 56, he’s 57).

  11. Sweet little poem! Yes, it can be a let-down day or two after all the hoopla. But yesterday was great because our dear friend who’s 87 got her 60+ yr son and my 58 yr hubby to help build a gingerbread house, just in time for the cherished great-grand baby (almost 2 going on 35) to come put on the finishing touches. While I was teaching Ms. 87 some finer points of Facebook, the ‘contractors” were putting up walls, making chimneys of fondant (yes, we had to look it up, too), and so the sunny afternoon passed, with Xmas snacks and lots of laughs. (You can see this on my FB at Kathi Williams.)

    Hey, it would be fun to find out who out there has a FB account, so we can ‘see’ a bit more into the lives of all these lovely people here! Thanks Mary for all your love and Light. I keep recommending you to friends & hopefully more will join in 2013. Happy New Year to all. The Light is free and ours for the asking. Blessings! ~Kathi & crew

  12. Love the poem, for in the appreciation and recognition of the small things, the great things happen!

  13. Sweet little poem with a mighty message— less is more, more or less. Love it.

    As for the “discount”, I think it’s more semantics. I don’t want to be ‘discounted’. I prefer to think of it as a Tenacity Bonus: not only did I survive all the embarrassing moments of my youth, I’m now living better and with more spirit than when I was paying ‘full fare’!
    Besides, we all started off at a reduced rate—children under 12 are free. We just didn’t realize the magnanimous gesture back then. I say we’re just completing the natural circular order of things. It’s a lovely merry-go-round:)

  14. I voluntter for a Hospice Thrift shop and work the cash registers. We have Senior discount days on Tues. and Thurs. It is always tricky to figure out who is of an age to get the Senior discount. We try to ask if they are eligible to recieve the discount. Most of our customers don’t get upset with the question, but there are a few who do .Our customers are taking such good care of themselves now days that it is hard to discern their age.

  15. I love this poem, thanks to Susan A and to you for sharing. It will remind me to pay attention to the small things in each day that add up to a life, and I will give thanks.

  16. i remember the first time I asked for the senior discount for coffee at Macdonalds! the kid at the window asked me for ID! I was so tickled, that was 10 years ago and as you can see, I still bring it up!!!

  17. The joke is on them. I take the sr. discount cause in truth I am 63. They don’t know what a child I really am!

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