So I was vacuuming my house this morning–just as a thunderstorm struck–and I had the sudden urge to splurge. “Splurge,” as my mother lived the definition, means “to take a moment to enjoy something you can’t really afford on a normal basis.” As a child, I remember my mother saying, “Let’s splurge,” and we might stop the car to purchase a large candy bar that she would share with my older sister and me.
When we did laundry at the laundry mat, she might splurge by giving us the leftover change once our last loads were in the dryer, and my sister and I would make a beeline for the vending machines, perhaps choosing a canned soda or salty treat. My favorite splurge was stopping for Dairy Queen ice cream cones, trying to stop the drips with our tongues, racing to beat the sun bent on consuming the treat before we could.
For a season of our life, my dad worked at a nearby gas station, Peanut Joes, which sold fresh roasted peanuts in addition to gas and a few essentials. In the evenings when he got off, my sister and I would run down the dirt lane from our house so we could walk him home–and get the first peek at whatever “essentials” he had with him (usually a bottle of wine for the adults and a bottle of soda for us, along with Joe’s famous peanuts). Once home, we would sit around the table, sipping our drinks and snapping open the warm peanuts, my sister and I, like eavesdroppers, catching up on the details Mom and Dad shared as the day waned.
Sometimes our splurges involved gasoline instead of food. As new Christians, my family enjoyed listening to special speakers at church and would drive across the county to hear them–even when we were low on gas. Those splurges gave us a boost in our faith–because we would sing praise songs there and back (especially back) as a type of prayer to God to extend the fumes long enough for us to reach home. We always made it.
Those splurges were a direct result of our family’s personal economic crisis at the time, but the memories are among those I cherish most. They taught me to appreciate the small things, to take that moment to enjoy something I can’t really afford on a normal basis. When I was a child, it was a special food treat or gasoline to go a few extra miles. As an adult, it may be a few extra calories or few extra minutes.
That was my splurge urge for today: a splurge of extra minutes. The smell and sound of the thunder and rain commanded me to plop into a soft chair with a good book (via my Kindle) and just read as it rained–a call to drop the vacuuming and list of chores and splurge.
I experienced no power surge despite vacuuming during the lightning storm, but I did enjoy my power splurge–taking a few moments to read, to reflect.