My younger daughter recently had a birthday. The first of many milestones, she now has a full five years under her belt. I mentioned before that she was born on the same date that I proposed to my wife. She also shares her birthday with a very good friend of mine. Oscar was in our wedding six years ago and, in turn, I was in his wedding a few years later. We were both part of the bible study group I’ve written about previously and Oscar is the one who put together the Three Steps to the Fountain site I’ve mentioned before as well.
After Oscar and his bride wed, he moved to her fair city about half an hour away. We keep in touch with occasional e-mails and Facebook check-ins. But busy lives, evolving families, and additional miles made it difficult to continue our regular weekly meetings, so I hadn’t seen a great deal of Oscar over the past couple years. But I always remember his birthday when my little one’s comes along.
To celebrate my daughter’s birthday this year, my wife decided to make some cupcakes for her to take to pre-school. We decided to celebrate her birthday as a family with a trip to see The Lion King in 3D at the local theater on Sunday. Later that evening, we went to the grocery store to get the cupcake mix and frosting and planned to go to the local ice cream parlor afterward as another birthday treat. We don’t usually carry a lot of cash, but this ice cream store only takes cash. So the plan was for my wife to get some cash back at the grocery store checkout with her debit card. On this particular occasion, I left my wallet at home.
One thing my wife forgot, since we always transact as credit rather than debit, was that she needed a PIN# to authorize the cash back. Her new debit card issued a new PIN# when it recently renewed and she had not yet updated it to her familiar PIN#. She could not remember her PIN# and could not get any cash back. So in order to get our birthday ice cream, we had to drive back home to get my ATM card, drive to the bank ATM to withdraw cash, and then drive to the ice cream shop — adding another 10-15 minutes on to the trip. I almost suggested we go to a favorite soft serve ice cream shop that was closer and wouldn’t require cash. But we went through with the original plan with the additional stops.
When we finally made it to our destination with cash in hand, someone sitting at the sheltered patio waved in my direction as I got out of the car. It was Oscar and his wife, with his mother, sister, and brother-in-law. He was in town to celebrate his birthday with them and they had decided to go to the local ice cream parlor for some birthday ice cream.
Had I brought my wallet from the start or had my wife remembered her new PIN#, we very likely could have missed them. Had I suggested the alternate location, we most certainly would have missed them. But through the circumstances as they were, we had a nice unexpected visit with an old friend to end our special day.