Day 167: Irene

20 Sep

Today is the day I have been looking forward to for some time now. It is the day that my daughter arrives from Copenhagen after being gone for two years! We visited with her last spring and then again last winter but she has not been home for so long and we are very excited to see her.

When I thought of the pie for the day, of course I thought of presenting my daughter with a pie at the airport. However, I know that she has been eating differently and I did not want to make her a pie that she could not eat. So then I thought, since I will be at the airport, I should give a pie to a TSA employee. But they would probably take it and then throw it away… and that would not be good.

On to Plan B (or is it C?) Tuesday is Lucky Number Day at Bi-Mart stores, and so today I thought I would honor a Bi-Mart employee who has been a cheerful representative of Bi-Mart for many years: Irene. While I could not tell you a lot about Irene, what I do know is plenty: she hails from Ireland and she loves to tell jokes. Why did the Irishman only put 239 beans in his chili? Because he didn’t want it to be 240 (two-farty).

Here’s a lovely illustration of Irene’s character: A year or so ago I was at Bi-Mart behind a woman who had a child with cerebral palsy. The boy was in a stroller and we were on Irene’s checkout line. When it was their turn to be waited on, Irene turned her full attention on that boy and he was so happy to be acknowledged. His Mom said that the reason that they visited the store was so that her son could visit with Irene. It was wonderful to see the animated exchange between those two – and I greatly appreciated Irene’s consideration of that boy.

For a while Irene was featured in a local paper with her joke of the week (or was it month?) Then came the fateful day when Irene shared a joke that some considered too risque. And that was the end of Irene’s joke sharing. Just like that, it was over. And all because of a silly parrot joke.

Today I presented Irene with an Apple, Walnut, and Raisin Pie. She’s been an integral part of our community and I want to thank her for all that she does to make us feel welcome everyday.

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