Well, it was a good day in Ark City, Kansas yesterday. My first day at the new job was pretty well packed with meetings and greetings and getting things underway. A few hours with the president and other administrators in the morning, an hour or two with the interim vice-president in the afternoon and a little bit of starting in on the duties.
My first official act was pretty simple: approving a travel request that didn’t involve any time off work or any money from the budget. The ones coming up next won’t be so simple. A few situations that will require executive decisions that may not be universally well-received. That’s part of the territory and a big part of the reason why a good number of folks don’t want a job like this.
What wasn’t part of the territory was a text message from Randa that she had ordered up a little surprise for me back at the hotel. The reason there’s a hotel in this story is that we haven’t yet been able to close the deal on the house we’re trying to buy here in Arkansas City. So, I left her and Sam at home in Blair and drove down to Ark City on Monday.
The reason there’s a little surprise in this story is that yesterday was our twenty-sixth anniversary, which is about twenty-five more than some people thought we’d ever celebrate. It was the only anniversary in those years on which we had not been together. We’d texted each other good wishes for the day early in the morning but I was very much looking forward to the bouquet or fruit basket or whatever it was she had ordered for me.
I got to the room about seven p.m. and opened the door, expecting to see some bright colors greeting me from the little table. Nope, nothing. I checked on the bed, in the chairs, even on the dressing counter. Nada, zip, zilch.
Just about the time I was about to go confront the front desk clerk and find out what happened to my wife’s wonderful little surprise she’d ordered, there was a knock on the door.
Turned out, it was no little surprise. That darling wife of mine had driven two hundred and fifty miles so we could be together on our anniversary! I was so overwhelmed with emotion and appreciation, I ordered us a pizza. Deep dish pan style supreme. It’s hard to go overboard with someone this thoughtful.
We just might make it another twenty-six…