Yesterday, I had jury duty.
The usual dreaded by everyone-sit in a stuffy room-watch the news for 3 hours-doing your American duty-duty. But yesterday was different. See, I was called for jury duty last September, but I was a very pregnant near 9 months and needed an ultra sound that morning, so I showed up with my little form and was dismissed. So, here came full circle my make up date, which at the time seemed like an eternity away. Now this time, I was rather excited about this service I was asked to do. There was a new sense of pride in explaining to the boys what exactly I would be doing and all they could ask was, "Is that where the real judge is? And are there bad guys there?" And so the story goes, show up at 8am, thank you honey for watching the kiddos, my bag full of articles and planner organizing things to do. And, what do you know, I sit in the near empty room next to the talker. In a very good way. He seemed to be in his 60's, and somehow we got to talk about gardening. He said very humbly that he does some gardening. Well, with some more conversation I found out that he DOES SOME SERIOUS GARDENING. And, that we were practically neighbors and I knew right where his house was! He talked about how he was in the kitchen all day making 30-some quarts of salsa because he has some 300+ tomato plants throughout his yard. Well, our wonderful green thumb chat was cut short by being directed up stairs, where we walked in two straight lines like we were out of Madeline. Into the court room we went...all the while wondering what was going to happen. I was getting more and more excited just to be able to tell the boys I saw the judge. After some more information and questions, they call the jury. ERIN NEINER, #5, please step forward. That's me!!! So up I go...third one to be seated. They call 4 more and then the lawyers are conversing with the judge. The clerk turns and says, Erin Neiner, #5, you may step down. The officer kindly cautions me to watch my step and tells me that I am free to go. (But do I have to) is what I wanted to ask. But I dare not speak out of order. I tell you, there is a sense of the strictest order in the presence of a judge. So out I go, flashing a "good luck" smile to my new friend who was waiting to find out if he were next. Later that evening, we are on our way home and I am telling the story to John. Then I say, Hey, I know right where his house is. Wanna drive by and see if he is out? So we do. And as we are pulling out of the driveway because there is no sign of him, open goes his front door with the smiling friend coming out and waving. A new connection. A new friend. He invites us out for a tour of his yard which results in mouthfuls and armfuls and hatfuls of at least 9 varieties of tomatoes that he has started and grown from seed, the largest blackberries I have ever seen and lots of gardening wisdom. Oh, and a sweet peek and his '06 shiny blue corvette in his garage! So, all that to say, is watch out. You just never know when you'll make a new friend!
p.s. Please DON'T FORGET to comment on the previous post for today is the last day of the POSTCARD GIVEAWAY!!!!!