More goes on behind the scenes than we ever think about. On a cold morning in February do we consider the process it takes for us to enjoy a steaming hot shower; the water purification system, the miles of pipes, the route through the hot water heater, and of course, the water pressure? I hadn’t until right now.

I suppose the majority of us are surface thinkers. It’s like arriving at a wedding reception, enjoying the food, the entertainment, and the decor, but never once thinking about the planning, work, and support system it took for it all to happen. That’s until you plan, organize and pay for a wedding yourself.

I was standing in line at Lowe’s the other day. I’m not very good at waiting, so I’ve learned to either check email on Droid or think though things. It keeps the frustration level minimal because I feel like I’m accomplishing something instead of wasting time.

A beautiful little girl with shoulder length brown hair and chocolate eyes was circling the shopping cart behind me. She stopped next to me and stared. Holding up two fingers, she grinned when I asked her how old she was then circled the cart again.

The woman I assumed was her mother I learned was her aunt, but the woman I was sure had to be her grandmother was. In a three minute conversation I found out the little girl’s dad was in Iraq and would be home sometime between February and June. He’d been gone for a year. Her mother had just been deployed to Afghanistan and wouldn’t be home until next Christmas. Her grandmother is taking care of her while they are over seas.

Then it hit me. I looked at the sweet grandmother and said, “I always try to thank service men and women when I see them in uniform but something has just occurred to me. I’ve never really thought about the support system it must take in order for them to leave home to serve. Thank you for what you are doing.”

The grandmother and aunt both thanked me and wished me a Happy New Year. From now on I hope I can remember to look a little further behind the scenes. Oh, the lessons that can be learned standing next to a Black and Decker display.

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