December 3, 2011

Toys for Tots & TV Chefs

One evening after work, I made a trip to the Fire Department to drop off my annual bundle of goodies for the Toys for Tots drive. From the parking lot, the building appeared empty, so I flung the bag over my shoulder and walked into the side door, hoping that I would find someone inside. As I entered, the Fire Chief appeared out of an office. "Can I help you?" he asked in a very business-like tone. "I just wanted to drop this off for the toy drive," I answered as I stretch out my hand, the black garbage bag of toys dangling between my fingers. A huge, toothy smile instantly washed over the man's face. "Thank you! And have a Merry Christmas!" he replied emphatically, every trace of professionalism erased from his voice and replaced with sheer delight. I drove away from the fire house glad in knowing that there will be at least a few more children who won't have a toyless Christmas morning because of me. My brief encounter with the Fire Chief was full of all of the things that make the spirit of Christmas so beautiful: charity, generosity, gratitude, happiness, and grace.

Since I was already out and feeling good, I decided to stop off at the Smith Haven Mall just to browse around for a little while. It was close to dinnertime and the stores were mostly empty, I noticed that Santa Claus wasn't very busy, so I walked over and exchanged a few pleasantries with the man in red. He paid me a huge compliment on my mustache, though I humbly defer to the legendary whiskers of Kris Kringle. :D

Next to the mall is a restaurant called Bobby's Burger Palace, an establishment owned by TV star/chef Bobby Flay. The place has really great ambiance. I ordered a Philadelphia Burger (smothered in onions and jalapenos), sweet potato fries, and a dark chocolate malted. The drink came with the biggest straw that I've ever seen and its menu price immediately reminded me of the "$5 Milkshake" from Pulp Fiction. While I've never eaten at Jack Rabbit Slims for comparison, I can say that Bobby's chocolate malted was worth every penny. (Just to reiterate, food mentioned on this blog is never innuendo, see HERE.)

When I arrived back at home, I felt inspired to finish putting up my outdoor decorations and set up my porcelain village. It's really beginning to look a lot like Christmas. Love & light...

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation,
by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding,
will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."

~Philippians 4:6-7