Until Further Notice
Katie arrived early at the office, as usual. She liked the quiet time at her desk before all the others came in. Everyone else also liked this arrangement, as they knew how irritable Katie was first thing in the morning. It hadn’t taken long at all for people to call her Cranky Katie, sometimes even to her face.
She hadn’t convinced herself that she had an attitude problem, but she did notice feeling let down after the holiday season. She was all smiles from Halloween through Valentine’s and then – POOF! Smiling Katie disappeared and Cranky Katie took her place.
“Morning, Katie,” Joe ventured a tentative greeting as he came into the office.
“Sure,” Katie replied, not looking up from her notebook.
Joe lingered at her cubicle opening, standing there quietly.
“Yes?” she asked, somewhat curtly.
He extended his arm, offering her a small, white bag. “I brought you some breakfast tacos.”
She turned to look at him. “Thanks. What’s the occasion?” Taking the bag, she could feel that the tacos were still warm.
Joe sat down in the one extra chair crammed into the cubicle corner. “Nothing particularly special. But really,” he said, opening up his own bag, “do we need to wait for some specific square on a calendar to appreciate what we already have?”
“Oh, so now you’re a philosopher?” Katie opened the foil on her taco, adding some salsa.
“Not exactly. I’m just following some advice my grandmother Celeste gave me a long time ago.”
Katie paused, wondering what a little grey-haired old lady could have said to a young man so many years ago that led to him bringing in breakfast tacos today. She looked at Joe, waiting.
“She said, ‘Until further notice, celebrate everything.’ “
“Hmm,” Katie responded as she finished off the first taco. “Interesting concept. And you’ve gone along with that ever since?”
“Not as often as I’d like, but as often as I can.”
Smiling, Katie reached for another taco, deciding to give Cranky Katie the day off.
Background: A few years ago, I was making plans to visit my friend Celeste in North Carolina when she died unexpectedly. A short time before her death, she mailed a card to me and it said, “Until further notice, celebrate everything.” Like Joe in the story, I don’t do that as often as I’d like, but I try to do it as often as I can.
And breakfast tacos are a culinary staple in the southwest (and possibly other areas, as well).