Still Vertical

My mother is in the vintage business; today I helped with an estate sale. One of her old cronies stopped in:
“Long time, no see! How ‘ya doin’?”
“Still vertical!”
I gathered that Mom, at close to 80, is pleased as punch not to yet be laid in a pine box.
As the morning progressed, she repeated this to other friends:
“Still vertical!”
The banter fleshed it out for me: she’s thankful—not only to be alive, but kickin’.
I could take a lesson from this. Having experienced a few (consecutive) rough patches, I can sometimes be tempted to discontent. Abused by some, shunned by others, berated by another, and—most recently—short-changed. (I know, I know, “Cry Me a River.”) I really could stand to take Mom’s cue: every day is a gift: This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.
“Still vertical!”
Working this estate sale, I was blessed with a second observation: competitors… cooperating. (Yes.) Nobody rushed the door; no one got knocked over. These are dealers and eBay-ers—in a still-recovering economy—nonetheless splitting the booty with comradery and respect.
Hmm: being obliged: what a concept! From dealing with those we live with, to the workplace Downtown, to Capitol Hill, we could learn from these vintage collectors of kitsch. It’s a dog-eat-dog world, but we actually can feast on something besides each other.
All in all, I think today was a lesson in contentment. Sure, I’ve been dealt a few rough hands. But as long as I have heeded the Dealer’s command to “ante up,” I may as well keep playing the hand.
As long as I’m vertical.


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