I was sitting on the floor of the garage one day this week, going through a bin of paperwork to decide what needed to be kept, shredded, and trashed. I happened upon the summary of yearly expenditures that American Express sent in January. I suppose it used to be a person’s checkbook that told the truth about their values; now, it is our credit card statement. Bill managed our finances and had us charge everything and pay it off every month. He would have broken out in hives if we ever paid interest on a credit card. Since he died, I’ve just carried on what he set up.
As I looked at how we spent our money last year, I had to admit that it told a lot about me. The largest single expense was my Prius, which I bought with my credit card. After that, Virginia-Highland Church got more of our money than anyone else. Because we both were blessed with good jobs, Bill and I always tried to give more than a tithe because we could.
Another item that was high on the list will surprise no one who follows my check-ins on Facebook. Our neighborhood restaurant The Shed got a lot of our money last year. We’ve eaten there almost every Sunday night since we moved into the neighborhood six years ago. We’ve gotten to know the owner, the chef, and most of the other staff. One of the servers dog-sits for us when we travel. The manager and owner brought over a ton of food when Bill died. In many ways, it feels like home and dinner with family when we are there.
David Plunkett recently said to someone that if he could give young adults one piece of advice it would be to find their special place when they move somewhere new. Just like in the old sitcom “Cheers,” we all need a place where “everybody knows your name.”
The food at the Shed is very good, and the service is great. It is well within walking distance of our house … well, it was. There are other restaurants close by, but they didn’t place high on my AmEx bill. I think what brings us back to The Shed, again and again, is that, in a transitory world, we all need special places. I’d give anything if people came to church to be fed as often as we go to The Shed.
Rev. Michael Piazza