a couple of weeks ago i was lucky enough to find some great tickets at a good price to go to pittsburgh and see the steelers play the chicago bears. going to pittsburgh at any time is like a pilgrimage of sorts for me, so getting to drive dawntawn and ride the "t" over to the northshore was an absolute holy experience. before the game, there are all sorts of pregame "festivities," including a neat setup over at stage AE, a concert venue next to heinz field. at stage AE they have tv's everywhere, showing other nfl games, the wdve crew is there doing their live pregame stuff, there are plenty of beverages flowing, and games and concessions, and so forth. i wandered around to check out the whole scene, and one of the things i did was fill out a survey about what radio stations i listen to.
after a while i wandered over to the stadium, and had a blast, even though the steelers folded. i felt lucky just to be there and take it all in.
still, the ride home after a night of very little sleep was a bit of a downer. i'm not usually the most cheerful person in the world when the steelers lose. so paying money to watch them lose pretty badly didn't make things any better.
but i arrived home just in time to get the monday mail. in the mail, i found this:
a couple of months earlier i had sent a birthday greeting to my favorite author, frederick buechner. part of the deal was that everyone who sent a card would get a special bookmark, and entered into a contest to receive an autographed buechner book. i made him a collage card, and thoughtfully tried to express just how much his words have meant to me. it was a rewarding and blessed experience for me simply to make and send the card. but to win!?! wow! i don't usually win stuff like that. it was so cool to receive this note and to have his signature in the book that meant so much to me over the last year.
i was still basking in the glow of this tremendous stroke of luck, when the phone rang. i answered it, and the woman on the line told me that she was from wdve in pittsburgh, and that i had entered a drawing in pittsburgh by filling out the radio survey. and i had won. she got my address, and proceeded to mail me a new terrible towel, and this:
all in one day! a buechner autograph and a heath miller autograph! such a great lift to my spirit, and an absolute joy. sometimes it is just these little things that can lift you up and reboot your smile.
so the steelers just keep losing, but i am smiling big time, just to be able to be bearing witness to this:
let's go bucs!