I love working with words, sifting them through my mind and coming up with the best one to describe whatever it is I am writing about. With my Microsoft Word program my son Dan downloaded for me I even love editing and revising my writing.
Which is why, after I had printed out 30 copies of my Christmas letter and noticed I had incorrectly spelled palate, I was upset. Not only that, but I had used the wrong term completely! I had an essay featured on the online website The Daily Palette this summer, not the Daily Palate, as my Christmas letter incorrectly stated. I didn’t want to re-do 30 letters, and as my husband so aptly put it, “Maybe no one will notice.” But I noticed, and it bothered me.
Today was quite a day. A van repair that was to take 2 hours morphed into a vehicle repair that took all day, which wouldn’t matter so much if I hadn’t dropped off the van at 9:30 a.m. expecting to spend a couple of hours in Dyersville with the two little girls. We dropped off the van, then walked the three blocks to the downtown area and ate breakfast together. After that we went to the library, where it was easy to spend another hour or two. When the mechanic still hadn’t called we decided to walk back to his place of business, lugging a huge tote bag full of library books with us. The door to his shop was locked tight, and everyone was gone for lunch. My shoulder was killing me by then so I wasn’t sure what to do. A nearby schoolyard was full with children playing for recess. We decided to wait until they disappeared off the playground and play there while we waited. I could see the auto repair shop from the schoolyard. 23 minutes later, the children went back inside and I wrote on a bench while the girls played. When I saw the mechanic return, we walked to the shop, only to be informed that the part the van needed had just been ordered from Dubuque and would arrive around 2:30. Since it was beautiful outside I decided we’d walk to the Dairy Queen and use some free ice cream cone coupons the kids had earned this past summer in the summer reading program. Of course, I asked if we could leave the library tote bag behind their counter! So, the girls and I walked at least 14 blocks to get to the Dairy Queen. On the way, I noticed a cardboard sleeve on the ground that said, “FREE coffee.” Apparently someone had dropped a coupon good for a free 16 oz. flavored coffee from McDonalds, good until 12-30-09. I slipped it in my purse. Not only did we spend an hour at DQ watching television, but we walked to the Payless grocery store looking for globe grapes. (We found them, at a pricey $2.99 a pound, and yes, I bought some anyway) By the time we got back to the mechanic, our van heater was repaired, and we were exhausted.
And thus, I come to the point of my story. On the way out of town I drove through the McDonalds drive-thru for that free coffee, and let me tell you, that mocha flavored coffee with nonfat milk really hit the spot. I needed that surge of caffeine and my unrefined palate didn’t care if it was McDonald’s or Starbucks. It was free, and it was good.
So you see, I really do know the difference between the words “palate” and “palette.”