“It is the smallest of all seeds, but when it has grown it is larger than all the garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches.” Matthew 13:32.

It was an early day in the summer when it began. Nothing was unusual about that morning except for the jocular attitude of the older man as he entered the lobby of the public building and began proclaiming to the all-female staff that, “This is a special day!”

They looked at him quizzically before he exclaimed: “It’s my birthday!”

“Well, what did you get?” one dark-haired woman asked.

“A grill – but I don’t have a back yard – and a shirt – but it’s too small. And a country and western gospel DVD – but I’m not a fan of either. But they remembered it was my birthday,” he smiled, and added: “That’s what counts!”

“What would you have wanted?” another lady asked.

“Silly as it might sound,” the man replied, “I would love to just have a homegrown tomato. “But,” he added, wistfully, “I know it’s a little too early.”

They all laughed except one older woman who seemed to be in deep thought at her computer.

For more on this story please pick up Wednesday's Tribune or purchase an e-edition.

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