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Umbrellas and Rare Friends

At the heart of this post is a simple question.

Why would you ever buy a bad umbrella?

Let's break this down.

Of all the forms of precipitation that exist on our weather apps, rain is the most inconvenient.

Hail is just straight up dangerous.

Snow is mildly annoying, but you can still walk outside in the snow and simply dust yourself off when you come inside.

Rain isn't dangerous per se, but if you choose to walk outside in it, you can't just come inside and dust yourself off.

So, we have umbrellas to help us.

The other day, I had to make the 15 minute walk to our kids' school to pick them up. It was raining. Not heavily, but ... there was an inconvenient amount of rain.

Enough to warrant the convenience of an umbrella.

So I rummaged through a few coat closets to find one.

The one I found, was a one I had received as a gift some years ago. It looked good enough but one of the spokes (is that what they're called?) was broken on the inside.

I didn't have time to fuss about the spoke, so I took it and walked outside.

It did a satisfactory job, but luckily for it, there was no wind. Wind would have really put that broken spoke to the test.

As I was on that walk to school, the question I asked at the beginning just struck me.

Why would you ever buy a bad umbrella?

Where I live, an umbrella isn't something I need every day.

But when I need it, I really need it to work and ideally, work well.

This idea can apply to other things too.

A bicycle pump.

A fire extinguisher.


And not just things, services we use as well.

A doctor.

A plumber.

A photographer.

For some reason, as I think about this idea, it leads me down the path of thinking about the friends we don't see too often.

My wife and I are fortunate enough to have friends who live in various parts of the world.

Some of them, we don't see for months, even years at a time.

The question of buying a bad umbrella, has me thinking of a parallel with our rare friends.

If you know you're only going to see these friends once for the next few years, what can you do to ensure that the time you have together is truly magical?

Next time you get caught in the rain, give a thought to the friends you haven't seen in a while.

Oh, and please carry a good umbrella.

p.s. If you're reading this on the day it comes out, it's New Year's Eve in North America. I wish you health, happiness, and peace for the coming year. Thank you for the gift of your attention.

purple background with a white umbrella in the middle

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