The Beauty of Humanity Is Everywhere

I’m in the checkout line at the supermarket. In front of me is one of those shopping carts that looks like a little car and there’s a youngster – maybe a year old – sitting in the back of it. While his older siblings help his mom load things onto the conveyor belt, I play peek-a-book with the toddler. He’s smiling at me – he gets that I’m having fun with him. And is there anything better than getting a smile from a child as you play peek-a-boo?

Now it’s my turn to unload my things onto the belt. I glance to the man behind me as I reach for a People magazine and say, embarrassed, “Pretend you don’t see me reaching for a gossip magazine.”

He laughs and says, “I’m not going to judge. You get whatever you need to get.”

I point to the cover. “It’s Helen Mirren. I love Helen Mirren.”

“Oh,” he says, “me, too!” He adds, “You know who I really miss is Betty White!”

We talk for a bit about what a wonderful character Betty White was – and share some of our favorite Betty White scenes with each other. Then we talk for a bit about our parents – I mention to him that my dad lived to be 101. I tell him that when my mom died at 89, Dad said, “I always knew she’d die young!” And he laughs with me about that. “Old” and “young” are relative terms.

Before I leave, I run into the family with the car-cart again. The little boy is still sitting in the back of it and his siblings are playing with him. I tell his mom that I’d played peek-a-book with him earlier while they’d been at the checkout counter, and I’d gotten a smile from him. She laughs and looks over at her son, and agrees that he’s a lot of fun.

I love people – old, young, on the cover of a magazine, or sitting in the back of a car-cart – the beauty of humanity is everywhere.

You Meet the Nicest People Waiting in Line

(This post can be found as an audio podcast at this link.)

I stopped by Tecalitlan Restaurant to pick up some tacos to bring home to Scott, and met some really cool people while I waited there:

A lady of about my age approached the restaurant – she was covered in mud and dirt and looked like she’d just come out of battle – but she was beautiful, too – she had an open face and a beautiful smile and long silver hair. I smiled and asked her how she was doing and she laughed and said she’d just spent the day burning slash on her property and now all she wanted was dinner and a hot shower. I learned she was a gardener and we talked a bit about gardening and how healthy it is for people to work the earth and walk barefoot on the ground. She was very wise.

A young man in glasses approached the order window and we exchanged smiles. I’d already ordered so I moved aside so he could get in front of me. After a while I became aware that I was moving from side to side on my feet – putting my weight on one foot and then the other – and I realized I was making a tune in my head – that there was a rhythmn passing through my thoughts that was making me move back-and-forth. And then I became aware that the young man in front of me was moving from foot-to-foot, too, in the exact same rhythmn. I asked him if he had a song going on his head and he laughed and said no, but he just has a hard time staying still. He asked me if I had a song in my head and I told him I did, but I was not going to sing it out loud. He laughed with me and we both continued with our foot-leaning.

And then this man came out of the restaurant with a little gray puppy in his arms. He set the pup down on the patch of grass in front of the restaurant so the puppy could stretch his legs and pee if he needed to. The puppy’s tail was wagging and his little body was rolling over itself and he was just so cute and friendly and the urge to pet him was irresistible. So I asked the pup’s human if I could pet him, and he smiled and gave the okay. And awww….

The silver-haired lady had collapsed in a chair, by this time, as she waited for her take-out. I told her she was almost there. Soon she’d have a meal and a hot shower. She laughed and nodded her head, and just about that time her take-out order appeared at the window. We rejoiced together in the magic of a warm meal.

My own take-out came soon after. The young man in the glasses wished me a good night and I took my bag of tacos to my car – which I found was blocked in on every side. There was no way I was getting out of that parking lot as things stood. I went back to the restaurant and explained my situation to the people waiting there and very soon a young man detached himself from the crowd, grinning, and pointed to his car and told me he’d parked in the spot in front of me – he couldn’t find anywhere else to park – and he’d go move his car for me. I was so grateful to him. “Thank you so much!” I said. I found an empty parking space for him while he got in his car and asked him if I should stand in it to reserve it for him. He said that would be great.

He moved his car for me and parked it in the empty space. I thanked him again and he smiled and said “No problem.”

You meet the nicest people just waiting in line at Tecalitlan’s.

The End.

A Pup Named Blue

“The Cats Would Love This Thing!”

(The audio podcast for this post can be found at this link.)

Today’s adventure:

Tim came from the carpet/counter/tile place today to take measurements for our new counters. He brought this way cool gizmo that uses a red laser to measure the dimensions of our counters. I was transfixed by this thing. I stood there, grinning in delight, as the machine beeped and zapped and laser-tagged our kitchen. “The cats would love this thing!” I told Tim. And “Ooooh! This is kind of like that machine that they use in the Mission Impossible movies to make those face masks!” (I started singing the Mission Impossible theme song.) Scott soon came in and stood next to me, equally fascinated. We stood in happy silence for a while – just watching the red dots move around our kitchen. “Boomer entertainment!” I said to Tim and he laughed.

After Scott left for work, I stayed there with Tim, watching him enter measurements and information into his tablet, and chatting with him. He had a Seahawks cap on and I told him I was feeling concerned about next season. He agreed with me that it was going to be different without Russell Wilson. We talked about other sports teams then – the new Kracken team – and Tim brought up the loss of our Sonics. “Were you even born when we lost our Sonics?!” I asked Tim – he looked too young to know anything about the Sonics. He laughed and said he was around and he remembered.

He asked me if I’d been raised in this area and I gave him a little of my history. Then I asked him if he’d gone to school locally – he said he’d been born in Kazakhstan, actually, and had come to the United States as a boy. His grandmother had been German and his grandfather Russian – they’d met in a concentration camp during WWII and had escaped to Kazakhstan at some point. From there, his parents had come to Washington State. He shared that he was married to a woman of Ukrainian heritage. I asked him if she still had family in Ukraine and he said that she did. We talked about the trauma of the latest war and the insanity of it.

Tim finished feeding information into his tablet and packed up the cool laser gizmo. I asked him if I could get his picture and write a public post about meeting him today, and he gave me permission.

We wished each other a good day, and he left to go to his next lucky customer.

There are some really nice people in this world. There are also some really cool machines that beep and play laser-tag with kitchens.
-Karen Molenaar Terrell