What a gift of a day! I drove into Mount Vernon to run some errands and to see how the downtown was preparing for the up-coming tulip festival.
I bought a mocha at the co-op and took it up to the river waterfront to soak up the sunshine while I sipped it.
A man holding hands with a toddler was enjoying the sunshine by the riverfront, too. We smiled at each other, and I smiled at the tot – remembering my own sons at that age. Pretty soon the man approached me and opened conversation. He introduced himself as Serge. He said he was from Ukraine, and that his wife and son had just joined him in America at the end of December. He said his wife and son, Daniel, didn’t speak English, yet – but I could tell as I watched Daniel watching me, that it wouldn’t be long before the little one was fluent. The tot was shy with me at first – and maybe a little scared – but he warmed up to me and, eventually, smiled back at me – and that was magic! Serge said that when Daniel saw planes flying overhead it scared him – because of his experience with the war – but that Daniel was getting more comfortable with planes now. Serge’s wife joined him then and smiled and waved. I welcomed her to America – and Serge translated my words for her. They left then, to wander some more in the sunshine. I was so glad I had a chance to connect with them today.
I walked back down to First Street – cupcakes from Shambala Bakery on my mind. As I shambled towards Shambala I saw a woman put a blanket over a man who was sleeping on the sidewalk. That really touched me. I asked her if the man was alright, and she said yes, but that she feels the need to care for people – and she felt he needed a blanket. I found myself tearing up at her kindness. I felt a kinship with this woman – who I learned was named Jody – and we gave each other a parting hug before I continued on my cupcake mission.
I opened the door to the bakery and hopped to the the case full of cupcakes. So many cupcakes! How to choose?! I decided I’d get the one with banana frosting for my husband, and get myself an orange cupcake. Then I asked the sales person what her favorite was – and she pointed to the chocolate ones with raspberry frosting – so I decided to get one of those instead of the cupcake with banana frosting.
I left with my cupcake loot, and hadn’t gotten very far when I came upon a young man standing on the sidewalk, surrounded by baggage. I asked him if he was hungry, and he said yes. I asked him if he’d like an orange cupcake – and he said that sounded great, thank you. So I gave him the orange cupcake – I’m so glad I had something to give him! – and then went back to the bakery to fetch myself another one.
When I got home from my trip to Mount Vernon, I wasn’t ready to go inside, yet. I pulled a weed. Then another. Then I grabbed the garden claw and settled in for some major buttercup pulling. It felt good to feel the soft earth around my hands. When I was done with that little patch of garden, I pulled out our electric lawn mower and mowed the front yard. The grass was all shiny and green. I breathed in the spring smells and felt the warmth of the sunshine on my face.
It has been a lovely day.
-Karen Molenaar Terrell