In the cold gray of winter, I keep my eyes open for signs of color, pulses of life. That doesn’t mean that I don’t enjoy the monochrome that this dormant season brings. Actually, I enjoy fifty shads of gray.
There are mornings, like yesterday, when there isn’t a plan. I write and clean and puts until Nick rises. He loves to sleep in. I don’t. Sleep is hard for a person with Parkinson’s. The body’s nerves misfire when you are trying to be still. I can sometimes feel his muscles twitch and juggle, when I hold his arm.
Our idea of a fun weekend has morphed. It is partly circumstance and some, realizations.
We used to do the long ride. Go see new things, new scenery and keep moving. Now, we find pleasure in being closer to home.
We decided to take The Boy to school so he wouldn’t act like a nitwit in the car or stare at us if we weren’t giving him undivided attention.
I had put the delightful, Best Ever Flop of a cookie, in two containers. One was large, for the workers at Camp K-9, and a smaller plate for the man who mans the garbage station.
We pulled into the garbage station and it was busy. The man’s tending customers had just finished helping one. We pulled near him and I rolled down my window. He came over. I handed him a plate of cookies.
“These are Christmas cookies for you,” I said.
He took the cookie. He hesitated and then said,
“In all of these years, no one has ever brought me anything.”
“We appreciate what you do. What you do is important,” I said.
I thought he was going to cry.
“Thank you,” he said. And I rolled up my window and waved.
I am not telling this to make you think that I am special. I am not. Oh, yes, in today’s world, we are all said to be special. But some people are not treated special. More than that, they are not treated at all. They are unseen, except for the task they perform. Their voice isn’t heard.
There are many of these people in each of our daily lives. We, as humans, tend to hone in on people we know. We focus on them, give them our attention. But there is something in me that loves the people who who are not on the top rungs of life. Many, might barely be hanging onto any rung.
I am becoming more and more drawn to them.
Me? I don’t have to worry about being invisible, anymore. I look like a lightbulb. It’s my hair. I have realized, in the weeks since I turned into a lightbulb, that this takes care of that invisible feeling that I had as I aged. You can side this 6 ft, (minute shrinkage) lightbulb a-coming.
Oh there I go, again. And this isn’t even supposed to be about me.
What I am trying to say and show is that there are invisible people all around us. People deserving of our attention and kindness. And not just at Christmas. No matter how nice it made that nice man feel, the feeling I had was, this has been a good day … and it was only 8 in the morning.
After a dog and cooking delivery at Camp K-9, we headed to Ebenezer’s.It was great, as usual. There was a platinum blonde woman, nicely dressed, seated at the counter. There was an empty seat between her and another man. She was talking to.
Nick and I both listened to her. She had the best Southern accent and. Talked about her daddy and how he grew his tomato plants. I liked her nice hairstyle and I wished I could take her voice up to Ohio with me when we go up for Christmas.
I was called, “Sweet Baby,” by our waitress, who bee-bopped from table to table, yet stopping to say fun words to everyone. My blueberry pancakes were superb, (a word that my deceased brother-in-law used when something was tasty).
Groups of people laughed and we got bits and bobs of other’s conversations. A tiny, ten-month old girl was trying to walk behind me and she drew everyone’s attention and delight.
We smiled through the entire meal.
Not now where to go next, I said, “Let’s just go through Rock Hill.
We drove through town, which is in the process of revitalization, southern speed. As they say, we drove to the other side of the tracks, where the old cotton mill and textile mills used to be. I so wish I could have seen this town in its hay-day. I would have loved to have heard the mills running and seen people bustling around, instead of empty lots and buildings. I dream a lot when I see things that time has rejected.
We ended up in a cemetery. That’s sort of a funny prelude.
We love cemeteries, especially if they have character. This one filled the bill as it had wonderful trees. Magnolia trees, still with their waxy, deep green leaves, stood sentry over graves. Trees, unknown to me, perhaps great oaks, with massive trunks and limbs that we wondered how they held themselves up, hung over gravestones.
We drove slowly and looked and commented and I hopped out and took photos. In the background of one shot, were two tall, smoke stacks. Again, I wished I could have been there in the day.
I walked under the stunning magnolias. “This would be a good place to have a grave,” I said to NIck, when I got back into the car.
There was large monument to the Confederate soldiers, that made me wonder if it was safe, or doomed to the times of political correctness and the idea of making things right by erasing history.
In the cemetery, against the stark blah and monochrome, we saw a bush with bright red berries. I was so excited. “Look at that,” I said. “Even in the dead of winter, there is hope, color, and a sign of life.”
We drove home, full, content and even, happy. Not only had we had a delightful, thoughtful time in the matter of a couple of hours, but we were thankful to be given this day, together, and in this beautiful winter world around us.