Near Lake Tahoe in 2012
Don and I were hiking The Rainbow Trail on a chilly October morning when we met Tom.
A Quiet Morning
The only other person we had seen was a photographer shivering beside a couple tripods near Taylor Creek. The camera guy had been trying to capture some of the wild life activity that occurred each fall during kokanee trout spawning season. So were we. The year before we'd see a mother bear and cub enjoying some trout.
A People Encounter Instead
It was a surprise to suddenly come upon this man with no coat or gloves, standing beside a falling tree...sawing at the trunk.
Tom, the man with the saw acted like the last person you'd expect to see sawing a fallen Aspen in the woods. He laughed about the silliness of his technique, but he was a retired lawyer and was obeying the law. He said permits were needed and you could only use a saw. But it took a long time to get through this small trunk with the saw he had. It looked more like a serrated bread knife.
Don and I were bundled up with hats and gloves and asked Tom why he wasn't dressed more warmly. He just laughed and shook his head. "When I first moved here I brought all my cold weather gear..." I think he was from Chicago. "I never wear it. It never gets that cold." But he was worried about his dog who was waiting in the car. I had to just laugh when he opened the car door and out popped a little Dachshund sporting an orange knit sweater!
I had expected to see a Golden Retriever or a Lab jump out of the vehicle. But this sweet little pup with her delicate name Lilly, just amused me!
It was fun to talk to you out there in the snow. You gave us a different idea on retirement, besides hanging out at country clubs. As you carried your few logs to the car, I tried to picture your wood burning fireplace. I imagined some comfy rustic furniture and lots of shelves of books and a cozy dog pillow for Lilly.
To celebrate my birthday in April 2012, I decided to reflect on the past with a different kind of list. I've met a lot of people in my 55 years, but I'm going to stop and remind myself about the strangers I've met. These are people I met by accident, not through friends or work. For some reason, these strangers dropped into my life. Even though we may have only spent a few minutes together, these people have never been forgotten.
Each week, I'll spotlight someone I met in the past, who in some small way, made me stop and think.
Remember 55 Strangers