A Warm Day in January
I was driving through Rosenberg, TX on probably the loveliest day of the year, when I spotted a porch and four people.
My windows were down and the air was intoxicating. Why was I so drawn to these folks? I wanted to put on my brakes and take a picture.
I'll admit, it was the curlers I noticed.
I passed this worn and modest house and smiled to myself. I absorbed just enough to know there had been a woman in multi-colored curlers. I never see curlers anymore. And a porch. I miss porches. These people were out inhaling the same warm winter air I was giddy over. I had seen the woman in curlers, a young girl with a jump rope and 2 men relaxing nearby. Why did they make me smile?
I drove around the block and waved out the car window as I pulled to the curb. I felt just a bit guilty when I asked for directions to The Italian Maid Restaurant up the road...an excuse to start a conversation. And then we talked about the glorious weather. Somehow, the weather lead to talking about the little girl and how her mother hoped she would grow up to be a singer. And we talked about taking pictures, especially on a beautiful day. And while we spoke I absorbed the tiny pieces that made up this world of theirs...
...the foil on the windows, the Chihuahua with the pink collar on the swinging bench. I noticed the white princess phone on the metal folding chair beside the woman and a drying mop on the other side of her. (I had a feeling she'd earned her rest on the chair) I also noticed the giant Bud Light the "grandfather" held as he watched the little girl and her jump rope. He didn't look like a grandpa with his flip flops and tattoos and his ball cap on backwards, but he grinned and bragged like one! I noticed the 2 doors of this tiny duplex, framed in peeling brown paint. And I thought it was nice that these neighbors, (sharing such a small porch) seemed to get along well. I noticed the big pink "Toyota" taking center stage on the sidewalk and I knew the little girl was as spoiled and loved as any.
After agreeing once again on how perfect the day was, I took a risk and asked if I could take a picture...to remember this beautiful day. The grandfather smiled proudly and gestured to his granddaughter, "Say CHEESE!" I clicked the camera and hollered thanks. "Drive safely!" The grandfather said. "God Bless you!" added the woman in curlers.
Thank you to my Friends on the Porch!
I've seen weather bring people together before. Hurricanes, floods and even droughts can bond people and make them reach out to one another...or at least gripe together. But it was a beautiful day that bonded us. We may be from different worlds, but we appreciate the same things...a spring day in January! When I feel that kind of air again, I'll think of you all and call it a "Porch Day".
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