Welcoming, despite the signs
I drive by this house in Richmond, Texas at least once a week. I've noticed two no trespassing signs, but they are half hidden behind the multi-colored zinnias and marigolds.
I can't help but notice the colors when I drive by. The lot is an oasis in a somewhat sad little neighborhood. The flowers and plants are so well tended and cheerful. And almost always, I notice two people bent over, tending or planting flowers. Sometimes when I drive by they are taking a break on the porch or sitting on the two white wooden chairs under the huge tree that shades half the yard.
I ignored the sign.
One day I ignored the signs and pulled the car over. The two were watering flowers and seemed a bit startled when I walked up. I'm not really sure what I said. Some quick babble about how I drive by their yard every week and just wanted them to know how much I love seeing all their wonderful flowers. I was so afraid my words sounded corny and insincere, but their looks of concern were replaced by huge smiles.
Irma and Dennis
We introduced ourselves and Dennis proudly showed me his favorite flowers. The tractor tire displays were my favorites, reminding me of the "grandma yards" in my childhood.
Irma said it was okay for me to take some pictures with my phone, but she mopped her face and implied they were too dirty to be in photos.
Thanks Irma and Dennis
You took a break from your work to share with me a little while. Recently I drove by and saw your whole yard cleared of plants. Hopefully you got paid well for your flowers. It must be hard saying good-bye to all that color. But I've seen you out working since, so I'm sure the flowers will be back!
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