new ways to wait

today i experienced a new way to wait in the same old lines.

for example, last night i watched the movie "Dunkirk" (the scene of civilian boats showing up to rescue stranded soldiers bringing tears to my eyes) which relates here because in front of me today was an elderly couple, a man in a wheelchair being pushed by his wife.

noticing his Navy cap, i thanked him for his military service, referencing the movie. to this the wife added that one of her closest friends bears a tattoo from surviving the Holocaust.

"she must have only been a small child", i said. " yes," she answered, "none of her family survived and she doesn't like to talk about it". it was a less-than three minute interaction, and yet we saw each other and shared a moment that we may not have otherwise.

in another store a very classy older lady came in the door behind me. i happened to hear her talk about trying to get a job but being old. " i know you don't know me," i began, "but i hope you don't say that about yourself. there's only humans and we will all be where you are if we are lucky enough. i might add it seems you're really put together and we would do well to listen to you."

this surprised her and began what turned out to be a twenty minute visit, her telling me about the history of our town when you could come to the same building we were standing in, once a soda fountain, where they  bought treats for just fifteen cents.

she seemed to really enjoy telling me about the history of the land that had been in her family for over one hundred years (several acres of it now a school) as well as fond memories of eating summer berries with real cream at her grandmother's.

sure, it's not always like this, sometimes an errand's just an errand. but today's interactions have me rethinking the time we spend waiting in lines.

do you have a memorable waiting story?


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