The Nice Thing About Strangers

Creative Non-Fiction Short Stories. :) Travel, Oldsters, Love, and Compassion.

Yep, I Was Just About To Do That

She’s in elementary school, somewhere near the middle of it, perhaps. Her hair is bright blonde and neatly trimmed. She’s sitting by two older women at Mass, the one on the far side is darling and ancient. During church, the girl writes on some worksheets. She erases, wipes the eraser remnants away, begins again. Later she shapes one sheet of paper into a cone. She takes another sheet and folds herself a set of makeshift tweezers, which she uses to drop tiny offering-envelope-pencils into the cone. She investigates the speed, the distance.

The woman in the middle gets up during Mass and departs to help with a task. The little girl sits for a while, rustles with her cone and tweezers. Then she is suddenly stricken with a thought. She drops her tools. She hustles over to the elderly woman and gives her a tight, compassionate embrace of love. The woman is pleased and surprised. She receives the hug with a small laugh. Then the little girl moves back to her place, back to her quiet contemplation of the possibilities of paper.


Grandma and Yours Truly. Once Upon A Time.

Grandma and Yours Truly. Once Upon A Time.

9 comments on “Yep, I Was Just About To Do That

  1. joannerambling
    February 5, 2014


  2. M. R.
    February 5, 2014

    How lucky to have a picture of yourself with a grandparent … Neither of my grandfathers was alive when I was born; my maternal grandma was an invalid for the few years I can remember; and my paternal grandma was a curmudgeon, whom I remember till I was around … oh, 7 or so? Hmmm. A curmudegon. Maybe that’s where … [grin]

  3. Fred Thayer
    February 17, 2014

    I was at Mass Sunday and a little girl was in front of me. When I was kneeling with my hands folded on the pew she reached up and took my hands and rubbed them and kissed them . Then she told me my hands were cold and that I had dry skin. She held my hands and laid her head in my hands for the rest of Mass till I stood up and left. God is always present in a young child.

  4. reocochran
    February 18, 2014

    This was such a lovely photograph and your words were written from the heart. So beautiful and meaningful! Take care, Robn

  5. Reblogged this on The Nice Thing About Strangers and commented:

    Feeling contemplative lately. 🙂

    • Jeff Walker
      July 13, 2016

      Contemplation is good. Would that more of us engaged in it. 🙂

      • I just have to be able to contemplate and also remember to blog. 🙂 After all these years, I’m falling out of the habit.

  6. Nicci
    July 11, 2016

    I love that picture, the way you are holding hands. Great vignette, too.

  7. Darlene
    July 12, 2016

    Grandmothers are so special and I can see you loved yours very much, as did I.

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