The Nice Thing About Strangers

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


The family of four will be the last out of the bus and they are taking their merry time departing. Dad exits first with the clunky stroller, but he can’t get it to open. It remains a stork on a set of wheels, it will not open up to be operational, a seat for a child, a storage place for all the accessories that the parents seem to have acquired. There are two girls with Mom, one is jumping ahead and the other is tiny–reaching for her mother’s hand as Mom collects winter gear the children discarded throughout the bus ride.

Into the frigid air, the girls blow puffs of fog at each other for a few delighted moments. Mom aims to bundle them up, to tend to them and lighten her load. Once she has the smaller girl wrapped up, the other cries out for a coat in the panic of feeling neglected. There’s a pink headband on the sidewalk. Dad is still trying to get the stroller into some functional composition and nods to the older child for some tips, but she merely stares at him and puts her mitten on the wrong hand. The driver directs the mother to a scarf that is blocking the door. Mom marches back to gather it as well, and the girls grin at their silly Mom, at their stressed-out Dad, at all the adults towering over them in hats and scarves and worries. Again they exhale into the cold evening like dragons, laughing, shivering, grinning and waiting, until their mother opens the stroller and their father groans aloud. Off they go.


When I was young, I think winters seemed much nicer. :)

When I was young, I think winters seemed much nicer. 🙂

2 comments on “Bundles

  1. joannerambling
    March 17, 2015

    When we are young winter doesn’t seem as harsh

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