The Nice Thing About Strangers

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

Still Friendly After All These Years

The elderly woman is perfectly coordinated–a pink dress, a pale blue sweater, a pink and blue necklace, blue eyes, gray hair to her chin. Her daughter is her accessory, tucked … Continue reading

September 19, 2016 · 18 Comments

Cat Confidantes

He’s rustling a sack as he walks, as he slows his pace. He begins whispering to the gathering crowd and smiling. He has come to pay his respects to the … Continue reading

March 9, 2016 · 4 Comments

Melt. –a guest post by Desiree Gaul

I am so excited to share this lovely tale. Enjoy this guest post from my friend and former student, Desiree Gaul. * The evening mist under the streetlamp highlights her … Continue reading

February 24, 2016 · 2 Comments

The Wave

The family of three heads for seats in the tram. The mother has a toy for her toddler, who refuses to remain in one place. The father tries to wrangle … Continue reading

August 28, 2015 · 4 Comments

Take Me

I’m renting an apartment in Budapest for a week. It’s an adorable building in a great location. The apartment has the amenities I sought, it is quiet and clean. However, … Continue reading

July 31, 2015 · 7 Comments

Icy Conditions

In the middle of Pennsylvania, after driving through sleet and ice for five hours, it is a relief to smile at the two older men sitting for coffee at the … Continue reading

January 5, 2015 · 8 Comments

My Journey Home

TSA airport security in O’Hare is making me cry. I receive glares, short-tempered orders, eye rolls, and blank stares. After twenty hours of travel, I have tears in my eyes … Continue reading

December 19, 2014 · 21 Comments

A Heartening Tip for Homebodies

Travel? One need only exist to travel. I go from day to day, as from station to station, in the train of my body or my destiny, leaning out over … Continue reading

November 28, 2014 · 7 Comments

Soup and Sisters

I’m willing to bet they are sisters, or perhaps very close cousins, but the group of three women are all sitting with identical postures while waiting for the airplane. The … Continue reading

November 24, 2014 · 10 Comments

Tram 6: Another Abbreviated Love Story

They see each other while she is a passenger and he waits at the stop. As the tram slows and the doors opens, they both lift their chins just a … Continue reading

September 29, 2014 · 8 Comments


The blonde man wearing a blue shirt struts in his immaculate tan shoes. Even behind his sunglasses, I see him light up. Down the sidewalk a pretty brunette is waving … Continue reading

September 15, 2014 · 7 Comments

Your Life as a Masterpiece

Not all are called to be artists in the specific sense of the term. Yet, as Genesis has it, all men and women are entrusted with the task of crafting … Continue reading

September 10, 2014 · 14 Comments

Must Love (Beware of) Dogs

It’s a damp Sunday morning. There’s a vague rain and a gray haze. Between the center of the city and the airport, patches of trees are a deep green like … Continue reading

September 8, 2014 · 6 Comments

Slapstick Grandma

She gives her grandchildren a bright, rainbow umbrella. She opens it for those cherubs–a boy and a girl in galoshes–and lets the girl hold it over them both. She follows … Continue reading

September 3, 2014 · 16 Comments

A Home on the Horizon

It is just that, as it now suddenly occurs to me, this is the first time in my life that I have been really alone at night. My childhood home, … Continue reading

August 27, 2014 · 11 Comments

Shoeless Wonder

In the park, I sit with a friend on a blanket. We have taken off our shoes, made ourselves comfortable, catching up on what we’ve done while we were apart. … Continue reading

August 25, 2014 · 7 Comments

Show Me State Signs

Traveling, scrawling, but I thought you might like these signs from a road trip through Missouri. Wednesday, we will observe some mid-flight flirting. I watched the whole encounter with a … Continue reading

August 11, 2014 · 19 Comments

Shake It Up

If we attempt to fix a logic for the travel souvenir, I believe the following generalization might hold: the souvenir reduces the grand, the magnificent, and the beautiful to the … Continue reading

August 1, 2014 · 19 Comments

Intractable Gestures

In those years his father held that a nation could change its way of life, its history, its technology, it’s art, literature and culture, but it would never have a … Continue reading

June 9, 2014 · 10 Comments

Learning to be Cool

The father wants to take a photograph of his daughter at the large airport window, in front of the airplane they will take to Vienna. He’s removed his shoes and … Continue reading

May 23, 2014 · 4 Comments

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