The Nice Thing About Strangers

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

Crossing Guard

I’m waiting to cross the street, watching for a few hustling taxis to pass, when I feel a presence on my right. I instinctively move a bit to my left. I am … Continue reading

November 9, 2015 · 1 Comment

Big Sister

The morning bus is packed, and I am standing in the baby-carriage corral near the front. There aren’t many parents rolling their babies on board at this hour, so it has … Continue reading

November 4, 2015 · 9 Comments


It’s a chilly morning. All the kids waiting on school buses are wearing coats, but many are also wearing shorts. By afternoon it will be warm, yet there are shivers right after … Continue reading

October 9, 2015 · 3 Comments

Little Miss Dutiful

The middle child adores her baby brother. She kisses him and holds his tiny hand while waiting to board. She’s a proud Kindergartener, offering to carry packages down the jetway … Continue reading

October 2, 2015 · 2 Comments

Why I Smile –Even When I’m in the Grocery Store

We stand much more in need of encouragement, of positive and clear direction. We know well enough what is wrong with us, but the monotony of the life sometimes makes … Continue reading

September 25, 2015 · 5 Comments

Dear me: Deer. Me.

I’m in the mountains for a few weeks as an adventure. Though not an Outdoorsy person by nature, I do enjoy sitting on the porch to read. On my neighbor’s … Continue reading

September 16, 2015 · 8 Comments

Looking Ahead

“The artist’s life: Are you a born writer? Were you put on this earth to be a painter, a scientist, an apostle of peace? In the end the question can … Continue reading

September 7, 2015 · 8 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

Super Süpürgeci

He’s sweeping while others are sleeping. I know the Turkish word “to sweep”–süpürüyor–so I am conjugating his every move, his plan for tomorrow, and yesterday’s business. I must admit it was … Continue reading

August 24, 2015 · 2 Comments

Brotherly Love

It’s such an early shuttle to the airport. Two brothers wear green plaid shirts, grey sandals, black cargo pants in larger and smaller sizes, respectively. Groggy as they board, their mother … Continue reading

August 12, 2015 · 5 Comments

I Spy

A couple and their toddler toddle through the hip Vienna neighborhood. As they come into an area with shops, cafes, and restaurants, the father lifts the tiny girl up onto … Continue reading

August 5, 2015 · 6 Comments

The Storyteller

The man in the red Hawaiian shirt is telling a huge story to his friend while they wait at the bus stop. His gestures make it seem like a fish … Continue reading

July 17, 2015 · 3 Comments

Lightbulb in the Lighthouse

Before taking the lighthouse tour, visitors loiter at the Interpretive Center. A family with four children waits for the 1 pm tour. In the meantime, they explore the exhibits and … Continue reading

July 3, 2015 · 3 Comments

Parking Lot Pep Talk

I’m not looking forward to shopping. I am almost never looking forward to shopping. This is a benefit of living abroad with one suitcase– I can’t acquire new things since … Continue reading

June 29, 2015 · 2 Comments

From the Subjects of my Blog, Perhaps

Vade Mecum I want the scissors to be sharp and the table perfectly level when you cut me out of my life and paste me in that book you always … Continue reading

June 22, 2015 · 5 Comments

Serenade for the Sheepish

From the moment she and her husband are seated, they eat and drink in silence. They don’t discuss the menu. They order by pointing. He looks through photos on his … Continue reading

June 10, 2015 · 5 Comments


“You say you’re not special because the world doesn’t know about you, but that’s an insult to me. I know about you.” –John Green. The Fault in Our Stars.

June 5, 2015 · 2 Comments

Best of Intentions

I’m delighted to share this story from the clever and insightful SFC Keith Hummel, a former student and current friend. ** I make it a point to avoid social interactions … Continue reading

June 1, 2015 · 3 Comments

Missing You

It’s a good turnout for a morning Mass service at the Irish church on the top of the hill. Though, as usual, I am the only person under 40…perhaps the … Continue reading

May 27, 2015 · 8 Comments

The Purpose of Rainboots

The little girl is hustling out of daycare with her mother right behind. It’s been raining and Mom is trying to protect and preserve the handful of paper-crafts that her … Continue reading

May 18, 2015 · 10 Comments

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