The Nice Thing About Strangers

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

Camouflage

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

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

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

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

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

Two Cheers for Staying Cheerful

He crawls on the elliptical next to mine. He summons a huge breath and sends out a slow, I’d-love-to-seem-determined-but-I’m-here-against-my-will exhale. “Well,” he says it to himself, but doesn’t mind when … Continue reading

May 4, 2015 · 5 Comments

A Free Spirit

The plane is nearly full when the family boards. Bringing up the end of the line, the father wears an Armani Exchange t-shirt that reads not only the brand name, … Continue reading

April 27, 2015 · 5 Comments

Saints and Selfies

Every few minutes the caretaker shushes the visitors. They go quiet for a moment, then keep on talking. It doesn’t disturb me as I kneel, watching young men walking cautiously … Continue reading

April 20, 2015 · 3 Comments

Spring Reverie

It’s finally and officially warm in Vermont. I think Wednesday there could be snow, but everyone I’ve seen has been seizing the day. People are wearing t-shirts. Scarves have gone … Continue reading

April 13, 2015 · 8 Comments

Men at Work

“Always I find when I begin to write there is one character who obstinately will not come alive. There is nothing psychologically false about him, but he sticks, he has … Continue reading

April 8, 2015 · 3 Comments

The Light in the Fridge

Of course, I’m chatting with the driver of the shuttle from the parking lot to the Boston airport terminals. The minute I walked up to the bus he said, “Look … Continue reading

April 1, 2015 · 6 Comments

Black and Gray

His set is winding down, but the guy with the guitar has a few more songs in him. The women who were singing along with his 90s rock covers have … Continue reading

March 27, 2015 · 15 Comments

Bundles

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 … Continue reading

March 16, 2015 · 2 Comments

Livin’ on a Prayer

He doesn’t speak English, but he speaks Bon Jovi. He wears a black button-up shirt with the sleeves rolled up and a necklace with some sort of animal tooth or … Continue reading

February 27, 2015 · 10 Comments

Compassion

She chooses her clothes carefully, this seems clear. Her shoes are leather, the hat on her head is fashionable, the hair underneath well-kept. She is staring ahead and muttering, shaking … Continue reading

February 23, 2015 · Leave a comment

Just Say It

These winter stories are starting to bother me, because there’s only so much interaction anyone wants to do in the snow. I am bundled with a scarf over my chin … Continue reading

February 16, 2015 · 2 Comments

Mapmaking

“The life of an individual is in many respects like a child’s dissected map. If I could life a hundred years, keeping my intelligence to the last, I feel as … Continue reading

February 11, 2015 · Leave a comment

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