The Nice Thing About Strangers

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

Whatever Will Be Will Be

The tram lurches at stops and the morning riders open their eyes briefly, then return to snoozing while standing. I’ve just arrived so I am jet lagged and full of … Continue reading

October 16, 2015 · Leave a comment

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

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

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

Respect Your Elders

Pantera is the name of a metal band from Texas, and it’s scrawled across his t-shirt. He gruffly approaches the Information Desk. His girlfriend stands at his side with elaborate … Continue reading

August 15, 2014 · 14 Comments

Driving Questions

It’s hard to hear their actual conversation. There’s the kind, booming voice of the bus driver, the questioning tone of the young, blonde boy. The boy wears a Transformers t-shirt … Continue reading

August 6, 2014 · 6 Comments

Do Envy the Oldsters

From this one may see that there is no reason to pity the old people. Instead, young people should envy them. It is true that the old have no opportunities, … Continue reading

June 2, 2014 · 11 Comments

The Nod

Waiting in the Arrivals Lounge, they stand, they gaze toward the gate area. A woman in bright white shoes tugs at the hem of her shirt in the wait, adjusts … Continue reading

May 7, 2014 · 11 Comments

Love Your Neighbor (Coffee Helps)

The man in the seat in front of her is restless during the flight. Watching movies, shifting in his seat, opening a book, closing it, writing something, stopping. She’s just … Continue reading

February 26, 2014 · 7 Comments

Baseball, Fatherhood, and Peace

The little old man playing the organ has lost most of his hearing, so he plays by heart. He plays beautifully, sweetly. Organs always make me think of baseball games, … Continue reading

January 15, 2014 · 15 Comments

What the Heart Wants

“I’m weak when I fall in love,” she says. “I walk on air. I lose my appetite. I can’t think straight. I’m not one to be sensible. My heart has … Continue reading

December 9, 2013 · 5 Comments

Sweet Kids. The Airplane Edition.

Before we board, the mother in the pink Adidas t-shirt leaves her two daughters with her husband as she storms away to take a call, announcing to the gate area, … Continue reading

October 23, 2013 · 8 Comments

A Love Story At Just Over Five Feet

The elderly couple hunches together over their soup. They stay like this, heads tilted toward each other, even as they finish. The waiter reaches under the bridge of their gaze … Continue reading

May 1, 2013 · 9 Comments

Table Manners

Is it raining? At an outdoor café in Novi Sad under an expansive web of umbrella-like-awnings, I wait for a slice of pizza. The tent above is tapped like there … Continue reading

December 3, 2012 · 10 Comments

Lead Thyself

I would rather make mistakes in kindness and compassion than work miracles in unkindness and hardness. Do not wait for leaders; do it alone, person to person. –Mother Teresa of … Continue reading

October 31, 2012 · 4 Comments

Wave To Mama

A mother shuffles away from the school bus stop after her daughter has boarded. She moves like it is exceptionally early in the morning, though the sun is up and … Continue reading

October 17, 2012 · 9 Comments

Grasping at Grandmas

I’d been on a mission: to get old Turkish ladies to like me. I love elderly people, but I wasn’t getting a warm reception when I beamed at the grandmas. … Continue reading

September 10, 2012 · 13 Comments

I Pick Things Up And Put Them Down

At baggage claim in Istanbul, the men are standing with hands on their hips. They wait shoulder to shoulder, some standing sideways to get one arm slightly closer to the … Continue reading

July 23, 2012 · 15 Comments

Baby’s First Swim

The mother slowly hands her infant to his father, who waits in the shallow end of the hotel swimming pool. The baby wears a diaper and a cloth head wrap … Continue reading

July 9, 2012 · 6 Comments

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