The Nice Thing About Strangers

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

The Day We Flew a Kite, Read Books, Hid Under the Lilacs…

I spent the day with my oldest niece. We flew the butterfly kite she got for Easter. Both of us kept breaking into the tune from Mary Poppins, “Let’s go … Continue reading

May 2, 2014 · 18 Comments


A little old man offers to take their picture. He’s exiting the restaurant with his wife. Outside, a woman is snapping a shot of a very tall man who just … Continue reading

April 23, 2014 · 12 Comments

Your Easter Dresses, Love Grandma.

Grandma is buying the girls a pair of Easter dresses–the fluffier the better. Her two granddaughters stand close and grin. They love the dresses; Grandma adores the dresses. One is … Continue reading

April 18, 2014 · 17 Comments


A set of parents wrangle their two sons near the checkout for the Burlington Coat Factory. While Mom makes final selections and pays, the tallest boy keeps moving toward the … Continue reading

March 21, 2014 · 6 Comments

Just See Me. This is Enough.

The boy and his little sister rush ahead. They hide at the end of the moving sidewalk, waiting for their father. Mom is already waiting nearby. She isn’t happy that … Continue reading

February 12, 2014 · 9 Comments

Yep, I Was Just About To Do That

She’s in elementary school, somewhere near the middle of it, perhaps. Her hair is bright blonde and neatly trimmed. She’s sitting by two older women at Mass, the one on … Continue reading

February 5, 2014 · 9 Comments

How To Get Rid of the Hiccups

She has the hiccups. Her husband wears a golf cap. They are extremely slow in shuffling to their Buick. The snow has turned to patches of slush, some just puddles … Continue reading

January 8, 2014 · 26 Comments

Happiness Granted

On a bench at the mall, a young mother rests with a baby in her lap and a toddler at her feet. She encourages the toddler, “Say Happy New Year! … Continue reading

January 1, 2014 · 12 Comments

The Notebook, Journaling, and the Good Habit of Scrawling

I have been searching my pockets for my mislaid notebook. This notebook of mine contains some remarkable entries: Underlined! My sickness is underlining important things; there is almost nothing but … Continue reading

December 30, 2013 · 13 Comments


It’s the Department of Motor Vehicles, so no one is really crossing any items off their Bucket List around here. The lack of enthusiasm shows in glum faces, distant stares, … Continue reading

November 29, 2013 · 11 Comments

Give It Away

They arrive in a giant collection truck with the charity name printed on the side. When the man throws open the back door, it is already half-full of bags of … Continue reading

November 15, 2013 · 12 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 Light Change

Her daughter is in the back, buckled into a car seat, but facing forward and in the middle. The baby girl holds a blanket and rubs her fingers against the … Continue reading

August 23, 2013 · 8 Comments

The Company You Keep

It’s a good time for the lonely. Wear a Bluetooth headset at the market, and you may speak to yourself with impunity while hunting for just the right melon.  Your … Continue reading

August 19, 2013 · 15 Comments

Health and Wellness

The old man winks at a woman on a stationary bike, the kind where one can sit upright with the pedals before them. He is pushing seventy, or pulling eighty.  … Continue reading

July 12, 2013 · 8 Comments

Do You Hello?

Friendliness is my nature. This is such a deep instinct that I’m always the one saying hello when I pass people in public. In Vienna, when you say hello to … Continue reading

May 20, 2013 · 29 Comments

Older and Wiser (and Eating Cake!)

The treadmills hum quietly and the pair of ladies speak loudly. Their grey hair bounces, they swing their elbows. When one says, “All right, here we go,” they turn up … Continue reading

May 3, 2013 · 14 Comments

Concerto for Cello and Springs

An infant boy in red-footed-pajamas races down the moving sidewalk. His curly locks bounce as he bounds. Bystanders cringe as he nears the end, his father breaking into a sprint … Continue reading

November 12, 2012 · 10 Comments

A Hailstorm, An Opportunity.

Visiting Oregon last week, we stopped through to visit the farm where my Grandparents lived and worked most of their lives. My grandparents have both passed on, but they are … Continue reading

November 9, 2012 · 9 Comments

The Life Cycle

The recreation center is busy, but like in a scene from a film, the crowd parts for a miniscule elderly lady sauntering slowly toward an exercise bike. She chooses one … Continue reading

October 26, 2012 · 10 Comments

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