I went out to Berwyn, IL. It was a looong train ride which involved construction, slow trains, missed connections and going the wrong way. Rough commute. I was on my way out to hang some Iraqi refugee art. Which I did.
Looking at the art again made me happy, making up for the commute, reminding me of things I want to remember. I haven't seen the art up on walls in a while. It's so beautiful. I really hope we can sell some/most/all of it for the artists. But even just seeing it all up again was special. I started to breathe a little easier.
After getting back to my neighborhood later in the afternoon, I noticed three new places I had never noticed or been into: A fru fru upscale shop, a small town divey diner and a really cute hip bar. I love that there are secret places that I didn't know where there! I thought I knew everything in my neighborhood! I started to breathe more deeply.
As I left the shop I crossed paths with a little old lady. Literally. She stopped with a huff dropping her heavy grocery bags almost in front of me. I asked if she was all right. She said yes and so I went off in the opposite direction. But then I paused. I got a nudge and so looked back at her. She probably could use some help, I thought. Indeed she could.
"Thanks kid!" she said when I offered my assistance.
"No problem," I returned.
Kid. (If only she knew I was recently diagnosed with "50's shoulder" 50's!!!)
"Are you going out of your way?"
"No, it's ok I live close."
"Thank you so much, kid. But I think you're going out of your way."
"It's ok. I don't mind." I smiled at her.
At the corner of 7-11 and her apartment building, she was digging in her purse. I hoped she wasn't looking for money, but I didn't know what to say. I didn't want to assume, so I waited, her bags in my hand. Finally she brought out a bank envelope stuffed with money.
"Nooooooooo! I don't want any money."
"Come on kid! Take a dollar!"
"No no no no no no. Thank you, but no. Just glad to help!"
Back and forth we went a few more rounds, me trying to back off graciously, her trying to hand me a dollar.
"Please I really don't want any money..."
"Buy a lottery ticket with it here at 7-11, then. Will you do that? Please kid. You might get lucky. Well, not as lucky as if you bought it last night. But come on! Will you take it? Buy a lottery ticket with it, will ya?"
Never one to ignore fate or upset a senior citizen, I relented. I would take the dollar and I would buy a lottery ticket at her 7-11 and if I won big, we would split the earnings (She refused to agree to that last part, stubborn old broad.)
And so Patricia and I parted ways. Her with her bags. Me with her dollar, my breath stifled in anticipation of my possible destiny.
So into the 7-11 I went to buy the lottery ticket.
Big loser. Nada. Zip.
But still somehow I felt like I had won. Cliche. But true. I won this day.
Life goes by fast. Soon you might have 50's shoulder. Take what you can. Give what you can. And enjoy the ride.