Tuesday, July 12, 2016

So Much to Say, But Just One Story Tonight

I have so many things to write about, so many observations, things seen and things heard, to share with you. Now that Summer Reading programs at the libraries are finished for me, I have time to write and reflect. The past few weeks have been full of experiences that I want to write about, so I will be playing catch-up again as I review my photos and my notes.

One story from today stands out. We were coming home from my last presentation for the summer reading program at a library in central West Virginia when we saw a yard sale on the side of the road. Lots of glass, and you know how I love glass! So of course we stopped.

I was puzzled at first, and a little shocked, by the young woman's voice. She was difficult to understand and her voice was almost guttural, very nasal. I tried to be polite and nod as if I understood when I really had not a clue what she was saying.

Her daughter who was about five bounced out to greet us too. "Are you going to give us money for this stuff?" she asked. Leave it to a child to cut to the chase! "I don't know," I answered, "but I just might."

As I was browsing through the glassware the woman's son came out. He was older, about 9 or 10. The mother continued to talk to me and I was beginning to understand her, thank goodness. Whenever I looked confused, the son effortlessly slipped in a translation of what his mother had said.

"We're moving back to Preston county," she said. "That's where I'm from. My mother-in-law gave me all this stuff and I don't like glass and knick-knacks." The son smiled and told me why he liked it better in Preston county. I noted a different accent in his voice too, and honestly, I had trouble understanding a lot of what he said. But his positive tone and happy nature were easy to see.

"My nose was broken when I was young," the mother explained. "Broken clear off. That's why my voice is like this, so nasal." I noticed then the odd shape of her nose; I hadn't seen it before.

"Can't it be repaired ?" I asked.

I did not understand her reply, and her son was busy elsewhere so all I got was a vague idea that no, she just had to live with it. I noted that she had a husband, and she was quite attractive even with the broken nose.

We did buy several things from them, and as we drove away I thought about this mother and her two children. Their closeness and support for each other was apparent. Though obviously living with little means, they were so happy and positive and enjoyed talking with me. I thought of families that have so much more and still are not content, who have so little need in their lives and yet are still dissatisfied. And then here was this mother and her children, doing their best, planning ahead, and making do with the resources on hand.

They have my respect and admiration for sure. I felt humbled.

Copyright Susanna Holstein. All rights reserved. No Republication or Redistribution Allowed without attribution to Susanna Holstein.

4 comments:

Nance said...

Thanks, Sue, for a good message and reminder.

Brig said...

Sue, what a beautiful reminder of the important things in life.

Rowan said...

A good and positive reminder that happiness and contentment don't depend on having lots of money and possessions. It's a pity more people don't realise this.

Granny Sue said...

That is what both Larry and I came away with--we were both smiling as we left. I do wonder if some plastic surgeon could fix her nose; surely it could be done. But how to find someone willing to do it for free I have no idea.

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