I just went to my neighboring town’s Stop and Shop – they sell liquor – and had the most unexpected encounter. To start, the lines were wicked long today. I found the shortest one I could and went off to start my wait. After about 5 minutes; this older woman dressed head to toe in lavender with the most AMAZING hat came up to my carriage. She commented on the long lines and how busy it was. I looked into her carriage and noticed she only had a container of grapes. I let her cut me in line because I had more than that. We proceeded to talk. This woman, who’s name I never got, is 90 years old. I know she had 3 children, the oldest is 65. She told me about taking a cab to go grocery shopping when her children were young and in school and how it is so hard to find balance in life now. She asked me if I worked and I told her I was a teacher. She smiled and said, “Oh, you’re one of the good ones.”
She went on to explain that when she was growing up in the Depression, her father told her and her siblings to always say a prayer for the good ones. The ones who care. By that, he meant Policemen, Firemen, Doctors, Teachers, and Scientists. (Wow, I’ve never been grouped with Scientists before – that’s a first). She told me that she had wanted to be a Third-grade teacher but during the Depression, only rich people could send their children to school. She wanted to know where I taught. Well, surprise – surprise….she grew up one street over from my school – now I know this because she told me the name of the street and it is right and that when she went to the school I teach in it was a Junior High – which it was for many moons.
I spent a wonderful 20 minutes or so talking to her about her life and her love of the grapes she was buying and I hope that when I’m 90, I can still be able to take a bus and go to the food store. And if anyone wonders why I teach…yes, I love kids…no I’m not going to be rich….but being called “One of the good ones” is now officially on my list.
**edited to add..she told me how also how when she had been in the store the day before, she saw there was a newspaper that said Robert Wagner had been arrested for the murder of his late wife Natalie Wood. I told her it was probably a lie. She got good and mad and told me how wrong they were for thinking he would have murdered his lovely wife and how in love they were.