Wednesday, January 29, 2014

A Tale of Two Old Biddies

"Old Biddies", I proclaimed as I wheeled my shopping cart through the throngs of old ladies that had busted out of the nursing home that morning and proclaimed SANCTUARY in the nearby Walmart. They walked, or rather, shuffled at the speed of nothing - and nothing doesn't travel very fast. Their waffling between the $.95 baking powder versus the $1.10 baking powder was a whopping $ .15 difference but somehow, regardless of pension, Medicare, Social Security and the like, that  $ .15 was going to make or break them. I jabbed my hand between Blue-Hair and Perm-Gone-Wild and grabbed the first can of BP my hand could light upon. In slow motion, Blue-Hair turns, shuffles to the left and pats my shoulder.

 "I"m sorry, dear. Us old folks sure get in the way, don't we?"

I looked into her rheumy blue eyes and my heart dropped to the glossy hard floor with the impact of nuclear bomb that just wasted away innocents. I was Stalin to her Mother Theresa.

My hand slowed and I withdrew from the baking powder like setting down my weapon of war and I smiled to the best of my ability.

"Oh, no worries," I replied with guilt lacing my voice, "You're not in my way."

And suddenly, they weren't. They were treasure troves. They were me aged fifty years. Blue-Hair's eyes twinkled with the sense of humor that probably matched mine but was tempered by time and a failing mind. Perm-Gone-Wild was so lost in her little world she never did notice me, but I wondered what memories and stories she could tell.

In my haste, I had forgotten the world doesn't need to move at the speed of light times twenty. In my haste, I saw a picture of myself in many years to come and realized that BP didn't matter, but fifteen cents did. Fifteen cents made me pause, breathe, relax, contemplate, and shuffle at the speed of nothing.

Enjoy the speed of nothing today.


Jaime Wright - 

Spirited and gritty turn-of-the-century romance stained with suspense. Youth leader. Professional Coffee Drinker. Works in HR and specializes in sarcasm :) - Represented by: Books & Such Literary Agency

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  1. I love watching the elderly. Judy and I were at a ladies conference a couple of weeks ago and we were watching this absolutely adorable older lady. We just sat there and discuss how we bet she had a great personality and would have great stories to tell. It was so much fun to just watch her! I hope I'm a cute fun old lady!

  2. My mother turned 79 yesterday and I realized that I'm just a hop, skip, and a jump from that myself. She increasingly needs my help and support even though she insists on still living by herself. I get frustrated sometimes but only hope if The Lord doesn't come first, that my own daughter will have the same patience with me as I get older.

  3. Amen. I love these little nuggets of time that stop us in our tracks to realize we need to smell the roses.

  4. This brought a tear to my eye, Jaime - probably because I see some of myself in these two little ladies! I'm so glad they gave you pause, God puts these little reminders (to stop and smell the roses, as Susan mentioned) in our path, and it's important to continue bringing their picture to mind from time- to- time.

    Time passes quickly - as a busy young woman, with young children to raise, a job, church responsibilities, and too many "irons in the fire", it can be easy to forget to enjoy/appreciate the small things in life. I know - because I was in that situation years ago. (That being said, I frequently see you enjoying, and appreciating, the "smelling of the roses" - in your blog and Facebook comments, and they will be some of your most treasured memories in later years).

    Too bad some things are only learned through experience, and some of us are slow learners (as was I). Much can be learned from the elderly if we take the time to observe and listen.


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