Sunday, January 9, 2011

Home Country

The clerk at St Vincent de Paul's asked a birdlike old man to help me carry out the second hand end tables I found for Tessa's first apartment. He wheezed heavily. His pink nose and cheeks became scarlet from the effort and weight of his burden. I felt terrible they had him help me. I was perfectly capable of making two trips to the car.

He fussed about getting them to fit, then closed the door with a flourish. Taking his gloves off he peered up at me with a twinkle in his eyes. With much brevity, he asked me if I was a sugar gal or a sugarless gal. Laughing, I told him my mama always taught me never to take candy from strangers. He cackled as he unzipped his ancient fanny pack. It was stuffed with varied brands of single wrapped butterscotch candy. Possibly collected from gratuity bowls by cash registers?

He gallantly offered me three from the sugar gal side. The moment required a grave bow but I gave him a warm hug - one that lifted him clean off the ground. He wheezed rapturously.

Too bad it was so cold out. Our bundled condition kept me from seeing his feet. I'm sure they were hairy -  a misplaced hobbit sent to cross my path - freshening my weary day.

After fifty it is permissible to take candy from strangers. Do. 


Maureen said...

Early in the morning, and this makes me smile. Your description is a keeper.

Anonymous said...

funny...i felt that hug too. :-)

Joyceann Wycoff said...

Oooooh ... what a wonderful way to start 2011 ... with a hobbit encounter. I'm jealous.

Anonymous said...

He got the best end of the deal, your hugs are delightful.

A Simple Country Girl said...

I've been on the receiving end of one of your hugs miss Kathleen. They are sugar-coated sweet!

And your mom commented? That makes my day.


Sarah said...

I can't wait to be on the look out for candy! Beautiful and beloved writing.

Anonymous said...

I always think of you as a sugar gal, just so ya know.

Maybe he was an angel?

What a wonderful piece of writing.

S. Etole said...

I'm over fifty ... and on the watch for candy.