Thinks on Things

A gathering of ponderings…

The Slushman Cometh

This month has been extremely stressful in all areas of my life; hence, no recent posts.

I have been working a lot recently and had several opportunities to interact with some of the older folk on my mail route. One day I was delivering after a particularly heavy snowfall had begun to melt in Minnesota’s shifting weather. Roads were insufficiently plowed from the beginning so there was only enough room for vehicles to drive through. (Mailboxes were not cleared well either…) As I was nearing the end of my route I realized I had extra time so I stopped to chat with an older man who lived in the area. He was out walking and enjoying the change in weather which was now in the 40’s.

What was odd however, was his choice in walking sticks. Upon closer review I concluded that he was indeed carrying a very long ice-chisel. I decided not to ask. Instead, we made small talk about the weather, people’s crazy driving habits, and gossiped about his neighbors. It was a good conversation and I found myself more comfortable talking with him than my first chats with older folk. We seemed to be at ease in each other’s company. Me leaning out my window, him resting on his “walking stick”.

After I decided that I should leave and finish my route we said good-bye. As I drove away I began to realize the reasoning for his unique choice in walking sticks. This man had been clearing paths in the gutter lanes of the road so that the melting runoff could pass easily and not flood the road causing freeze-ups! I almost laughed at the idea and then realized that this old man was really a boy at heart. Playing outside, making rivers, helping without really helping, just plain having fun.

Then I had a vision of the future and I could clearly see my dad (and possibly me) doing the exact same thing… And it was good.

March 23, 2007 Posted by | All My Thinks | 2 Comments

Stick With A Story

Updating the previous post on my elderly mission:

While helping another friend change a tire I made small talk with a woman who was passing by. I complimented her with her unique cane. She proceeded to tell me the history behind it; how she and her husband used to live in the northern woods, how there were these bushes around their property called Black Diamond Willow, how her husband had crafted her a cane made of their shrubs, how she had left it behind at her appointment and had returned to pick it up again.

Honestly, it wasn’t really that interesting of a story. I was more intriqued at how the wood itself was actually the result of a willow being attacked by fungus, creating the deep grooves that make the ordinary stick so beautiful. But as I continues to listen to her and reflect on it afterwards, it became clear to me that she was not merely talking about her cane. The cane was just a prop (pardon the pun). It was the conduit for the main focus of her interest and love. Yeah, she liked her cane, but she loved her husband and I believe she would have talked all day about him if I had only noticed it.

All in all, it was a simple conversation that lasted only a few minutes before she went on her way. If I had been attentive however, it could have been a better connection with the woman herself and the love of her life rather than just two strangers talking about a stick.

March 6, 2007 Posted by | All My Thinks | Leave a comment