finding a more authentic, playful life --- finding your story

Saturday, January 16, 2016

January 15, 2016


I went out to Berwyn, IL. It was a looong train ride which involved construction, slow trains, missed connections and going the wrong way. Rough commute. I was on my way out to hang some Iraqi refugee art. Which I did.

Looking at the art again made me happy, making up for the commute, reminding me of things I want to remember. I haven't seen the art up on walls in a while. It's so beautiful. I really hope we can sell some/most/all of it for the artists. But even just seeing it all up again was special. I started to breathe a little easier.

After getting back to my neighborhood later in the afternoon, I noticed three new places I had never noticed or been into: A fru fru upscale shop, a small town divey diner and a really cute hip bar. I love that there are secret places that I didn't know where there! I thought I knew everything in my neighborhood! I started to breathe more deeply.

As I left the shop I crossed paths with a little old lady. Literally. She stopped with a huff dropping her heavy grocery bags almost in front of me. I asked if she was all right. She said yes and so I went off in the opposite direction. But then I paused. I got a nudge and so looked back at her. She probably could use some help, I thought. Indeed she could.

"Thanks kid!" she said when I offered my assistance.

"No problem," I returned.

Kid. (If only she knew I was recently diagnosed with "50's shoulder" 50's!!!)

"Are you going out of your way?"

"No, it's ok I live close."

"Thank you so much, kid. But I think you're going out of your way."

"It's ok. I don't mind." I smiled at her.

At the corner of 7-11 and her apartment building, she was digging in her purse. I hoped she wasn't looking for money, but I didn't know what to say. I didn't want to assume, so I waited, her bags in my hand. Finally she brought out a bank envelope stuffed with money.

"Nooooooooo! I don't want any money."

"Come on kid! Take a dollar!"

"No no no no no no. Thank you, but no. Just glad to help!"

Back and forth we went a few more rounds, me trying to back off graciously, her trying to hand me a dollar.

"Please I really don't want any money..."

"Buy a lottery ticket with it here at 7-11, then. Will you do that? Please kid. You might get lucky. Well, not as lucky as if you bought it last night. But come on! Will you take it? Buy a lottery ticket with it, will ya?"

Never one to ignore fate or upset a senior citizen, I relented. I would take the dollar and I would buy a lottery ticket at her 7-11 and if I won big, we would split the earnings (She refused to agree to that last part, stubborn old broad.)

And so Patricia and I parted ways. Her with her bags. Me with her dollar, my breath stifled in anticipation of my possible destiny.

So into the 7-11 I went to buy the lottery ticket.

Big loser. Nada. Zip.

But still somehow I felt like I had won. Cliche. But true. I won this day.

Life goes by fast. Soon you might have 50's shoulder. Take what you can. Give what you can. And enjoy the ride.


  1. Soon you might have 50's shoulder LOLOL! I turned 50 over 15 years ago. Never heard the phrase "50's shoulder". I do know that every year certain things get harder (like walking up and down stairs, or standing in high heels to sing in a concert) On the other hand, certain things get easier (like singing a high C sharp, or singing anything for several hours at a clip without getting tired). I certainly have never gotten any help with my bags. Thank goodness all the grocery stores around here deliver (and then there's always Fresh Direct) I actually wrote a blog post (I just re-read it) about almost committing murder because a tsunami of young healthy people (women in their 30s in high heels are the worst) pushing ahead of myself and my SO (both with canes because there was still some snow on the ground) to get a cab.

  2. 50's shoulder? Does your shoulder crave sock hops, drive in movie theaters, hot rods, poodle skirts, and have the urge to dance to Rock Around The Clock?

    Wonderful post, kid.

    1. ha! yes to all. It's also singing a lahhhhht of Elvis. (early Elvis)