Sunday, August 12, 2012

Tonight on the Beach.



Hello, I say to the tiny woman wandering the beach in front of my house, a large bag slung over her shoulder. An older man and a younger man stand off from her, as if biding time. Her son, home from Moncton and his companion, she later tells me.

Well, hello my darling, she responds, she reminds me of a little robin redbreast, the kind that bounces over the lawn looking for worms. Her face is tan, her eyes bright as blueberries.

We exchange bits of information.

She's out collecting “mermaid's tears” - known as beach glass to the rest of us. Hence the bag. She makes birdhouses covered in beach glass.

All kinds all colours, her garden is fair full of them, she tells me.

My husband died fifteen years ago, she says, and he's been doin' all the sleeping for the rest of us. None of us have time for sleep. Life is too rich, too wonderful, too much to see and do. I've no time for that television business, no time at all.

Me too! I exclaim, it's been over twenty years now without television for me!

Life is out on these beaches, isn't it, she picks up a rock, I wouldn't trade my life for anyone else's if it took me away from any one of those stones you see here. I just love this place. She says it with such fervour, I laugh outright.

She has five children, she says, but really six as she raised a grandson when her daughter got “caught” when she was sixteen.

And my dear, isn't he the best of them all. He's a doctor with a practice up in Cornerbrook, and you'd never know it but he's saved my life three times now. She clutches her chest, bit of a bad ticker and he's a heart specialist. A wonderful boy.

I'm seventy-five and my friends are telling me to move into a home! Imagine that! I might as well hang up me boots and lie down and play dead if that happens and she points to the stout rubber boots on her tiny feet. Her beach boots.

I show her my house across from us.

Oh my darling, that's a house I love, every time we drive by I want to just sit up on that porch and look at the water and the loveliness of it all. Oh my dear, I've always loved that house!

We watch the sunset in silence together.

Well Marge, I say as Ansa and I move off, next time you pass, you'll just have to come for a play date. Please visit!

Yes, my dear, you can count on that!

30 comments:

  1. Some people walk round with their minds shut watertight and miss wonderful conversations like that. Enjoy the play date with Marge!

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  2. A nice vignette. Chance encounters can highlight the bedrock of our humanity, once we clear away the detritus we ourselves have created.

    Also: Enjoyed the preceding story. Might be worth a novella.

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  3. What a wonderful encounter, and I love how you told it. Never mind interactive television.

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  4. All those well-meaning friends urging her to go into a home! Good for her, taking absolutely no notice. We should all keep our independence as long as we possibly can and resist being tidied away somewhere.

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  5. I love that term "mermaid's tears", hadn't come across it before. Himself and I, during the year or so he spent in East Yorkshire with me, used to walk the beaches near my home and collect sea glass. I brough a big box full of it to the USA. It's waiting to be used for some artwork Himself still promises to do.
    ;-)

    Lovely lady, that Marge! I hope she visits, then we'll hear more of her.

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  6. I would love to come by your house and sit on your porch and have you come out and tell me a story.

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  7. Awwww!! Thanks for the lovely story, my dear, my darling! I hope she does come over for a playdate!

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  8. "Her son, home from Moncton and his companion, she later tells me."

    Ah sure I do, I do.

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  9. GM:
    I keep thinking about her today and her playfulness of spirit, something most elders lack, I'm afraid!
    XO
    WWW

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  10. Marc:

    Thank you for your input on Mr. G. a novella, yes, I can see that.

    And we all need to be open to new experiences!

    XO
    WWW

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  11. Stan:

    Interactive teevee?? Are at the Fahrenheit 451 already?

    XO
    WWW

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  12. T:

    Oh I do hope he gets around to it, would love to see it, there's nothing like it, all that rubbed sea glass...
    XO
    WWW

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  13. Friko:

    We could exchange many stories, I am sure!

    XO
    WWW

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  14. Verna:

    My duckie, you'd be welcome too!!

    XO
    WWW

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  15. Orla:

    The fun part of this was that she was, at one point, endeavouring to fix me up with said son who looked about late forty-ish.

    "He's been looking a long time for a woman like you."

    Ah sure he is.

    XO
    WWW

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  16. Serendipitous meetings of mind and heart are the best. I'm (at 70) thinking..."Move into a home? NOT!

    I hope she comes to visit.

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  17. Hi Mother and welcome!

    I'm not too far off that mark myself and feel far from rolling myself sideways into a 'home'.

    Me too!

    XO
    WWW

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  18. Didn't Picasso say something along the lines - it takes a long time to grow young? :)
    What I wouldn't do to be collecting mermaid's tears (thats a lovely name for them!) on the beach one orange evening!

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  19. Welcome Argita:
    Yes, he did, we have toss off all the baggage first!
    I gather you are far from a beach?
    Collect something else, perhaps?
    XO
    WWW

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  20. Started a comment
    and lost it
    hopefully it does not show up.
    Loved this post
    such a delightful story.
    Television, did not want one in
    this cottage - but a small one for grandchildren to use their tapes on visits.
    mermaid tears - never heard this expression before. my little girls
    collect river glass in my long gravel drive.
    no home for me - I will stay in the
    woods and become wrinkled and peaceful.
    envy you by the ocean
    what a view....

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  21. OWJ
    As long as we're near water, we have it made and sans teevee makes it even better!!
    XO
    WWW

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  22. CC12:
    She brightened my whole week, I am with myself and the familiars too much at times, I need to branch out and embrace the new!
    XO
    WWW

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  23. Aren't these encounters the best! And you write so well about them that I feel I'm sharing your experience.

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  24. Why thank you Hattie, it is such a pleasure to take my readers with me!

    XO
    WWW

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  25. Delightful tale! If she comes to visit, hope she'll have some stories for you to share here.

    I'm in the midst of experimenting with life without TV, but then I grew up without TV. So far, I'm really enjoying it and haven't missed news of anything important that's happening in the world from other media sources.

    So far, this elderblogger is also living in place in my home -- unfortunately, not on the beach or in the woods -- but quite satisfactory in many other ways.

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  26. Joared:
    Oh do persist, you will be amazed at how opened up life becomes, no more the slave to *mainly* drivel.

    I buy DVD sets of good series and enjoy them at my own leisure with a bit of knitting.

    XO
    WWW

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