The favorite part of my day is opening emails from readers. I react to praise like a cat, I may actually purr. Sometimes readers share personal things with me, send me photos of their pets, tell me about their lives. I get to know some incredible people that way, people like Joan Conley in England. Her eyesight isn’t so great any more and she’s had to give up driving, but she sure hasn’t slowed down. She runs a Vegetarian Cookery Group in her kitchen, takes a writing class, writes delightful essays. This one made me smile so much I asked her if I could share it. It’s a peek into the mind of a delightful woman. (I think a Road Recovery vehicle is what we call a wrecker in the US.)
I have to tell a story
And I have to tell it well.
It restores my battered faith,
It makes my old heart swell.
I really needed some shopping: I grabbed my trolley and walked fifteen minutes to the bus stop. It was quite pleasant – downhill all the way. Onto the bus, say ten minutes in all. A whizz around the store, taking in a cup of coffee en-route. I’m afraid I was a little carried away and bought far too many items – the bag became very heavy. I struggled on and off the bus, and then for the long walk, this time all up hill. The trolley bag was very, very, heavy. A few minutes into the walk I found a bench onto which I sank to refresh myself. Just then along came a Road Recovery pick-up van.
“Are you OK love?” says a young and personable chap.
“I’m fine” I say, lying through my teeth.
“Where are you going?” says he.
“Up those two hills – I live at the top.”
He then left his van, picked up my trolley and ushered me into his pick up truck. (Could I hear my Mother saying that I was never to accept lifts from a stranger, but at almost eighty years old, what the heck!)
I think my neighbours were amazed to see me alight from a Recovery Vehicle, complete with crane at the back. They were equally amazed to see a young, handsome, muscle man lift my trolley as though it was a feather and deposit it outside my front door. Amidst my giggles, I reflected on the kindness of strangers. We had a hug and he was off!! I thought that the age of chivalry is not dead and it did me and my psyche a power of good.
Joan Conley – May 2010