Thursday, May 12, 2005

The Lilac Lady

Yesterday was another beautiful May day. If man ever is audacious enough to control the weather I vote for half the year of May days and half the year of October days – except for one day of snow – Christmas Eve.

I had to drive to Bloomsburg for a meeting with the pharmacy. Bloomsburg is about 2 hours from home (minus 30 miles – see previous post on mileage changes) and the meeting was at 9 AM – which means I got an early start. I drive Rt 33 to Interstate 80 and then west. I have some routines that I do when I drive to our facilities. For example, I know where clean restrooms are all over Pennsylvania – a necessity for an older woman on diuretics.

My usual stop along 80 on the way to Orangeville or Millville is the Pilot Truck Stop about 10 miles east of Bloomsburg. I answer nature’s call and usually grab a coffee or a bottle of water. Yesterday was no exception. As I took my water and gum up to the counter, I noticed a new cashier – a woman probably in her early forties, plainly attractive (not an oxymoron – an attractive woman without geegaws, as Pop used to say). She was a gentle looking woman – not the usual hard, biker-chick type that waits on people at truckstops – in other words, no mullet and no tattoo.

On the counter was a small vase of lilacs – my very favorite flower but not usuall seen at truckstops. Since Mark and I are no longer a couple, my yearly supply of the fragrant flower has dried up. I have no lilac bush near me and I’m afraid to steal blooms from just any old bush that looks to be abandoned – I could be charge with vandalism. And, because of their short season, you almost never find them in a flower shop. I miss the lilacs almost as much as I miss Mark. Maybe more.

So, of course, chatty Mitzi, liking the lady’s looks, had to mention the flowers. I asked if they were hers. She brightened and said yes, that she had brought them in. I told her they were my favorite flowers and this stranger, this gentle looking woman said, “I’ll bring a bouquet in for you tomorrow.”

Now here I was, a stranger to her, just someone off the interstate, and she was going to bring in flowers for me.

Reluctantly I explained that I was just “driving through” and that “tomorrow” would find more than 100 miles south of her.

But all day long I thought of her kind offer – the purity of it – the great generosity of a simple gift that would have made a stranger so happy.

I do hope I get to see her again – on my next trip to Orangeville or Millville. I want to tell her that her gesture made me smile and gave me a good feeling all day.

Lilacs, even with their short season, return every year to soften our hearts. Like simple gifts – even to strangers.


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