Recently, as I drove around a corner in my neighborhood, a man riding a bicycle came toward me. He had his German shepherd on a tight leash trotting alongside the bicycle. I waved and smiled and he smiled and waved back.
I chuckled all the way to my destination recalling these two. They brought back an identical memory from decades ago.
It happened along Mississippi River Boulevard, but the man then was driving a VW Bug — and the dog was a Great Dane that was almost as big as the car!
Unexpected “slice of life” experiences like these make the day sweeter. They happen suddenly, and then they’re done. A gesture or a joke can have the same effect.
A dream takes flight
Another one: A very dear friend — who used to be an airline pilot — took me to a wonderful viewing spot at the MSP airport, where one can watch aircraft taking off and landing.
Other people had gathered; some were taking photos. A young boy, about age 10, holding a toy airplane, was running around, making the plane dive low, then ascend. It almost brought my friend to tears. He remembered so well doing the same thing at that age, dreaming of his future career.
A rainy-day sight
I spied one of the three adorable little boy brothers who live on my street sitting in front of my house digging in the dirt with a tablespoon.
“Why?” I asked.
It had just rained. Angleworms were plentiful. He was looking to unearth some for fishing bait.
A secret signal
I still laugh thinking of my roommate, Geri, and her silent communication. Along with Joyce, we were three young single women sharing an apartment.
Each of us knew a great many bachelors. Some of them just showed up at our door, hoping to be asked in for a cup of coffee and conversation.
If one knew Geri, and she didn’t like him, she’d turn to me and cross her eyes. This was a signal for me to rescue her, tell her to hurry and dress as we were due to go someplace, so she could send him away!
I recall an unforgettable quip from my quick-witted nephew, Brad. Once, during my stewardess days, I’d just come to a family party after working a trip on a brand new Douglas DC-10.
Brad queried me about the airplane.
I replied that the one I’d just helped crew was going immediately in for repair because it had been fishtailing, or in aviation terms, yawing.
“Yaws, yaws, Auntie,” responded Brad, in his best Norwegian accent. “Isn’t dat vot you put da snus in betveen?”
The word of God
And, once, I discovered a beautiful scripture passage in a most unusual setting: Isaiah 55:12 is inscribed in large black letters on the interior walls of the Boynton Chapel, which is a replica of a 12th-century Norwegian stavkirke, located at Bjorklunden in Baileys Harbor on Wisconsin’s wooded and idyllic Door County peninsula:
“Ye shall go out with joy and be led forth with peace. The mountains and hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the fields shall clap their hands, for my presence will go with you.”
Carol Hall lives in Woodbury. She’s a longtime freelance writer, a University of Minnesota graduate and a former Northwest Airlines stewardess. Send comments and questions to [email protected].