Archive for ‘Observations’

Book Lover

A couple weeks ago, I popped into Goodwill on my way home from work. I’ve been a thrifter for decades, those stores can be a big help for a woman with a tight budget.

As I wandered through the household section I passed a man who was clearly homeless. He had that disheveled appearance; thin with long, uncombed hair, soiled and ragged clothes, and worn out shoes. His only possession? A blanket tossed over his shoulder.

I didn’t pay much more attention to him until we both hit the checkout lines at the same time. I finished signing my credit card receipt and looked over to see the cashier ringing up his purchase.

What I saw took me by surprise, he wasn’t buying shoes or the clothes that he desperately needed. No, instead he was buying two hard cover books. Of all things. He didn’t even have a backpack to carry them in.

That hit me hard, so I tapped the cashier on the shoulder (yes, violating social distancing, I know) and handed her my card. I told him to keep the money that he had crumpled in his hand.

I didn’t want to embarrass him or make him uncomfortable and I doubt I’ll ever see him again, but I really would’ve liked to have known his story. Because there’s definitely a story there…

Sunset, Treasure Island, Florida March 2021

Fresh Fruit

On my return trips from the beach I like to stroll through a quiet, bayside neighborhood. Growing near the curb at one of the homes is this lovely banana tree.

Since the house is currently vacant, and I am loathe to see things go to waste, I often pluck myself a ripe berry from the bunch. No, that was not a typo, I called a banana a berry. Though we tend to not eat the thick (though pliable) skin, it is edible. Coupled with the fact that the small seeds are nestled inside the flesh it qualifies as a berry, botanically speaking.

The flesh of this banana variety is creamy with a mellow vanilla flavor. I always take the peel home for proper disposal, mindful of an incident from my father’s side of the family.

My aunt had a newspaper clipping in her scrapbook printed by a small town Illinois paper over 80 years ago. A scant three lines long, the article lamented the death of man (their great uncle, if I recall correctly) who met his demise by slipping on a banana peel.

With so few details I cannot verify the veracity of this story but a part of me wants it to be true. What a unique way to go…