The question went around the table, “What person would awe you the most if you were to meet them?” Furrowed brows and half smiles appeared then slowly the names, memories and stories came out.
“Kenny Rogers took my hands and looked right at me,” she said and began to laugh. The thrill of it still made her eyes light up.
“I met Arthur Ashe,” chimed in another. “He helped form our city kid tennis program.”
"I’d like to meet Angela Merkle,” said the person across from me. “I didn’t think I liked her until I read her life story.”
On it went with each of us touching on encounters with the famous or a voiced hope for that to happen. It took a good hour to get it all out, but at a rainy Memorial Day picnic it was a good way to pass the time and get to know these bits about each other’s lives.
A similar thing often happens at our family dinner table. Stuffed to the gills – actually I’m the only one with gills – and ready to talk, the car stories are unwrapped and thrown down. With four men chiming It’s a hoot to listen to all the ways a good car can go bad. Like . . .
Middle son had a Frankenstein green Toyota when he was a teen. Unless it was a Honda. Hmm. Anyway, it had wonky spark plugs that “popped” as he rode along. If you ran your eye along the edge of the hood, you could actually see the fiery little explosions. “No big deal, Mom” was the attitude. Then one day he offered to drive me to work. We were moving along at a good clip when suddenly there were puffs of smoke.
“Um,” I croaked, “does it do this all the time?”
No reply. We pulled into the parking lot and jerked to a stop at the front door. Son leaped out to lift Frankenstein’s hood. Billows spewed forth. “No big deal!” he cried from behind the death fumes. An alarmed co-worker ran for a fire extinguisher and it was all over in a few moments. Son grinned, said, “We’re good” and moseyed back on home while I tried to keep from having a stroke.
I swear, one of these days, I’m gonna write a car stories book titled, “And We’re All Still Alive!”
Whenever and wherever people gather and begin to share I can’t resist saying, ”Write it down!” Please. You may think no one wants to read your stories, but you’d be wrong. Life is story. I would give a small ransom to have my mother’s tales from her childhood in northern Minnesota resting somewhere other than in my failing daily memory. As a young girl I spent hours sitting on the edge of her bed listening to her "olden days" adventures. If only she’d written them down, I could wander back there whenever I chose.
All this is to say that your life has great potential for enriching other lives whether you think so or not. If you’ve come this far reading my words, why not grab a pen or sidle over to the keyboard and get it out? C’mon, you can do it. Someone, somewhere will sit on his or her own bed some day reading and loving what you’ve written. I promise.
Image: Free Digital Photos