Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: TRAVELER (01/28/16)
TITLE: Unique Folks
By Sharon Eastman
LEAVE COMMENT ON ARTICLE
SEND A PRIVATE COMMENT
ADD TO MY FAVORITES
I live in an aging suburb of the once great city of Detroit. My street is a neighborhood thoroughfare that winds around the rolling hills of beautiful Lola Valley Park. Especially in the most temperate seasons, I watch from my living room window or my expansive deck and wonder about these peculiar people who frequently travel on my street.
At mid-morning after children are settled in school, an interesting, solitary man would limp down our street. He used a cane to support his slim, tall body as he rambled. He’d keep his squinting eyes downcast upon the sidewalk; he seemed to be in a world of his own. And he was. Sporting a shabby green Army jacket, faded jeans, and a red wool scarf, he’d never gaze at the traffic or passer byes. We’d try to smile and gain his attention, but he’d never look our way. Often he seemed to be mumbling to himself.
We seriously wondered where this strange person was going. We soon learned from the gossip mills that he traveled to the neighborhood breakfast nook to drink coffee. He spoke to no one, and those who tried to converse with him were ignored. We sadly learned that he was a Viet Nam vet injured in this devastating war. He was a schizophrenic; the disease which caused his communication handicap. He’d leave his coffee change on the counter without a word. After his daily visit he’d saunter off down our street again to who-knows-where. No one knew his name or his story - just a unique home town character.
Another vivid soul who comes to mind is a man we nicknamed “Iffy.” He was a deaf mute, who always rode a bicycle down our street and the surrounding roads. He was a good spirited man with a pumpkin-like smile, a shock of dark hair and dancing brown eyes. He’d happily greet us with a groan that sounded like Black Tooth of Soupy Sales fame. Sometimes it startled the molasses out of me.
He was an enterprising character, who ran a used bicycle business from his home, his home around our block. These bicycles were always old and dingy, but he’d sell them and their parts to kids of all kinds. He also tried to run a small landscaping business. With a lawn mower and a rake, he was always busy. I heard Iffy passed away recently, and I will never forget him scouring the neighborhood on his bike.
Kim is my special friend. She’s seen daily and faithfully walking her mixed shepherd dog, Bentley, down our street. I have known her since she was five years old, and memories of her playing with my baby brother remain. There was always something unique about Kim. Sadly, we learned that she had been brain damaged by a childhood case of spinal meningitis. She had many limitations, but she was sweet as a Georgia peach and just as much fun as an amusement park ride.
I watched her grow over the years and was amazed at her development and capabilities. After her parents died she and her sister inherited the house. Kim keeps it spotlessly clean, cooks and bakes, and cares for Bentley as if he were her child. Although she can’t write a check, she can make a grocery list, keep it, and do all the groceries. I’m always happy to see her walking down our street. She, immaculately groomed, stops sometimes and chats endlessly. I love Kim. She is a true blessing to me.
Dear Lord, Thank you for making us in your image and so uniquely. We are wonderfully made (KJV Psalm 139). Thank you for these wonderful travelers, who give color to my life and uniqueness to my town. Bless them all, and someday bring their travels home to heaven with you.
The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.
Accept Jesus as Your Lord and Savior Right Now - CLICK HERE
JOIN US at FaithWriters for Free. Grow as a Writer and Spread the Gospel.