May 23, 2017
Sitting alone at a table in the VFW canteen having a glass of wine
waiting for the others to arrive for the meeting I observe the ladies &
gents at the bar. They all seem to know each other and several
conversations are going on at once but they are all keeping up with
each others conversations. I listen in hoping I can pick up on
a topic to write about in one of my stories. No names just a topic
as I'm always keeping my ear open for a new subject.
I notice an older man, that could be perhaps into his nineties, observing
me from a table off on the right. There is always someone looking at
me so I think nothing of his stares. Often people will think me
aloof or shy because I seem to not notice them. Now this is not true
at all because observing people while staying quiet is like a sponge
to a puddle of water on a kitchen counter. You see, you listen quietly
then you soak it all in to your memory banks of your brain.
Zoe comes out to the canteen and announces the meeting has begun
and will the members please come in so we can get started. As I
push in my chair I see the gentleman tip his hat to me so I flash him
a smile and tip my head. Another man, perhaps in his early fifties,
has joined him at the table. He turns and looks but I continue on
to the meeting. About two hours later Zoe helps me bring boxes
out to my car and we fill up the trunk with supplies for me to
work on for a bazaar project. thanking her I continue on to my
home. Since the small paint jars are new I leave the supplies in the
trunk until morning. Over the next two weeks I have designed and painted
thirty small items for the bazaar. I was pleased as they had only asked for
twenty finished items but being thrifty I made up ten more with the scraps
that were left over. It is amazing how you can embellish an old picture
frame to look brand new by adding bits and pieces to the worn places with
a little bit of glue. As I approach the door of the VFW I look inside to see
if there are any free helping hands to carry in my many boxes for the
upcoming bazaar. No ladies are around but a man comes out to help.
we introduce ourselves and he said he would help me carry in the boxes.
I do not know him but he looks familiar to me from somewhere.
Jake is tending bar and tells me the ladies all went off to a fast food place
for lunch and if I came in to leave the boxes and join them if I wished.
Laughingly I tell Jake they know I'd not eat lunch at a fast foods diner
because I'd rather have real food at home. there were a few chuckles in
the canteen at my comment . I turned to thank the man for helping me and
there he was sitting at the same table with the older gentleman who had
tipped his hat to me two weeks ago. Approaching the table I said thank you
again and he said may I introduce you to my grandfather Frank. I said hello
to Frank and after a little chit chat about what I had in the boxes for the
bazaar I left and continued home.
I was unable to attend the bazaar as I had an airline reservation to fly off to
Hawaii to a family reunion. I disliked flying but you can't drive a car to
Hawaii and the reunion would be over by the time I got to the reunion.
Planes make me nervous so I sip a lot of water and try to get immersed
in a good book to pass the time quickly. Of course Mother Nature kicks in
with all that water so I travel to the bathroom a few times on the plane.
As I walk down the aisle a food cart is serving in first class. The cart
is large and bulky and the curtain is slightly open so I look to see what
they are serving first class instead of those peanuts that I have given away.
Instead of the food I see Frank and his grandson.
©Julia A Knaake