The decades have been kind to her.

Four years older than me, she looks four years younger.

But once we were kids.

Enjoying long summer days, playing leapfrog in Grandma’s little gardens till the sun made us sleepy.

Then crossing the railroad tracks to the old library on Main Street, gathering books to read back in the shade of the maple.

While dipping stalks of rhubarb in sweet sugar filled Dixie cups.

Until our teeth hurt.

And also our stomachs.

Today we still both love to read.

And like bookstores now as well.

Preferring those by cafés, offering cool shade from a maple tree.

Where we can slowly nibble our sweet rhubarb pastries.

Later, playing games in a nearby garden.

Just like always

But now the gardens are bigger.

So perhaps we better switch over to lawn bowling.

Barnyard in a bookstore

Thinking I needed to step up on my ’50 by 60′ bucket list, the first thing I did today was trip over a chicken.

A live one.

The big bird was dancing on the carpet of a bookstore, right by the front door.

Just like your local Walmart greeter.

This special shop is designed for the very young.

And the young at heart.

I guess that would be me.

I’m stopping by each of the independent bookstores within an hour radius that I’ve never entered before.

And in this particular bookstore I found the chicken had plenty of company.

I spotted cats, a couple of cooing doves, hairless mice, ferrets, and one big litter of kids in overstuffed chairs.


There may have been even more critters, children’s books and kids downstairs.

But I was just too chicken to go there.

Amazingly the store was spotless except for the mud I tracked in from my pink flip flops.

I became very excited when I encountered several of my favorite authors’ books, and I pulled down an extra special one from the shelf.

The chicken greeter walked right up to me, also excited as the book’s about a farm with animals.

Even though this is one big city bird.

But I still thought we’d be fast friends, and he’d surely want to sit right up on my lap.

Maybe even have me tell him the story.

That is, until he saw my camera.

And then read me the riot act with a round of cantankerous clucking.

Turns out this foul mouth bird prefers little kids to big, aging chicks.

But when I looked over my shoulder while exiting, I believe I caught him reading.

And he seemed to be really be enjoying the book.

Along with a young boy.

I smiled, happy the chicken had a new friend.

Even if it wasn’t me.

“Dogs” for sale

It was a trying afternoon for Grandma Greta.

She may have even picked up some new gray hairs.

My chihuahua/dachshund mix was terrified as she read the new sign at the food stand in the park.

The little diva ran off towards the beach where I finally found her shaking and hiding under a pink Cinderella beach towel.

“What’s this business about selling chihuahuas?” she barked.

“And for only $7.00! What’s up with that!!!”

I attempted to explain.


“What? You NOW mean to tell me those people in line are going to eat the chihuahuas and the pups?”

I caught her right before she took off again to hide in the nearby sandcastle.

I realized I definitely needed some help.

I carried her over to the friendly food stand owner who did a better job explaining just what they were selling than I did.

He then gave her tomatillos.

And a vanilla ice cream cone.

Greta was all smiles once again.

She’s snoring away right now, tired from her big day.

I doubt they’ll be nightmares this night.

But maybe sweet dreams.

Probably of more ice cream.


I look down as I shuffle the gray sidewalks this morning.

Yet I still almost miss what’s before me.

It’s a small, older woman.

Cozy in a fetal position, sleeping soundly below a yellow blanket.

Her love seat, one chipped wooden door frame of a small charity near my office building.

I consider leaving something to nourish the woman’s thin frame.

Maybe the sandwich I packed for lunch.

But I see one already next to her, looking fresher and a lot bigger than mine.

Along with a carton of milk.

I smile.

Some one else is looking after her, too.

Ten hours later I return to the city streets from my office.

This time I look up.

My friend is no where to be found.

Keeping my head held high, I continue walking for blocks.

Finally stopping and finding peace this night in a place of great beauty.

I soon spot rays of light, streaming from above like shooting stars.

“What a gift,” I whisper to myself.

I think back to the older woman I saw this morning.

Wishing she, too, finds peace looking up at her own shooting stars of hope.

Sweet nourishment for the soul.

Wherever she may be.