Friday, February 16, 2007

Hee Hee Hee Hee

It's a great day to get out and see the world, well at least the two miles of it that runs between my house and the grocery store. I had to buy tomatoes.

Driving through the maze of plowed up snow and weaving through normally wide streets that now have snow banks running straight down the center because...well, where else do you put the stuff...was a little like being on the set of Dr. Zhivago. But when I got out of the car and began the slow, shuffling walk to the store entrance, careful not to put a foot down on a spot of ice that wasn't covered over with mushy slush, I found myself next to Walter Huston, I swear.

Here was this shuffling old man who was doing the same don't-fall-on-your-ass walk. He looked over at me with a lovely summer grin and said, "Isn't winter fun?" I loved him immediately. Who knows how many winters this man has seen come and go, and who knows what other seasons he has endured, but he can look at this dirty situation and laugh, "Isn't it fun?" And then he chuckled with the Walter Huston laugh--that squeaky hee hee hee hee. I thought he would click his heels and do the Sierra Madres dance. If our terrain had been less treacherous, he just might have. As we got to the door, he shuffled a little faster, "better hurry up and get inside, hee hee hee hee." He veered off toward the cafe, and I veered off toward the tomatoes, but I would have liked to sit across the table with this Walter Huston, this man who laughs at winter storms, and listen to his stories. Yep, it's a good day to get outside and see the world.

11 comments:

dive said...

Much as I hate driving in snow, you really make me wish I were there, Robyn, racing past Walter Huston and slipping over flat on my ass!
I've never seen anyone so happy about buying tomatoes. Is this some kind of weird fetish you're not telling us about?

If the weather were not so bad, you might find Sassy and me gatecrashing your yummy party tonight to steal all your food.

RICH said...

A scene from a movie is what comes to mind when reading this. I think with age we develop a bigger sense of humor at such things as Winter.

BTW Howz ya tomtata's?

Gaijin Girl said...

I'd never seen the snow until I lived in Scotland that first year. Your words reminded me of that time.
I was trudging about in Granny's boots, slipping on the ice and gawking in amazement at the glittery spectacle before me.

I love the way the snow hushes your footsteps, as though you're interrupting a long lost tradition of silence.
But then you start slip'n'slidin'...

Sassy Sundry said...

Oh, I love him too! What a great old man!

Dear Prudence said...

Robyn, I worked for several years as a Nurses Aide in an old person’s home. They hold a very dear place in my heart. If only everyone would stop and take the time to listen the world would be a better place. I have met many Walters and loved them all. One in particular comes to mind, his name was Fred and he had Alzheimers but at that point still had a sense of humor on his good days. He and I used to dance and skip down the hallways like he did with his wife when they were dating. He had a great laugh and beautiful smile.

GG great illiteration "I love the way the snow hushes your footsteps, as though you're interrupting a long lost tradition of silence."

Dear Prudence said...

P.s. Best catering mojo to you tonight! We want pictures of the spread, don't forget!

Robyn said...

Dive, if only there were food left to share. The dishes are washed, the trash is out, and not a crumb left to offer. Next time I'll plan for extra guests.

Rich, maybe that's it. With age you realize a little crappy weather isn't worth the effort of being disgusted.

Gaijin Girl, I think a really good amount of snow does absorb sound. After a really good snow--several inches on the ground at least--I love standing outside at night and listening. All you can hear is the wind and the snow underneath your gollashes (if only I had gollashes).

Sassy, he was quite a character, and that distinctive laugh was such a trademark.

Prudence, I have spent some time in nursing homes because of my father and father-in-law--they are treasure troves of experience and wisdom. I admire you for working in a home--it's not always an easy assignment.

dive said...

Rats! Now I'll have to go raid the fridge.

adair said...

I don't really think it is limited to just being in a small town, although it has dawned on me that I have now lived more of my life in our little Small Town than anywhere else in the world -- stop tangent full stop. What I do think is that it is a generational thing.

Somehow our elders figured out that it was okay to acknowledge a shared experience with another and are fearless to do so. Maybe, having lived for so long, they are no longer afraid of their humanity... or their voice... or even winter.

So hooray for them, and your Walter Huston look-a-like, and for you. A great moment to make a grand day.

Gina said...

How lovely! I adore running into people I don't know that put a smile on my face. Well, I guess, who doesn't!

dive said...

ADAIR!
Welcome back!
We've missed you.
Do crank up the old blog again and let us know what you've been up to.