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    Friendly Folk

    “What sunshine is to flowers, smiles are to humanity. These are but trifles, to be sure; but, scattered along life’s pathway, the good they do is inconceivable.”

    Joseph Addison

    I pulled into the parking lot of a fairly large and busy local drugstore.  I sat in my car for a minute to hear the end of a discussion about lime disease on the CBC, and saw an older gentleman getting out of his car across from me.  He caught my eye, smiled and pointed at me as though he knew me.  Bruce Springsteen does the same thing when he’s onstage.  I remember being at one of his concerts with my brother and he pointed in our general direction.  Of course my brother and I, (and possibly a dozen other fans,) felt as though he was making a connection with us.  It’s a good strategy.

    Back in the parking lot, I got out of my car and stepped into the sunshine.  The elderly gentleman threw his arms up in the air and looked skyward as he said to me, “Glorious!  On days like this, you feel glad to be above the ground instead of six feet under, pruning roots!  Isn’t that a good one?  Pruning roots?”  He started walking by my side as though we were pals who had met up for a coffee date.

    It felt comfortable though, I was happy to slow my pace down and accompany this fellow into the store.  He talked about how lovely Comox was.  “I just moved here, you know, from Penticton.”

    I learned that this man had been ill and his family told him to move to the Valley so that they could take care of him.  He spent a lot of his time taking care of his granddaughter, but he loved it.  As he was talking, my mind drifted briefly to thoughts of my grandfather, Ernie Munday, who was also the type of person who would make fast friends with strangers.  I used to love tagging along beside Grandpa to see how he could make people smile and laugh with his easy conversation.  He genuinely loved people.  He passed away more than twenty years ago, but I’m reminded of him often, and I was grateful to this man for sharing his friendly energy with me.

    As we neared the store, I opened the heavy door and motioned for him to go first, but he wouldn’t hear of it.  He was a true  gentleman.  It seemed natural to part ways once we were inside the store, so he wrapped up our conversation by asking, “You know what the best thing about living here is?”

    “What’s that?” I asked.

    “The people are so darn friendly!” and he gave me a little wink.


    3 comments to Friendly Folk

    • Jemaica Campsall

      Karen! This is my grandpa! What a lovely story, I had to laugh, I recognized him right away because there really isn’t anyone quite like him.
      I’ll catch up with you soon. Big hugs to you, Jemaica

    • Karen

      WOW Jemaica! What a gift to the world your grandfather is! I am so glad you wrote and told me. Thank you, (and thank him for me!)

    • Amanda

      I love that story. So funny that it is your grandpa Jemaica and you knew right away.

      He sounds like a movie character, you know the ones where Santa Claus in disguise, wandering among the normal folk, teaching them lessons, spreading his joy 😉

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