Our company will be leaving today. It was a nice visit. He went to class with me, and then we stopped for lunch on the way home. Even though we do not see each other regularly, there is a comfortableness between us, and we can sit and talk for...well...just about forever, I imagine. We've never run out of words yet.
I had to work last night. An elderly couple came in the store. When I'm cashiering, I have to remain within view of my register, but he came walking up and said, "Where would I find your nuts and bolts and stuff like that?" I said, "Walk down this aisle right here, and you see that big banner at the end of that aisle coming off the left? The one that says 'hardware'?" I assured him that if he walked down that aisle, he'd find more nuts and bolts than he knew what to do with. And they laughed a little and headed off. I was puttering around, facing things, keeping a close eye on my register just in case it began to do tricks or something, and the couple headed back up front.
The man held up two large bags of washers and said, "Well, I got a washer or two..."
I said to his wife, "Do you suppose now he'll do laundry?" in an interested way.
She assured me that he would not.
I sighed and said, "Well, if my Tim ever did the laundry, I'd be thinking someone else was wearing his pants that day." And we laughed together.
After I was done at the store, I needed to head over to Walmart. Cara had come home the previous night, and then, after everyone had gone to bed, she'd gotten in her car and headed off the hill. She'd sat up late, talking with our visitor. He'd mentioned an old picture of the two of them, taken back when she was about three. They were walking away from my camera, hand and hand on the beach, his head inclined towards her as they talked. Their bond was there from the beginning, truly, because Cara had that particular picture in her room. So she'd sneaked out to the Walmart at well after midnight and she got that picture copied, got a card and a nice frame for it. I had to stop in and pick the picture up.
So I'd stood in line with my envelope and its sweet contents. I heard a jocular voice from the back of the line. (Why is it that every Walmart has 142 registers, but never have more than three open at any given time?) Anyways, that voice called out, "HEY! It's the lady from Tractor Supply!" I craned my neck, peering around the people between us. It was my new friends from the store. "Honestly," I said. "Apparently, you folks will shop just about ANYWHERE." And the line laughed. We exchanged a few retorts standing in line, having a good time calling back and forth and making general spectacles of ourselves while the line laughed with us. Finally, it was my turn, and I paid for my things. "Well, I suppose that there are some things you can't get at Tractor Supply, like food, maybe, so I'll overlook this little faux pas, but I expect to see you back at Tractor Supply." And they told me that our store was one of their favorites. I nodded and said, "Good..." I picked up my envelope and headed out. I stopped, and turned around to the cashier and said in a loud but confidential tone, "You need to watch those two back there. They were in MY line just a couple hours ago. They are trouble, plain and simple." And the line laughed once more, my new friends the loudest of all.
I came home with the picture Cara had made. It was such a sweet picture. One man stooping slightly to hold a little girl's hand as they walked along the beach. I remembered the Little Mermaid swimsuit very well. It didn't fit into the frame Cara had picked up but I had two matching frames, and I gave those to him. You see. that morning, I'd taken a picture of the two of them walking through the swirling snow to her car. She had to head back to college. They'd been walking away from my camera, holding hands, and talking still, his head inclined towards her. It was such a sweet picture, and the changed seasons made me want to cry.