Jody had a hankering for Chinese food yesterday and one of our PSWs recommended a restaurant in London. So off I went to gather in some breaded shrimp, Oriental noodles, chicken fried rice and lemon chicken. Other than my bike rides every second day, I don’t leave our home very often, usually just to get groceries and meds and then scurry back. I used to like writing about my adventures out in the world that day, but it hasn’t happened much lately.
After I gave my order to a most delightful hostess, I plopped down in a chair, and saw that I had company in the takeout department. Near me sat a woman in her 50s, deeply tanned and sporting an exotic hairstyle – lots of curls here and there. In the other direction, a grandma and her perhaps six-year-old grandson faced each other across a small glass-topped table.
“What should we do while we wait, grandma?”
“Let’s play hockey.”
With that, the woman pulled a quarter out of her purse and instructed the young man about the rules of the game. Finger on the coin at the near edge of the table. Brush it forward towards the far side, where the other person is waiting, holding two fingers up as goalposts. Either you score or you don’t. Then it’s the other person’s turn. The woman suggested that the boy be Canada and she’d be the USA. The fellow heartily agreed.
So back and forth they went. Lots of cheers and groans. And I didn’t have to pay for a front row seat! At one point, grandson said, “Isn’t it time for the Zamboni to clean the ice?” (For those of you unfamiliar with hockey games, the Zamboni is a vehicle that melts the surface of the ice, making it smooth for the next period’s play.) Grandma sighed, and told the boy that unfortunately the restaurant didn’t come equipped with a Zamboni. “Let’s keep playing.” And they did … until a brown paper bag and a smiling hostess appeared in front of them. Game over.
As they headed towards the door, I asked grandma what the final score was. She smiled with her whole body and said “5-2 Canada”. Well done, young man.
Basking in the glow of this lovely encounter with professional athletes, I said hello to the woman with the tan. She smiled back and mentioned the sunny fall weather we were having. I agreed. She talked about the tough winter we’d had. My response? “I like weather.” Seeing an opportunity for storytelling, I told my new friend about the time I’d spent Christmas in Honolulu, and how seeing wizened little Christmas trees, and Santa in shorts, just seemed … wrong. I had asked one Hawaiian gentleman what the weather was like in March or August, and he had replied, “Oh, about the same”. And that had made me sad, leaving me longing for snow, blasting winds and tingling fingers (but not quite freezing rain).
The lady asked me about Hawaii, what I enjoyed about it. “Waikiki Beach was cool, although it was very crowded. The best, though, was Hanauma Bay, where I walked knee deep into the water and found myself surrounded by all sorts of colourful fish.”
And then … another bag. Another moment with the gracious hostess. It was my turn. Story over. My weather companion and I smiled at each other and said goodbye. Truly, a good time.