“May I share your table with you” I asked the woman sitting by herself at a four top in the crowded coffee shop early this morning. She was wearing very plain clothing, a neutral toned cardigan and a small white cap around her bunned hair. I presumed she was a Colonial employee having a cup of joe before her day began. “Please do” she kindly responded.
Thirty minutes later and I was blessed to have made this friend. Although we never exchanged names, we had a great time together. She is from South Haven, Michigan and I am from the Detroit area. We had that in common. She works a farmers’ market for a friend twice a week; I used to manage a market. The markets she goes to are in the Chicago area. I used to live in Chicago.
We discussed working and retirement, husbands and holidays. By the end of our half hour we had talked about some of her 10 children and all 4 of mine (both of our youngest are 14 years old). We laughed about the challenges of certain ages; we smirked at the truth that “there’s one in every family”; we bonded over what it was truly like to be a grandparent.
I found out that she was in Williamsburg with her husband, for whom she had purchased space in a woodcrafter’s conference for him for Christmas. She even added on a stay in one of the colonial houses. It was a very special trip for just the two of them. Turns out she’s Mennonite and not in costume.
I love chance encounters. What a wonderful way to start the day.