by Tod Christensen
I hopped into my pickup and the drive started out just like any other,
Springsteen was coming out of my speakers singing about his Blood Brothers.
I rolled out onto the highway and started driving toward town
no particular destination I just felt like driving around.
I passed a gentleman in another truck which had a vanity plate,
on it was a purple heart and one word Danang for anyone who could relate.
His black MIA cap matched his salt and pepper beard
I wondered what his eyes had seen while in my mirror he slowly disappeared.
I cruised down into town with the sun shining bright
slowly rolling to a stop as I came to the very first light.
I glanced to my right toward the Safeway parking lot
and saw Mrs. Johnson’s Mini Cooper pulling out of her spot.
She was in her 70s but still very attractive,
she had a fighter’s attitude and she and her friends were all very active.
A cancer survivor two times over was what you couldn’t see,
if God wants me home she would smile then he’s going to have to catch me.
A little farther down the road I passed my favorite diner,
maybe there’s better food out there but in our town nothing could be finer.
Getting out of their car were Jake and Sara with their three little kids
I smiled to myself they better slow down or their going to need a bigger rig.
At the next corner I saw Bobby in his letter jacket flirting with his girl
she was laughing at whatever was said with a finger in her hair that she started to twirl.
Bobby was hot stuff fresh off his player of the week last Friday night,
it was nice to see him laughing so easy since I always thought he was wound up a little tight.
Walking down the sidewalk was Miss Roberts with her service dog Thor
although for the life of us we could never figure out what his service was for.
But that’s all right, everyone needs a companion so nobody ever gave her any grief
and maybe she just needed some kindness and love and just a little bit of relief.
I honked at Don sweeping off some leaves in front of his Tire Store
he always smiled when he saw you even if you didn’t buy all four.
He had some tough times a few years ago and nearly lost everything
but everyone rallied around him because small towns usually do that very thing.
That’s when it hit me that if you pay attention everyone has a story,
they aren’t all like the old legends full of tales of adventure and glory.
Most are just everyday stories but interesting none the less
everyone has their share of heartache and struggle as well as happiness and success.
So I started driving a little slower then
and I would pass by other stories and I would remember when
We had another time when laughter seemed easier and there wasn’t as much worry
but maybe that time still exists if we just slow down and stopped thinking we have to hurry.
Maybe instead of time being money, maybe the real money is time.
Maybe the stories we really need are the ones we don’t even have to look for to find.
So I smiled as I listened to the local station tell us all about next week’s forecast
I smiled as I watched more stories pass by me through the lens of my windshield glass.