Meeting some inspiring people on my mid life adventure…
His name was Herman. I saw him on occasion at Watson Trail Park that we frequent from time to time.
Herman drove a green Kawasaki when cleaning up the grounds and did it with pride.
This park employee could be seen lending a hand with the visitors doing it gently and heartfelt.
As I walked past his truck I noticed a weathered, black elongated lunchbox sitting on the front seat among other work items he kept nearby.
It was something I haven’t seen in years! It brought me back to my childhood memories, seeing my dad going to work with this lunchbox in tow. It was before the insulated totes and the coffee lattes we required in our daily lives today. A slower life when we took the time to make a bologna sandwich and put our coffee in a thermos.
I can still envision my dad putting on his weathered, work bib overalls over his suntan pants, plaid flannel shirt and well-used work boots, getting prepared for a full day’s work. His pockets overflowing with essentials like a flat carpenter’s pencil, a wooden fold up ruler and a white folded handkerchief. A send off farewell after he gave my mom a peck on the cheek. An early morning memory that I cherish. Monday through Friday without fail, without a sick day, he left with his jalopy station wagon filled with tools and lumber to give an honest day’s work.
Striking up a conversation with Herman was easy. He reminded me of yesteryear when people took the time to have a heart-to-heart exchange with each other when they went about their day.
Herman was happy to talk about his ‘walking foundation’, what he called his lunch box. Inside was an enclosed wipe which he explained how his wife wanted him to clean his glasses with it instead of using water to wash his spectacles. He showed me the handwritten notes he saved from grateful visitors. Some food in a can and crackers to snack on. Any little trinkets of toys he found, he was happy to give them away to children he met. A little blue bag had dog treats inside if there was a need.
It reminded me when life was simpler. I was feeling the worries of my day melting, my body relaxing, just because I took the time to meet a man with a heartfelt passion to enjoy life to the fullest.
Spending time with Herman reminded me how I want to live my life: open, joyful, curious and compassionate.