Monday Morning Musings:
“I have always depended on the kindness of strangers.”
–Blanche, A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams
“Thank you, Mr. Rochester, for your great kindness. I am strangely glad to get back again to you: and wherever you are is my home—my only home.”
–Charlotte Bronte, Jane Eyre
After he had served his country,
had been a stranger in more than one strange land,
and was home, if not settled,
he joined a community of strangers
who became friends.
Theater brought the couple together,
in A Streetcar Named Desire,
they sparred with words and movement
(a subtext created)
my daughter said “He’s nothing like Stanley,”
my practical dreamer, is nothing like Blanche,
the magic of theater,
bringing something of oneself in playing another,
finding empathy for strangers,
a valuable skill, I’d say.
Perhaps a community brought them together,
the English teacher bride with her Jane Eyre message,
“Reader, I married him.”
Every year she meets new students,
strangers, whom she will guide.
The groom, studying to become a nurse,
will care for strangers, too.
And through the kindness of strangers,
they now have a house.
Home is where the heart is,
so the old proverb goes,
but it’s certainly pleasant to have four sturdy walls
and a roof—
Months ago, the process began,
I saw something online,
I entered to win a house.
Really? we laughed a bit–
because who wins the lottery?
But they did.
The kindness of strangers,
gave this veteran and his wife a rare opportunity,
a home of their own.
spring turned to summer, fall,
in winter, they finally saw their new home.
a magical day–
after all, we stood without coats in January
when a few days before snow lay on the ground.
the sun was shining,
a gentle breeze lifted and tangle the flag,
the veteran lifted his bride
It brought back memories–
when my husband and I bought our house,
I was pregnant with her sister,
our first child,
the house was dirty and needed work before we could move in,
old, musty carpets pulled out, floors refinished, and walls painted,
we relied, not on strangers, but on friends
who helped us with the tasks
(laboring before I labored)
Their house was renovated by strangers,
a little dream house with a yard for their dog,
sunny windows for their cat,
a room for friends to stay in,
space to dream,
and a chocolate cake in the refrigerator.
We celebrated that night,
pizza and wine,
the servers, astounded by our tale,
thanked him for his service,
we ordered dessert–
it was a celebration,
and yes, that sopapilla cheesecake
(with butter rum sauce)
It snowed once again,
briefly, white flakes touched the ground and melted,
then the sun returned for moving day,
a long day of packing, moving, unloading trucks and cars–
and doing it again,
family this time, not strangers.
We celebrated again
this time with delicious Pakistani food
from a newly discovered restaurant
in their new neighborhood
where the owner, a stranger,
gave them extra naan.
We ate in the kitchen
on paper plates
drank wine from plastic cups,
boxes still to be unpacked,
but they were home,
and their cat finally came out from hiding to explore,
and settled down in front of the fire.
That’s the way life goes
days of sun and days of cold,
but they will be snug in their new home,
a dream house,
a house filled with dreams,
with a fire in their fireplace,
from their bed, they’ll watch the moon,
and maybe even hear it hum a lullaby
as the clouds go dancing by,
they’ll sleep and dream sweet dreams
and they will be strangely glad
to be home.
Photo credit: Sheryl C. Smith, 2017
Here is a brief news segment about Sheryl and Eric on the day they received the key to their new home.
And an article
Eric and Sheryl received their house through Operation Homefront, Homes on the Homefront
We ate pizza at Holy Tomato
And delicious Pakistani food at Mera Khana