Making the Rounds

Boredom drove us to town. And before Rob can choose hotdogs for lunch, I drive him to In-n-Out for burgers.

“The usual,” I tell him as I look for a table. There’s one near a father – daughter duo tucked in the corner. He’s wearing a blue Navy SEAL cap.

I glance over and tell her she has great hair which makes us both laugh because she’s sporting a pony tail. I want to tell her it’s the silver I admire, not the hairstyle, but if I do, I’ll sound like I’m gushing and that would be weird. So we chit chat about life in the valley. Turns out we’re neighbors.

When she heads back to the counter, I look at her companion.

“I’m hard of hearing.”

I add a little weight to my voice. “Dad told me I was the only reason he thought he was going deaf.”

He cackles and launches into tales of Nam, and Korea, and Coronado. “Enlisted when I was fifteen.”

I’m fascinated as he talks about his time in the Navy. I learn he was once 159 pounds of solid muscle, that he’d traveled the world as a SEAL, retired as an officer, and still bristles over the stateside reception after Nam.

He’s a delight. They both are.

As they leave, I look up to see Rob has finished his lunch and my burger’s still in the wrapper. He grins as I shovel in the food.

We skip Trader’s joes (too many great snacks) and head to Costco.

In line for gas I keep a running commentary on everyone’s progress. We’re in the perfect position to wind up at the front pump but wind up at the back. There’s a senior in front of us having trouble with his credit card. Rob usually helps out but he’s pumping gas, so I climb out of the truck.

“Hi,” I say, “I actually wore my glasses today. Want help?”

He grins and hands over his card. “I’ve tried it four times.”

“I’ve had trouble too. Just leave the card in and then follow the prompts.” I work the card while he works the buttons.

He wears a ball cap with his unit insignia and a smile so warm, I want to take him home.

Finished, we head into the store and I lose Rob when I make a detour for flannel shirts. When I can’t find him, I head to the dog treats and there, blocking the way, is another Vet.

“I look over his shoulder. “Oh, those are good bones. My dog loves them.”

He whips out his wallet to show me half a dozen photos. “I only have German Shepards.” He prattles off a list of germanic sounding names. “This one is named after a city. Guess where it is.”



Even though I’m sure this is his usual shtick, I laugh. And since I haven’t located my better half, I listen to a few dog tales.

Rob catches up to me, and before he can disappear again, I grab his elbow and pull him over.

Out comes the wallet and my cheeks hurt.

Now Costco on the weekends doesn’t work with my personality, but I’m enjoying these guys, and I’m certain dad is sending me hugs from the other side.

10 Replies to “Making the Rounds”

  1. It sounds like you could be a Navy Seal yourself; anyone who braves Costco on a weekend displays courage above and beyond.

  2. My sons always got embarrassed when I’d stop to talk to strangers – people in McDonald’s, folks on line at Stop & Shop or a senior citizen feeding pigeons from his park bench. Contrary to what some may think, you meet the nicest people when you take a second to smile or have a chat. I whipped out my phone and took a photo of a couple of soldiers on leave; they were killing time walking around the mall and I wanted to thank them for their service to our country. The vets are the best; I can’t help but think of my Dad whenever I talk to a vet. Thanks for sharing your post, Kelly, and allowing me to pour out my stream of consciousness.

    1. Always a perk embarrass the younger generations! I enjoy those hit and miss conversations with strangers and isn’t it wonderful when you see echos of your loved ones. You catch so many of those moments on your lively blog. Enjoy your Sunday!

      1. Thank you. With the spring we will travel again. Just enjoying thr garden etc for a while. I guess we will get to know each other thank you for the follow .

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