Saturday, October 31, 2015

Help is on the way

Marcia Moston

 I thought it was unfortunate I didn’t have a problem that day. Otherwise I might have thanked the voice in the self-checkout machine at the supermarket for her encouraging words. Maybe taken them as being prophetic.

Unlike the woman on my GPS who launches into a frantic litany of commands before having a robotical breakdown if I veer from her directions, the checkout machine voice remained calm and collected. 

“Help is on the way,” she said after twice telling me to please put the item in the bag. I had already put the item in bag, but had tried to rearrange things so the milk wouldn’t sit on top of the tomato, which I had unwittingly put in first, but you can’t disturb the weight once it’s on the scale, and so I waited for my help to arrive—a young girl with her key card that set things in order again.

“Help is on the way.” The voice played in my mind throughout the day, reminding me of times I desperately needed to hear those words.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

The corner hoarders, creativity and Bob

Marcia Moston

Have you ever noticed how so many houses on street corners belong to junk collectors? How you can be driving down a perfectly pleasant road, thinking to yourself, I wouldn’t mind living out here, and then you come to the house anchoring the corner. You know the place—the one with the bathtub and old tires and car hood from the 70s tossed alongside crumbling concrete lawn ornaments and tumbled over plastic swing sets. At first I thought this to be a phenomena of the countryside, but then I remembered George.

George had a sprawling corner lot in Islip Terrrace, a tidy neighborhood on Long Island. You had to walk by George’s fenced yard to get to the main street. Of course, you couldn’t help looking at the mounds of broken, rusting treasures George had somehow not only managed to find, but to haul back home. If George saw you looking over his fence, he’d yell and mutter something unintelligible, and chase you away. There’d be no coveting George’s precious possessions.

I am not a gatherer of the unnecessary, so when we moved to our own colonial on a corner in northwest Jersey, I had no reason to suspect we’d contribute to the corner collectors.