Saturday, July 04, 2015


Moving to a new town and state in 2010, it took me a while to figure out the easiest way to get places. Here in northern Georgia none of the roads are straight and they change names.  You can drive five miles down a road and it will have two or three different names as you travel down it.  Confusing to say the least.

But, I had my trusty GPS and off I went, learning my way around.  Sometimes my GPS got confused, and it would take me on all kinds of adventures.  Some were great, some not so great.  But, most of the time when my GPS got somewhat lost, I learned a new way to get somewhere or found a place I wanted to check out.

My quilt store is in Jasper, GA, about 20 miles away.  My GPS took me on some "back roads" to get to a main road.  Now I use this route all of the time to get to a variety of places.  And, it "introduced" me to the gentleman on the swing.

I never actually met this gentleman.  He would be out there on nice weather days waving to anyone that drove by his house.  He had one of those portable swings with the canopy on top.  In the five years I have driven by his house he has gone through several of these swings.  Exposed 24/7 to the weather, they would get pretty nasty.  I am sure it was his kids who replaced the swings on a yearly bases.

I looked forward to seeing this gentleman on the swing.  Even in inclement weather when I knew he would not be outside, I couldn't help but look over into his yard.  He always had a slow wave for any car that passed by.  I would beep my car horn and wave back.  I think he was a big man for it seemed his arms were long and his hand big even  when looking from the road.

I have seen him many times this spring.  Last week when I drove by, my hand on the horn to greet him, I saw something different.  His swing was pushed very close to the road and it was covered with bouquets flowers.  There was a sign sitting on the swing.  I slowed down, stopped and backed up.  The sign told of funeral arrangement for the gentleman on the swing.  He had passed away earlier that week.

I shed a few tears the rest of the way home.  I have no idea who this man was, what type of a person he was, if he was married and really did have children.  I knew I would miss him, though.

I wrote a note to his family and put it in his mailbox.  I don't know any of them, but I wanted to express my sympathy. I want them to know that this gentleman gave me something very special.  He gave me something to look forward to every time I drove by his home.  And, he made me smile - whether or not he was out there waving - I smiled in anticipation of the possibility of seeing him wave.  What a nice gift he gave me!  The gift of two smiles - his and mine.

And, sometimes happiness is just as simple as that - a couple of smiles.