On Getting On

Cali.2014.6photoAncient, hunched, lost. The woman standing next to me in the spice aisle of the grocery store muttered to herself about not being able to find the garlic. Searching out my own exotic spice, I happened upon garlic and pointed it out to her. She thanked me and said “I’m so blind.”

She wasn’t literally blind; her eyes had no problem meeting mine. I made a comment about knowing how she felt. Until I had cataract surgery, I’d been severely near-sighted my entire life. I quickly learned she had not only cataracts but floaters and some type of macular degeneration.

My style is generally not one that includes striking up casual conversation with strangers in grocery stores. But this is Christmas, I am getting older myself, and felt some empathy toward this silver-haired woman. So I tried kindness. “But you’re doing so well!” Cooking for the holidays is a good…

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