Sunday, February 22, 2009

After a morning of reading on PC Internet sites, Bottles of Hope, Fire Mountain Beads, Cindy Lietz Polymer Clay Tutor, Polymer Clay Central  in addition to a couple hours of claying I ran out to pick up some beading supplies. 
 I was looking for magnetic jewelry closures and beading wire and decided to check  locally before ordering on-line.  Cindy Lietz recently wrote about the difference between plastic coated metal wire  vs plastic coated stainless steel wire.  I know nothing about beading wire and it can be so overwhelming; you mean they make so many different kinds !!!  

I dreaded going to the big box craft store, anticipating finding an untrained 16 year old employee abandoning me in the beading section .  "If we have them they would be some where in this area. Good Luck"  Instead,  I came across an elderly  employee sitting on a stool straightening the merchandise. Cool, I worked with people with disabilities for over 25 years, how great to find an employer hiring non traditonal employees rather than  requiring  everyone to stand, bend or kneel on the floor.  

The name tag said "Polly" and she wore large very thick lensed eye glasses and felt her way along the merchandise, holding packages an inch from her face while deciphering the label.   Polly immediately pointed out the magnetic clasps, they were right in front of where she was seated.  Polly had been the department manager for many years but had to step out of that position due to being legally blind in one eye and having Muscular Degeneration in the other.

I politely listened as went into detail about upcoming injections into her good eye. This was way more information I needed but she had found those magnetic clasps for me so I continued to listen. Polly looked like she was in her mid 70's, she sounded lonely as she talked about her husband who died two days after Christmas this year; he died at home just as he wanted. I thought about my 87 year old widowed mother who lives 1200 miles away who is also a chatter box.  They both still drive their cars during daytime hours and are definitely independent.  Polly helped me find the correct beading wire as she talked about recently being off work during cancer recovery and all the details of her surgery and treatment.   
The entire conversation lasted about 10 minutes and  was the last 10 minutes of her shift. I held back tears as I walked away.  Maybe she was lonely by the thought of going home to an empty house.  Was it a chance meeting?  I rarely shop at this particular store and never on a Saturday.  We live in a busy busy world, take time to stop and be in the moment, let someone go ahead of you in the check out line, give up the parking spot you were hoping for, smile and wave to a rude driver.  It is the little things in life that mean the most.  Polly touched my heart and I hope my listening ear touched her too.