Yesterday we stopped at McDonald’s in a rural community. To escape the mid-afternoon noise we set up our computers in the play area because it was empty. We enjoyed the quiet for about 12 minutes before moms and kids invaded. Just as Jim answered an important call, a three year old threw a full on fit because his mom was ready to leave. The louder he cried the louder she told him to hush. So much for Jim faking he was in an office.
We were meeting Jason who had gotten lost on the back roads, so I had some sit and think time while Jim was on the phone. An elderly couple sat down in the booth on the other side of the playroom window with their ice cream cones. The wife looked like one of the faces in a museum painting … deep, watery, pale blue eyes, white hair pulled back in a tight bun and wrinkles so deep it was as if someone had carved them. She closed her eyes each time she took a bite of ice cream.
Her husband was watching her like they were on their first date. She caught him staring at her and grinned. He reached across the table and squeezed her hand. I felt like I was watching a movie clip.
I wondered how old they were, 85 or maybe 90. I thought about all they had seen in their lifetimes. I’m certain they remembered when there were only ice boxes, wood cook stoves and no indoor plumbing. They dated when there weren’t restaurant chains, computers in every lap and Droids or iPhones on every ear.
Yet here they were on the other side of the glass from us and all our technology simply enjoying their 49 cent McDonald’s ice cream cones as if they were fine delicacies. I want to learn to do that before I’m 85 or 90 years old.