Today I was outside in the yard just tending to the chickens and putting kids toys away when I noticed an older couple down by our rather prodigious patch of pampas grass by the pond. This is not necessarily all that uncommon. This time of year people come from all over the area to take clippings or dig some up because it’s very beautiful to see.
I had just finished filling the water feeder but, rather than bringing it directly to my thirsty flock, I decided to be friendly and let them know they could clip some if they wanted. The quiet, yet friendly, couple were taking pictures each with their own digital camera.
The gentleman had said they lived down the road a bit and had seen it for a few years now. This morning they decided today was the day they were going to stop and take some pictures of the pampas grass.
After some light conversing about what I did for a living…which is tending my children at the moment… and whether that bridge was ever going to be built across the river, the man asked if I had any children. Indeed I did and I told him my daughter was going to be getting off the bus any minute. He then offered to give her a book.
To be honest, when I heard that I was a little apprehensive. Was this another proselytizer selling religion at my door? Just then the bus was coming down the road to our driveway. I excused myself and ran to where the bus driver could see me so they would let her off. I gave her a big bear hug as I do every time she gets off the bus. It’s one of my daily pleasures.
Looking back to where the couple was down in the tall grass by the pampas patch, I noticed they were gone. From around a tree down by the road, the older gentleman was walking our way. He said thanks for the conversation and handed Genevieve a book. He then told us it’s a story told from the perspective of the snowmobile. The snowmobile? Interesting.
He gave me a handshake and said his goodbye. Remembering that he told me his name earlier I said, “Goodbye, Walt. And thank you for the book.” He walked back to his pickup where his wife was waiting and left.
I finished up with the chickens and came in with Genevieve. Upon asking she handed me the book so I could look at it. As it turns out, Walt wrote the book. It’s titled “The Adventures of Little Lady” and it chronicles an adventure he took at a much younger age to the North Pole. In fact, it was April 19th, 1968 to be exact and the first ever snowmobile expedition to the highest point on our planet. Wow.
The point to this story is not that that Genevieve got a book or that this unassuming man named Walt Pederson had actually accomplished that great feat 5 years and 6 days before I was born. What is important in this world is that we take to opportunity every day to talk to someone you don’t know. They might be a great adventurer or just have lived a life termed as “average”. In the end, your life will be enriched from the experience because everyone has a story to tell.