Saturday, October 9, 2010
Sheep Herder Lady
She was digging in the trash barrel when we pulled into the parking lot somewhere in the middle of Nowhere, Nevada. We had stopped to stretch our legs at the beginning of our vacation trip from Yuma, Arizona to Oregon. While Gene took care of his business and stopped to talk with a tired motorcyclist, I caught her out of the corner of my eye and wondered where she belonged. I had just filled our Ford Escort with a couple of boxes of groceries for the camping trip, so I took out a bag of fresh red grapes and offered them to her. She was best described as an old lady, probably in her 70's, with wrinkles so deep they must have had a story. I can still see her stark, blue eyes but it was her smile that warmed my heart. She said "thank you" and I asked her if there was anything else she might need, offering that I had more fruit if she cared for it. She told me what she really needed were some coffee grounds ... enough to get her through until her check came. I offered her a whole unopened can of Yuban but she kindly said no, she didn't need that much, just a couple of scoops. So I found a ziploc and granted her wish. In return, she told me she had once been a sheep herder. Ah, the wind and sun had made those wrinkles so deep and pronounced on her beautiful face. She pointed across the highway at a small shack and indicated that's where she lived. As I said goodbye to sheep herder lady, I noted that her hands were dirty but her nails had pretty pink polish on them. This was day one of our trip that summer ... I'll never forget that lovely lady.