Good

No, it’s not eloquent, and there’s no major point to it. But the older I get, the more I believe in common things. And in common people. I believe they have more meaning than I once thought.

I got a haircut today. My barber was a short man with white hair, and a thick Cajun accent. His friends call him “Spike.” I could hardly understand a word Spike said through his accent.

He laughs too much. I love old men who laugh too much. And he is a good storyteller.

When it was over, I thanked him for the haircut.

He shook my hand and said, “Se pa aryen, Meh Sha.”

He translated: “Don’t mention it, boy.”

Then he taught me how to say “thank you” in the French-Cajun tongue.

“Bien merci,” he explained.

So I tried it. “Bee-YEN mare-SEE, sir,” said I.

This made him laugh until he turned purple.

“Keep trying, boy!” he said.

Next, I went to Cracker Barrel for early lunch. While I ate, my phone vibrated. My wife texted me a hardware store list that was longer than an unfurled roll of Charmin toilet paper.

So, I shoved bacon and eggs down my gullet and went to pay. In the cashier line there was a girl with a scarf wrapped around her bald head. We talked.

Her name is Julia, she is eighteen, from Bowling Green. She is in town enjoying the beach for a few days. This is the first time she ever saw the Gulf of Mexico. Ever.

“I can’t actually go in the water,” she explained. “Doctor says there’s too much bacteria, my body can’t deal with that.”

But she’s here just the same, and that counts for something.

Before she left the restaurant, her father bought her a straw sunhat. She modeled it for her family. She is one of the most beautiful girls I ever saw.

Enjoy the beach, Julia.

The hardware store—I saw at least fifty people I know. It was a regular homecoming parade.

I can’t go to the hardware store without seeing folks I grew up with, worked with, played community softball with, or went to church with. I shook hands, glanced at baby photos, and listened to Bill Weaver talk for thirty minutes about his gallstones.

And I also saw a boy with Down syndrome in the plumbing aisle. He was with his father. I couldn’t take my eyes off them. They were laughing like they were in their own private world.

When I got to the checkout lane, I saw them again, standing beside me.

And I tried to listen to their conversation, but wasn’t able to hear because I was knee-deep in conversation with an old man named Don.

I used to go to church with Don a hundred years ago. Don needs new batteries for his hearing aids.

But then, he’s always been a little hard of hearing. Don sang first tenor in the choir. Long ago, whenever the choir would sing “Precious Lord Take my Hand,” Don would be singing “I’m so Glad I’m a Part of the Family of God.”

But back to the boy I saw. When his father paid for his things, the boy hugged the cashier. And I saw the boy hug a few more strangers, too.

And they were gone. And this touched me. Hugs without reason.

And when I finally got to my truck, the sky opened up. It started to rain, something fierce. So, I decided to wait out the storm. I happened to have my laptop with me. So I wrote what you just read.

No, it’s not eloquent, and there’s no major point to it. But the older I get, the more I believe in common things. And in common people. I believe they have more meaning than I once thought.

So I wish I had words to tell you how beautiful it all is. The rain. The people. The eggs and bacon. The old friends in hardware stores. Everything.

I wish I could tell you how grateful I am for eighteen-year-old girls who fight just to visit the beach; and boys who hug cashiers; and old men who still sing in church choirs; and those who cut hair and laugh too much. I hope, one day, to be like a certain Cajun barber.

I guess what I’m trying to say is: bien merci, Lord.

For everything.

Bien merci.

28 comments

  1. Ed Steadman - July 31, 2018 7:00 am

    Born merci, Mr. Sean!

    Reply
  2. Van Mitchell - July 31, 2018 8:36 am

    God is good….

    Reply
  3. Billy Snell - July 31, 2018 9:47 am

    Thank you Sean for helping retire some of my faith in mankind, keep writing I have a long way to go

    Reply
  4. Barbara - July 31, 2018 10:33 am

    Merci Beaucoup Sean! 😊

    Reply
  5. Beth Andrews - July 31, 2018 10:57 am

    Simple joys. Simple thanks. Simply Beautiful.

    Reply
  6. Terri Boykin - July 31, 2018 11:53 am

    Love you much, Sean.
    Terri

    Reply
  7. Marilyn - July 31, 2018 11:58 am

    Simple is good. A gentle rain is falling here that is so needed and we are thankful. My first cup of coffee for the day is being enjoyed and later I will meet friends for more coffee and fellowship. It is going to be a good day!

    Reply
  8. Paul Click - July 31, 2018 12:44 pm

    AMEN and AMEN!

    Reply
  9. Betty Foster - July 31, 2018 12:45 pm

    Thanks, Sean.

    Reply
  10. Judy - July 31, 2018 12:54 pm

    Hugs without reason are beautiful and precious…and rare. I am thankful for the way you point out the simple pleasures and goodness.

    I just returned from Ukraine and I shared access to your stories with a friend from there. I believe he will appreciate you as I do.

    Reply
  11. Alane Duncan - July 31, 2018 1:20 pm

    I do enjoy reading your message everyday. I love ordinary days!

    Reply
  12. cronkitesue - July 31, 2018 1:27 pm

    Ordinary every-day common folks make the world worth living in. Bien merci for pointing it out.

    Reply
  13. Carol - July 31, 2018 1:51 pm

    I love people like you Sean, that remind us that there is good people in this world.
    Bien merci!
    Love ya!

    Reply
  14. Janet Mary Lee - July 31, 2018 2:29 pm

    Thank you!!! And I think pretty darn eloquent!

    Reply
  15. Richard C. - July 31, 2018 2:46 pm

    Bien Merci for these stories.

    Reply
  16. Edna B. - July 31, 2018 3:28 pm

    I like the common folks best too! Bien Merci Sean. You have a wonderful day, hugs, Edna B.

    Reply
  17. Lana Haldeman - July 31, 2018 3:30 pm

    Oh my this one almost made me cry! I try to pay attention to the little things and have it bring joy to me. Hummingbirds flying to the feeder to eat. A cute little bunny rabbit or a deer standing on the side of the road looking at me in amazement and I am the one that is amazed at his beauty. Little things really do bring joy if we WILL STOP and make the effort to see the beauty of it all and for a few mins forget about how awful this world is getting. I believe God gives us things like this too enjoy but alot of us have our minds on the things of this world. Money, fame, getting from one place to the next and not having him open our eyes to see beauty in things like the little boy hugging everyone or the girl wanting to see the ocean. God bless you Sean for you story telling and I can see God being amazed in you too!!

    Reply
  18. LARRY WALL - July 31, 2018 4:46 pm

    Sean, another simply, beautiful story, along with the usual good laugh, about simply beautiful people who we could all benefit from meeting and interacting with each day. Even if it was in the hardware store. 🙂
    Bien Merci, mon ami!!

    Reply
  19. Dianne Correll - July 31, 2018 5:06 pm

    Love your descriptions!!

    Reply
  20. Gordon - July 31, 2018 5:36 pm

    Thank you, Sean for reminding me to enjoy the “common things” of life. I’m afraid I have missed so many during my recent years. But as I look toward retirement, I hope to really, really enjoy more common things in the upcoming years.

    Reply
  21. Judy Miskelly - July 31, 2018 6:51 pm

    ❤️ your stories! They always make me smile 😀

    Reply
  22. Shelton Armour - July 31, 2018 7:07 pm

    Bien merci, Sean. You remind me to be thankful and grateful to the Lord each day.

    Reply
  23. Jack Darnell - August 1, 2018 1:49 am

    My wife just said I know Don AKA jack! Just saying you are a smart aleck! or elick. But I did enjoy the rest of the entry. Just sayin’ as my great grand say!

    Reply
  24. Michael Hawke - August 1, 2018 2:22 am

    Excellent! Thank you.

    Reply
  25. Mies Handy - August 1, 2018 5:35 am

    Love your writings. Thank you!

    Reply
  26. Jon Dragonfly - August 2, 2018 1:51 pm

    I love Down kids. They are the sweetest, friendliest, most loving people around us.

    Reply

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