Tuesday, October 4, 2011


I love working with the public. Well, usually.

I've met some really nice people over the years. And some horrid ones. Most of the time I think the horrid ones are just having a bad day. I try never to hold a grudge.

I may roll my eyes, but I don't hold a grudge.

It's not good for you.


What I really love are the stories. You know how I love a good story. Especially in photographs. But that's not where this story comes from. 

This story comes from a 90-something-year-old woman who happens to come in and visit the library several times a month.


Josephina, not really her name, has been coming in to the library for many years. She always takes out lots of books, because she reads all.the.time.

We didn't see her for a long while. And whenever we don't see an older patron for a while we get a wee bit nervous, thinking all kinds of things. But we started seeing her daughter pick up books for her so we knew Josephina was okay.

Her daughter would keep us up to date on how her mom was doing and we found out she had undergone cataract surgery.

I didn't expect to see Josephina again.


And then one day, I looked up as the front doors opened, and in strolled Josephina. Cute as a button, she smiled when I said "hello" and came over to the counter.

"Josephina! How are you? Is your daughter with you?" I peppered her with questions as she was putting her books into the book drop. 

"No, she's back home," was the answer.

Huh. Ninety-something, recent cataract surgery. Who's driving?

"Who drove you here?" I asked.

"I drove myself," she replied.

Oh. Hmm. Ummm, is that really a good idea?

"Does your daughter know you're driving?" I asked, skeptically.

"Well, no, not really."

I really need to ask my next question. "Are you okay to drive? Can you see okay?"

"I can see out of the eye I had surgery on. And I'm recovered from the concussion."

Concussion? Concussion?

"Well," she starts, "I tripped over an ottoman in my living room and fell down." She continues to put books in the book drop. "When I woke up, I got into bed and woke myself up every half hour."


"I've had concussions before, you know." She must have seen the look on my face with her good eye. "I knew what to do. And I called my eye doctor the next day and told him I better have that cataract surgery before I kill myself, falling over something and hitting my head again." And with that, she folded up her empty book bag and toddled off, over to the fiction stacks to get more books.

I didn't know what to say. So I kept my mouth shut.


Several days later, I saw her daughter. I asked how Josephina was doing.

"She's rip#$%&," said the daughter. 

"Why? What happened?" I wanted to know.

"Well, since she had that cataract surgery, she can see better than she has in years. And she's rip#$%& because she thinks she looks like she's eighty. And she wants more makeup."

Geesh, I hope I'm like that when I'm ninety-something.


  1. Reminds me of a few elderly customers I had, while working at our local grocery store, during my high school and college years. The stories they told me and the friendships I made with them as a young teen, still bring a smile to my face and tears in my eyes....thanks for sharing.