Sunday, January 11, 2009
Snow on Roses
I opened the front door to my elderly neighbor. He was wrapped in scarves and gloves and a hat, and some mighty expensive looking waterproof boots.
"Do you have a digital camera?" he asked. His accent is thick and charming, German or Danish or Swedish. (His name is Hans; I can't be too far off.)
"You must come take a picture off da roses," he pointed toward my side yard. "Der is snow on your roses!"
It was ten o'clock on a weekend morning. I wasn't dressed, the kids were running wild through the house, and well, it looked awfully cold out there. But I told him I'd be right out, threw on a sweater, grabbed my digital camera, and walked out the back door.
Hans met me inside my backyard (he was feeling very at home here)and allowed me to help him down the snowy steps out to the sidewalk where my roses were, indeed, blooming under a blanket of fresh snow.
He pointed to a jaunty clump. "Take a picture of dis one," he said. I did. "And take a picture of dis one, too," he said, pointing toward a lone, sad, rose drooping under the weight of a dollop of snow. I positioned the camera away from my body so I could see through the digital screen. Hans leaned in to get a look at my shot. He held my hand and moved it to where he thought it should be.
"Vould you like me to take it for you?"
"Sure," I said. I handed him my camera. He took it, placed a foot up on the side wall, and took it.
"I have been out here already taking pictures. I didn't vant you to miss it."
"Well, thank you," I said. "I appreciate that."
And I did. It was nice to have someone pull me outside to look at something beautiful. I'm usually the one around here doing that, because I'm such a big sap.
Hans and I stood around for a few more minutes, chewing the fat about my house and the people who lived here before we did. Then I got uncomfortably cold (it was snowing) and promised to invite him in sometime, but not today as I was a little embarrassed at still being in my pajamas. He smiled - his mouth was full of graying teeth - and he said he'd like that.
Maybe he'll point something else out that I've failed to notice.