Seventy years on

We spent the day engaged in Sunday shopping.  Glasgow is full of stores–along the lines of Toronto, Chicago, Boston–and there seem to be no ancestral prescedents for the off-Sunday attitude of the Maritimes. Between bouts, we poured tea into ourselves.  At one Costa, I was left as coat and package guardian while Bob and Fred ponied up to the barista.  There was a quiet scuffle just over my shoulder where I’d noticed an older woman drinking coffee and reading a large–huge, floppy–paperback.

“Your pin?”  She’d bento to retrieve something that had landed under her table.

“Oh, my, thanks!” The second voice was old and had that pressed quality–the aural equivalent of linen that some elderly voiceboxes seem to develop.

The second woman didn’t look so very antique–she looked nearer 60 than 80, but she went on:

“I’ve had this pin since I was a teenager, 70 years ago this Christmas.”

The pin in question was a stick sort, supporting a large snowflake twinkling with cut glass.  It had slid through the silk of her scarf and landed at the other woman’s feet.

Seventy years ago she was a teenager? And she stil had and wore that pin. Who had given it to her?  Does she still have that person in her life?  Will they see each other this Christmas?

Even though we went on to see and do and talk and drink and poke through all manner of potential stories today, this is the one that stayed alive, shiney as the glass snow crystals.  If she were a teenager 70 years ago, this must be her 83rd Christmas at least.


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