An afternoon in the park

The park had all the proper park pieces. Paved winding pathways, a meandering stream, a pond with ducks, ducklings and seagulls, lovely shade trees, benches and picnic tables, nicely mowed grass, children’s play areas, a skate park, a swimming pool and requisite hoots and screams filtering through the hot summer afternoon air.

The senior center was nearby. After having eaten lunch there, an elderly woman, slight of build, with very white wispy hair, had wandered along the pathway. She was wearing light blue slacks with a matching twinset and pearls. She settled herself on a shaded bench by the pond. The ducks all swam toward her hoping for a handout, but all she had in the needlepoint bag she carried was her knitting. Always one for staying busy, she knitted in almost every spare moment all through every day. Except for the lunch with other ‘seniors’, she was alone. She tried to keep busy; she took care of her affairs, kept her house spic and span, watched a very small amount of the news and weather on TV – not too much else was worth the time it took to watch. Hence the knitting. She was an excellent knitter, able to complete small projects in jig time. She donated the hats, sweaters, afghans and booties to the local hospital for the children’s ward. At the moment, she was knitting her latest project: a red sweater to match the hat already completed.

Coming through the park was a young couple, casually dressed in jean shorts and sneakers. Both had different colored t-shirts with wild animals printed on them; the woman had a leopard, and the man had a rhinoceros. Both animals looked as though they were ready to charge off the shirts right at you! The woman was blond, with a flowing pony tail half-way down her back. The man also had a pony tail of shiny black hair. They were holding hands with a tow-headed boy about three years old.

The man glanced at the elderly woman as he passed and was immediately struck by the similarity to his beloved grandmother who always sat so ramrod straight – always. The fact that she was knitting only completed the memory for him. Unfortuately for the man, he had inherited his mother’s sensitivity. Mom was a crier – over little things: the national anthem, the Lord’s Prayer when said in unison with many others, mushy advertisements on TV, the Happy Birthday song, graveyards, and most especially poems. She could not get through a poem without tears. Now, here he was, just because he sees this old lady knitting, thinking of Grandmom and all her knitting projects over the years. Tears start flowing down his cheeks, he cannot speak, the lump in his throat is so big it’s almost choking him. The last thing Grandmom had knitted was a red sweater for the couple’s son. Oh my, how he missed her. He’d give anything to have those years back when he’d been too busy to make time to visit. Darn his mother! Why of all things did he have to get so sentimental? In the middle of the park!

The young woman glanced over at her husband and was surprised to see him almost sobbing – in the middle of the park! Honestly, what was wrong now? Sometimes she wished he’d have a little more macho, a little more spine. He often broke into tears over little things. He even cried at their wedding. But then, would she give up his sentimentality? It’s what drew her to him in the first place.

The elderly lady looked up as the family passed by. She didn’t see the young man cry, nor see the wife trying to figure out what was wrong. She only saw the tow-headed boy, bouncing along between his parents, remembering her own tow-headed boy from years ago and how quickly he’d grown and moved far away. A tear rolled down her cheek. Oh, for heaven’s sake, what was she doing crying in the middle of the park!

Writing 101: A man and a woman walk through the park together, holding hands. They pass an old woman sitting on a bench. The old woman is knitting a small, red sweater. The man begins to cry. Write this scene.

Today’s twist: write the scene from three different points of view: from the perspective of the man, then the woman, and finally the old woman.

I’ve skipped a few days of Writing 101. I find that I’m too literal, and the prompts for those days were beyond my ken! Today’s prompt however, is a little different. How did I do?


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