The Old Woman
Autumn is here in all its splendor: cold, crisp days with clear skies, sun filtering through the remaining leaves on the trees. I love taking the girls for walks on such weekend afternoons.
Strolling today through a residential neighborhood that's one of our usual routes, we came upon an elderly woman bundled up against the chill, out for her own walk. She was focused on the sidewalk, moving steadily but careful of her foot placement. When we were about 15 feet apart, she looked up. A smile spread across her face and her eyes light up. "Hello, Beauties!" she said with amused surprise. The girls, on cue, pulled me toward her. The woman stopped. "May I pet them?" she asked. "Of course," I said, returning her smile, the girls already sniffing her hands and coat. Bending slightly to pet the girls, she murmured her awe at Meadow's thick fluffy fur. Whispering to the girls - barely audible to me - she said, "I miss my dog so much."
My heart nearly broke.
She then looked at me and commented that they must be appreciating the cooler temperatures. I said they were.
"You're very lucky," she said as she continued on her way.
"Yes. I know," I replied.