Pearl….how do you best describe this woman?! If I had to use one word to describe Pearl I would use the word “spunky.”
Let me tell you a bit more about Pearl…
I met Pearl a few years ago when I moved into the South Minneapolis neighborhood with my roommates. We decided to take some flowers to our neighbors as a way to meet them and get to know them….we figured taking over cookies or brownies was out because who is going to eat cookies made by people you don’t know?! I surely wouldn’t.
Planting the flowers for our neighbors...
Anyway, we took flowers to the house on the corner and were greeted by this tiny (and I mean TINY) elderly (and I mean ELDERLY) woman who could have drop kicked us had we been trouble. There was something fierce yet gentle about her. Pearl then introduced us to her husband, Walter, who was eating dinner at the table in the back room. We chit chatted with Pearl for a few minutes and grew to love with her spunky personality.
Over the years we have spent hours visiting with Pearl and Walter, playing dominoes, celebrating birthdays, chatting out on the sidewalk, and praying with them. They really were pretty precious people to get to know. Walter passed away earlier this year which I wrote about here. After Walter passed away I have felt a little bit worried about Pearl. Water was old when he passed away, and Pearl is younger…but not by much. She’s all alone in her house, can barely hear when the doorbell rings, and looks so small and frail that I always wonder how she’s getting along by herself. Granted she was Walter’s caregiver so she can practically do anything, but I still worry about her.
When I got married Pearl (and Walter) were very insistent that I don’t disappear from their lives….I told them I’d still be around and that Greg and I would visit and keep in touch. There was a time frame, unfortunately shortly after Walter passed away, that I got so busy with life that I hadn’t visited Pearl for a month or something like that. She called me and we talked and I told her that I wanted to have her over for dinner at our new house after things settled down.
Well that dinner happened last week. Laurie, my former roommate, was sweet enough to pick up Pearl, bring her to our house, and join us for dinner. And while I hadn’t seen Pearl in a while, not much had changed….
She walked into our house and from the moment she walked in until the moment she left, she dominated about 99& of the conversation. Literally. We would try to interject and contribute to the “conversation” but that didn’t do much…she either didn’t hear us, or chose not to hear us 🙂 Pearl walked around my house and critiqued every little thing…she asked how much we are paying in taxes…she told us about how to maintain the lawn…she insisted that we don’t have more than 4 children (she was under the impression that we wanted 8 or 10….I think her car ride over with Laurie contributed to that confusion:))…she just went on and on. It was sweet, but tiring. Really tiring! I wanted to listen but at points the amount of words coming from her small little mouth was so comical that I had to turn my head as to not begin to laugh.
Pearl also told us all about the dogs she has had throughout her life…she reminisced about how she got each of them, and how each of them died…she cracked a few jokes that Walter often told…she even indulged us in the stories of the ducks that visit her house on a regular basis. We all chuckled about that because she doesn’t live near water…why would ducks be at her house?! But, we smiled and nodded and listened to all the words spewing from her mouth. After dinner we got up and took a group picture as I know she is always amazed at the ability to view it instantly….
Laurie and her bro, Pearl, me and Greg...
The moments after I pressed the self timer button and when the picture took, were the few moments of the evening that Pearl was silent. It felt odd. After the picture, we went downstairs to indulge ourselves (well, me and Laurie) in a little wii Dance…I justified it by telling myself that Pearl would get a kick out of watching us dance….when really we all just needed a break from the talking. Don’t get me wrong, we love her to death, but we just needed a few moments to regain energy to listen some more. So Laurie and I danced and Pearl tapped her foot to the beat of a Katy Perry song we were dancing to and all was right in the world. Then we looked out the sliding glass door which leads to our backyard and Laurie shouts, “Oh my gosh…there’s a duck….” WHHHHAT??? Pearl was just talking about ducks in her backyard, and I have never seen ducks here. It was so odd, and somewhat eerie.
After we all freaked out about the duck, we realized it was time for Pearl to get home, so we said our goodbyes….Pearl held on tightly as I leaned down, and the high pitched noises shrieking from her hearing aid as I said goodbye (apparently too close to the aid). It really was great to have her over here….even though she barely let us speak 2 words, and even though she told us what to do, and made us yawn at times….we really did love having her here…and still love that spunky personality that we grew to love just a few years ago!