This is Mrs. G.
I saw her sitting in her car as I was leaving the Lowe's parking lot.
She had the window down, and was parked all by herself. Her bright red beret caught my eye, and as I drove off, I thought "I'd like to take her picture."
Now, being a lover of photography, I've said those words to myself many times over the years, and every single time, without exception, I've regretted not going back and taking the picture.
It's always a little awkward to ask someone you don't know if you can take their picture. In today's world, I think most of us are self-conscious, or paranoid. Most people would say no.
"But I've gotta try", I mumbled to myself as I turned the truck around.
I pulled up next to her, rolled down my window, and I think I startled her. She had been looking straight ahead, not seeming to be thinking about much.
"Hi", I said. "This is going to sound crazy, but I'd love to take your picture."
"Why in the world would you want to do that?", she asked bewildered.
"Well, I love photography, and to be quite honest, you have a face that is just full of character."
"Oh my", she murmured, her wrinkled hands fluttering around her face. "That's the nicest thing I've heard all day, but I look like a train wreck."
"Nonsense", I said. "You look beautiful."
I introduced myself, climbed out of my truck and knelt down beside her window. I could tell by her face she'd never seen me before either.
"Where should I look?", she asked.
"Anywhere you like", I answered, framing her up with my trusty iPhone.
Her eyes twinkled.
I had my shot.
She had been trying to pay her insurance, but the company moved. Or maybe she was lost. And she had eaten something that made her feel funny, so she had just pulled over to rest.
I offered to get her something to drink.
"Oh, no", she smiled. "I'll be fine. But could you tell me how to get home?"
I did. Several times. She laughed at her memory.
She asked me if my name was Polish. I said no, I'm Croatian.
"I'm Irish", she proudly proclaimed.
And then she started up her car, smiled, and said "Have a happy St. Patrick's Day!" As she slowly drive away.
I hope she does too.