Courtney S. Barr

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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

A girl with red hair & love that shines through the ages...

"All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware."
-Martin Buber

Well, hello everyone! *shakes head with a smile & waves* Have we all been enjoying the ending of summer and getting ready for those Fall colors that mimic the summer sun? I have least I think I have. :o)

My dayjob has sent me to a few locations lately that have hindered my time visiting many of you except through Google Reader. This makes me sad but also appreciate the ease of Google Reader - though not being able to comment is a real bust!

I am again getting back into the swing of things and have discovered the above quote while flipping through a magazine. I laughed when I read it, could not help it. You see lately I have seen some crazy airports, met some unique people, shopped incessantly for a car, discovered a love for feta & red pepper mashed potatoes, decided Chicago has the BEST popcorn, found Mt. Washington in PA to be one of the most scenic cityscape viewing ever, enjoyed Maryland crab cakes, pontificated over the number of rude store clerks, shopped some amazing stores and fell exhausted many nights in some wonderful hotels...all due to the dayjob. Each trip, each location is technically where I am supposed to go. But it's the roads that I take sporadically in each town, the little eateries that have me whipping the rental around and popping in for a bite, the store windows with their items glowing - pulling me in, the airport travelers, the hidden bookstores and the discovery of a new story that make this quote perfect for me.

I am always amazed at the wonderful surprises that await me when I travel. Those little gems that you take home and ponder over: the young woman with light red hair that fell in waves down her back. She wore dark black tights, tall boots and a striped dolman sweater. Her eyes were red from tears and her hand shook slightly as she sat beside me in Chicago. I did not speak for she seemed to be trying to fold into the chair, to disappear from the strangers around her. She could not have been older than twenty. From the corner of my eye I worried for her. Hoping that whatever was wrong/sad/disturbing would not plague her as she continued her journey. She carried only a purse and held an iPod tightly between her fingers.

Then in Baltimore I watched an older couple, a man no younger than seventy and a wife the same walk hand in hand down the skyway. He held her purse as she entered a restroom and I enjoyed the simple gesture with sheer pleasure. We smiled to one another across the way and later as I stood near a monitor he was there again, she stood beside him reading the scrolling flight times. Slipping another smile towards him he began to speak. "You have a lovely smile my dear. It is so rare to see young people really smile anymore." Grinning I thanked him, told him I thought it kind that he still held his wife's purse and even more wonderful that they held hands. He made a light joke that they would both get lost if they did not and we shared a laugh. I turned to see my gate and wished them a safe flight.

Random encounters give us so much to think about. I felt sadness and a deep need to want to help the young girl, but allowed her the space she seemed to crave. The couple had me tearing up and thinking how wonderful it is to have someone who already will hold my purse and my hand whenever I need it. Those secret destinations that I discovered along Blvd of the Allies, Grandview Ave, Clark Street, Charles Street and along William Penn Highway/US -22 are wonderful, memorable and worth the time; but it is the vision of red hair falling over slim shoulders, head bowed and that of the soft clasp of hands that cling to each other as they pass through the later years of life - those images, those unexpected distractions are what stay burned into my mind and lay upon my heart.

They may become characters in a story I later write, perhaps I will forget about them as time passes... but no matter what, they are dynamic within their own stories and for a moment they captured this traveler's attention completely unaware....

Have a merry Tuesday with a Twist!


Oh yeah - just heard about this AWESOME contest: Enter Carol's SPEAK about Banned Books by 9-26-2010


  1. Oh, this is such a sweet post! I teared up both for the old couple and for the poor girl. I want to knw what was wrong.

    And now I want to try feta and pepper potatoes!

  2. Princess!! *jumps up and down joyfully* Hi, Princess! I've missed you sooooooo much! Yay, yay, yay!! :-)

    Your post is great, but I'm just so glad you're back that you could have written an essay on dog poop and I'd still be excited! LOL. :-)

  3. Here's to hoping your work travels will bring you even closer...the we can hit some antique shops here!

  4. You are so wonderful to see all the beauties around you. I'm the harried one towing three kids through the airport that tries not to catch others eyes so they won't see my embarrassment at how crazy my kids are. :) Thanks for letting me step back and see something else.

  5. What a delightful post, Courtney. :)

    Miss you.


  6. Oooh, what a great post. I've missed coming here. Oh, and I love the quote at the top. It's so, so true.

  7. Lovely post. Thanks for sharing your encounter with the man holding the purse. I would agree that it is difficult to find many young folks smiling anymore.


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