Saturday, January 29, 2011

{Hello My Name is......Irene}

I am starting a new section on my blog called "Hello My Name is.." The idea is that I tell you about all the wonderful and unique people I meet. I have always been fascinated by people and one of my favorite parts of the mission was meeting so many types of people and hearing their stories.

One of my best friends started a club in high school called "Hello My Name is" and the premise was to get to know other people. We got together at lunch time and mingled while munching on some snacks. I loved the club idea and the name and asked her permission to use it for my blog. So lets meet....Irene!

Last Saturday Irene came into my work. She was wearing a mint green sweatshirt and jeans. Her hair is blond and shows gray roots. She walks up to the desk and says she has come to pick up her turtle. We walk over to the rock turtles and I find one with a tag that says, "SOLD TO IRENE" and she says, "Oh good, well let me see if there is room in my car to take it now. I deliver bread and bagels and my car is pretty full but let me see." She walks out to the car as I try to lift the seemingly hundred pound turtle off the floor. She comes back in and I offer to carry it out to her car. I walk out to the maroon car and it is completely full of...stuff, but she has cleared off some space in the passenger seat.

We return back inside and she browses the other garden items we offer. As she is browsing I ask her about the bread and bagels she had mentioned earlier. She says, "Yeah Einstein gives me their day old bagels and Kneaders gives me their day old bread and I deliver it to the people who live out of their cars. I have some right now, do you need some?" I politely decline and ask her if she collects turtles. She launches into a story of the pet turtle she had for twenty five years, then a bird she found with a broken wing and nursed back to health and all the while she stares off at the ceiling with her ice hot blue eyes, looking at me only when she finishes each story.

The broken bird wing lead into a discussion of how Hogle Zoo is more a business than an animal refuge. She explains that sick birds are not kept at the zoo because what little child wants to look at a sick and unhappy little bird? So the poor birds are simply discarded and replaced with beautiful and healthy birds.

Irene owns seventeen ducks. She explained to me how she has to teach the mother ducks to be mothers. One time a mother duck and her ducklings had escaped to her neighbor's yard and the neighbor called asking her to come get them. She said that she walked across the street got the duck's attention and the duck simply trotted along side her back to the house.

After this twenty five minute get to know you, Irene goes to walk out the door saying she has got to get going and that she is sorry for taking up so much of my time. Then turns and asks my name, I reply, she says, "You're beautiful, do you go to school?" My answer lead her back in the store and she shut the door as she started to explain to me the changes that need to be made to the BYU botany pond. She thinks that since I am a landscape major I can persuade the university to put in more benches for people to sit, get the pond water cleaned up and a beach built up in the middle of the pond for the turtles to escape the petting friendly kids.

This is followed by the statement, "Our Provo city fathers have betrayed us, have you been on the Provo river trail?" She talks about the trail being in people's back yards and the recent rapings deterring the interest in the trail. She wants a beautiful, open and clean river.

Irene turns to leave again and the snow flurries outside lead her into a story about seeing a real bald eagle in her neighborhood. Then comes the third attempt to leave the store and she asks what year I am in school. She shuts the door again and counsels me about buying a house with lots of property. Her house doesn't sit on much property and she doesn't have much room for all the animals and garden decorations she buys.

And with that she turns, opens the door, and says, "Bye Amy, write some letters to BYU about the pond." "Bye Irene, have a good day."

Help the poor. Help the animals. Take more note of beauty. Share your interests with others. Thanks Irene.

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