July 23, 2012

Musings on the Unseen Stories

This afternoon, I was standing in line at the Barnes & Noble checkout counter, when an older gentleman walked past behind me. He was wearing a short-sleeved, plaid, button-down shirt and khaki slacks, but it was the sound of his footsteps that caught my attention. Each step made a distinct double 'click' on the tile floor. I glanced down and saw a thin silver line circling the back of both of his heels.
He was wearing tap shoes.
Now why, I asked myself, would someone wear tap shoes to a book store? My writer's mind immediately went to work trying to conjure up a set of circumstances that might lead to such a thing, but none of the results were very interesting. On the drive home, though, I kept thinking about it. It occurred to me that, even though I couldn't come up with a reason someone might wear tap shoes into Barnes & Noble, that man did have a reason for doing it. Somehow, there was an explanation.
And that got me thinking about the 'unseen stories' - the unseen explanation behind so many of the things that make our day to day lives interesting.
There is a story, a reason, an explanation, behind every weird, random little drama that plays out in front of us:
My mom had a perfectly legitimate reason for throwing open our front door, shoving the UPS man aside, and flinging our vacuum sweeper off the porch into a snow drift. For the poor UPS man, though, it must have been hard to imagine any explanation other than 'this woman is nuts'. (For those of you sitting out there scratching your heads, the inside of the vacuum cleaner was on fire.)
My dad had a perfectly legitimate reason for leaving his suit coat, dress pants, shirt, and shoes on the front porch over night. But for the mail man who showed up the next morning, a suit hanging on a farmhouse porch must have looked pretty crazy. (For the record: shooting a skunk in the head will not prevent it spraying, no matter what your uncle Ed says.)
The man in Barnes & Noble must have had a perfectly rational reason for wearing tap shoes to the book store. I can't imagine what it was, but then how interesting would seeing it have been if I knew all of the therefores and whereases?
It's the unseen stories, the explanations we don't know, that make life colorful and interesting... and pretty entertaining, too.

Your thoughts?

P.S. I'm probably not going to have access to the internet much for the rest of this week, so y'all will have to keep yourselves busy and out of trouble until I get back. In the meantime, take care, have a great week... and pray for rain! If your area doesn't need it right now, then A) count your blessings, and B) pray for the areas that do. Many families in my area are having to sell off their livestock because there's no food or water left for them. My family isn't to that point yet, thanks to stockpiled pastures and God's grace, but if we don't get rain soon we'll be in the same situation. So please, please pray.


  1. Wow, Mary, what a cool idea! You are sooooo right! All the little seemingly random things that happen in life really do have something behind them that made them come into being!
    And YES, I am praying, praying, praying for rain!!! We need it soooo badly!

  2. That is entirely wacko. And amusing

  3. I've thought this many times. :) And might I say that your family probably has an abundance of such stories? ;P
    And yes, I will be praying for rain! I wish I could send you guys the rain we have today...


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