Quiet Voice

A Creativity Book of Days

A friend told me about a lady who sells fresh chicken eggs nearby and gave me a link to send her an electronic inquiry. We made contact and a deal for two dozen eggs to be picked up this morning at her home.

Her address was only about two miles away, down a street of modest homes on small lots. Her Hispanic surname and English syntax suggested to me that English might not be her native tongue.

A few minutes late out the door, my iPhone dinged. “I’m home.” It was the egg lady.

Five minutes later, confused by which driveway I should pull into, a large garbage truck rumbling up fast behind me made the decision. I pulled into the next-to-last house on the street, the yard neat and a portable basketball hoop at road’s edge. “I think I’m here, but not sure which is the right house,” I texted.

A lovely young woman opened the door and waved me in. A smiling toddler rolled around on the floor, bright eyes locked on mine. Face to face, I soon realized she barely spoke a word of English.

A man I’d place in his early thirties with black, wavy hair popped in through a back door, smiling, very alert, eyes identical to the toddler’s. His English was fluent.

We quickly concluded our business on the pretty brown eggs, $2.50 per dozen, a bargain at today’s grocery store prices.

“And they’re fresh,” the man said. “We collect them every morning.”

I gave the woman a five dollar bill. My efforts at half-Spanish, half-English small talk were lame. She seemed nervous, something to do with her husband maybe, and uncomfortable, anxious for me to take the eggs and go.

With an “Hasta luego” to the smiling baby, I did.

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