Monday, July 20, 2015

An Oasis

Lutheran Settlement House Garden

I found refuge in this garden on the corner of Frankford Avenue and Master Street in Fishtown. This beautiful urban garden was the perfect place to reign in a creative explosion and find much needed focus. My focus did shift towards what was so pleasantly in front of me. Creativity can be like an affliction of mass confusion until it is given a focus.
The tall standing Sun Flowers lead the way to the lower standing flowers. The benches and picnic table allowed me to sit and take it all in. It also helped opened up conversation among others who also found refuge from routine or what ever the circumstance.

Jennifer is one of Fishtown's more recent neighbors. She's originally from upstate New York and moved here following her dreams and friends. She was so easy to talk with and if you meet her you'll find the same. Welcome to Fishtown.

And then there was Deirdra.
There's a variety of ways to spell her name but it's all pronounced the same. Deirdra was walking towards Girard Avenue when we both made eye contact, a smile and then a hello. She mentioned how she enjoyed passing this garden on the way to Joe's Steaks on the corner of Frankford and Girard Avenue. She said she likes to eat lunch there. I told her that I was taking pictures of the garden and asked if I could take her picture. She replied, "No, no, no.""I don't look good in pictures." I told her that it would be a nice picture with the sun flowers standing behind her. Deirdra turned and looked at the flowers and said that would be nice. She then said, "When that's done, why don't you come to lunch with me." "My treat." I respectfully declined her offer by telling her I was just about ready to head back home. Deirdra looked me straight in the eye and said, "I don't like eating alone." It's more fun when you have some company." I couldn't refuse her and so we walked together to Joe's Steaks and had lunch. 
Everyone at Joe's greeted her because she's so easy to remember. Deirdra wouldn't have any of it when I said that I'd pay for my own food. She said, "Don't do that." "I don't want you to remind me of my children." "They always do that." All I could say was "OK but I pay the tip." She paused and thought for a moment and then said, "That's OK then."
We both had a tasty chicken cheese sandwich and a glass of coke. Time passed as she told about her late husband and how she was proud that all her children were doing well for themselves. Deirdra also told me that she was 92 years old. This women can walk as fast as any one of us. I had her slow down because that pace could up and bite me sooner or later in the day. 
We must have spend nearly an hour together at the steak shop before we parted ways. Maybe the name of this story should have been, My Lunch with Deirdra.

true story and photos by roman blazic_all rights reserved before and after lunch

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