Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Why are you here?

I love people watching. If it was a sport, I'd be on the All Star team.
I was in great form on the 4th of July as my wife and I attended the fireworks display at Longwood Gardens in Longwood, PA.
The gardens attract thousands of tourists daily, all summer long, so with it being the 4th and all, the tourist bus parking lot was over flowing with large people movers.

As we sat in the gardens sipping our wine we found it to be an ideal people watching day. I felt like I was in Times Square in New York. It seemed every country on the planet sent representatives to our plush little area out here close to Amish country. I think we were the only people from Pennsylvania in attendance.

To the ear, it was like a foreign language seminar. Chinese, French, Spanish and apparently dignitaries from India. Maybe they weren't dignitaries but they sure looked sharp in their cultural dress. How did they get to little old Longwood PA?

I love spending the day in a cultural diverse environment. It's like taking a course in Life. There are no credits for these types of classes, but the learning curve is second to none.

Honestly though, I would see a family sitting near us speaking German, and I would smile and look at my wife and say, "What are they doing HERE?" In Longwood PA? How did they get here?

The same for the Chinese family. Longwood is a long way from China. Are the fireworks THAT good?

Someone might say I'm coming very close to the "P" word. You know, "Profiling."

It's not true. It's very simple really. If you don't have a farmers tan, and your not wearing a baseball hat that say "Stoltzenfus Tractor Supply", your not from the Longwood area.
The camera around the neck is also a hint.

As we sat in our chairs waiting for the fireworks to start, I noticed a woman, by herself, gamely limping through the grass on her way to her seat, which was located right next to me.
After a few pleasantries, just to make conversation, I asked her where she was from.
It turns out she was from Quebec, and she drove there.
Not Quebec Delaware, Quebec Canada!

I pounced on her. You drove from Canada? Why are you here? Why Longwood?
Where are you staying? You drove to the fireworks from Canada?

She was really very very nice. Quebec is a French speaking province in Canada, so her accent made her even cuter. She explained that Longwood Gardens has a very good reputation for their fireworks display, so she planned the trip to Longwood after stopping in New York and Philadelphia. It still blows me away.

After she answered all my pain in the butt questions to my satisfaction, I couldn't help myself.
Fearing this question could be a real buzz killer, I just had to ask.
"So, your from Canada," I asked. "How's that government run health care working for you up there?"
Ah, to sum it up, she loves it.

So, a great day it was.
My Canadian friend is probably near 60 years young.
She was by herself.
She had a bum knee.
She drove from Canada to my area to watch a fireworks display.
The next day she was heading to Gettysburg, PA.
She heard it is quite interesting there.

How can you not love this lady?


slommler said...

What a terrific lady she is!! And courageous to be traveling around...alone!! And to learn that someone loves the government run health care is amazing!
Sounds like you had a good holiday!

nacherluver said...

Lovely story! I'm always full of questions about people and the possible lives they lead. Always seeking interaction to learn about others. Kudos to you for your meet and greet. Not only did you enrich your life with her story, you enriched hers with the knowledge of yours and now all of us here on your blog! Love it :)
Life. Interesting.

Karen said...

I think it's amazing that you have such a diversity of spectators at that show! I'm a peoplewatcher too, we'de probably be on the same team if it's unisex.

Love that 60-years young woman and her attitude on life... I hope I'll always been willing to travel and explore...

dcpeg said...

Sounds like you had an all around awesome day. Didn't know about Longwood's fireworks show. If there as good as D.C.'s, I may just have to head up their myself next 4th of July.

A lot of fireworks are manufactured in PA, aren't they? I seem to remember a place near Northeast, PA where my uncle kept his boat.

Ain't diversity grand?!!!

Marilyn said...

I love your fireworks post and visiting with the lady from Quebec. We went to the fireworks and came home before they started. There were too many mosquitos. TV and a few out my window is what I saw.

beth said...

i am totally on that all star team with you !

Keda said...

What a wonderful encounter. We meet such wonderful people when we just open ourselves to other people.