A few weeks ago the weekly photo challenge was to capture the life of a street. I considered heading out into the main streets of my beloved Frankston, there’s so much to see there. Instead, I’ve captured my humble residential street. There’s my front fence to the left, next door is the drive way that leads to the Dawson’s, where I used to live. Next stop is the brick fence of a block of units, a lady and her children live in one of those units. I’m not sure if there’s one or more kids, but even from two doors down I can hear her talking very loudly (aka yelling) to her offspring.
It’s an empty street in this moment and yet it’s one that is full of life and people. Over the past six months I’ve had plenty of time to see what this humble street holds. From my couch in the lounge room I see people walking their dogs, joggers, kids on their bikes or scooters heading to the milkbar, an elderly man with his walker and jack russell go by every day, kids going and coming home from school and various other people from all walks of life. I often tell myself off for people watching from the couch, memories of my aunt and mum doing the same as I was growing up. Yet each time I see movement from the corner of my eye I can’t help but glance out to see, to wonder who they are, what they’re doing, if they’re well, to smile at the excitement of kids or wonder if that paper bag holds a few cans. It’s just too much for a self confessed people watcher to resist from the comfort of her couch!
I love our little street, quiet but full of life.
Katie brushed a strand of her blonde hair out of her face. Her hand worked in circles, polishing the table with a bright yellow cloth. As the dark brown circle of wood shone under her work, Katie daydreamed about her life, her Mum, little brother and the aunt that lives close by. Her musings were interrupted by the familiar jingle of the restaurant’s front door. She looked up and saw that a lone woman clad in a large red jacket had walked into the simple and homely restaurant that was known as “Mamma Josie’s”. She hadn’t seen her before, but that was not unusual. Mamma Josie’s had it’s regulars that rarely deviated from their standard order. Kate was simply glad for the customer, Monday lunch was always too quiet. It was just Kate, the cook and Josie herself on Mondays, that was all that was needed.
The little restaurant was owned and managed by Josie McMillan, a woman who had a mid life crisis soon after her husband had his. Kate had heard that she was a big wig corporate woman who sold all her shares and bought this restaurant. The place had been in a mess, Kate had seen the photos, Josie had worked hard and invested thousands to create the ambiance of a grandmother’s kitchen. The menu items, round wooden tables and chairs and blue curtains made it homely and Kate had decided a while ago that Josie had indeed achieved her goal. The walls were white and bright and here and there were sunflowers bursting out of vases. They were in season and so they were real. Josie had shown Kate the plans for renovating the area at the back of the shop. A cottage garden would replace the straggly grass, tables and picnic benches would sit in the shade of the big tree that had been there forever. Kate forgot what kind of tree it was.
Kate smiled at the lady, “Take a seat anywhere you like. I’ll be right with you.” The lady nodded, her bobbed hair moving with the motion. She chose a two seated table by the front window, removing her big red jacket and settling into the chair. The woman’s hair was perfectly styled in a shoulder length cut, a rich brown shade hiding any greys that may or may not be there. She looked to be in her mid 30’s, perhaps closer to 40. Kate wondered if she was on her lunch break or meeting someone, the woman was dressed smartly. A plain black skirt that reached the top of strong legs and a white with black trim ruffled top was an outfit that could be worn for either. Hmmm, thought Kate, she’s wearing light make up. Just enough for the day time. Kate saw that the stockinged legs ended in a modest pair of black heels. The young waitress enjoyed her job, enjoyed the people and enjoyed trying to figure people out. The lady looked nervous, fiddling with the ruffles, her silver watch, silver chain necklace and shooting glances out the window. Was she in a rush? Maybe waiting for someone? Would she need a second menu? Kate collected two menus and walked to the lady, her waitress smile automatically lighting up her face.
“Welcome to Mamma Josie’s” said Kate.
This is my first time responding to the Weekly Writing Challenge. I thoroughly enjoyed writing this, hope it was just as fun to read.