My walk tonight…and a gift encounter


I met a wonderful woman. She was sweeping off her driveway. I said “hi lovely evening and you have a beautiful yard”.

She said ” Yes, but I am sore, my back and legs hurt, I am 86 and I have arthritis.”

We began a conversation while my MJ sat patiently ( not really easy for a Staffie to do!)

The woman began to talk. She gave me a brief overview of her life. A life full of change. She came from Europe with two young children during the war. Her husband had come before her. She has some bad memories of those war times before leaving her country. “I was raped…”

She had a 60 year marriage to a man that she has lost recently. She had tears in her eyes. “Its not easy getting old.”

She said she has written two books. ” I was pretty smart you know. I am old now so the brain doesn’t work as good.”

All I could think about were her memories, stories, and the experiences she has had. I was fully engaged, there on the street talking with this amazing woman!

I want to sit in her living room with tea and listen and learn. We have amazing historians living in our communities. Informal learning at its richest!

Narrative and Stories in Adult Teaching and Learning

by Rossiter, Marsha

ERIC Digest. 

“The learner involvement factor is also related to the power of stories to stimulate empathic response. It is the particularity of the story–the specific situation, the small details, the vivid images of human experience–that evokes a fuller response than does a simple statement of fact. This detail provides the raw material for both cognitive appreciation and affective response to the experience of another person.”



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