Sarah Lysne: The joy of acquaintances

Published 6:28 pm Friday, August 19, 2022

I have always had jobs that involve interacting with many people. I learned a lot about working with the public when I worked at the Austin Bakery during high school. The owners, the Waldees, retired, and the bakery closed in the 1980s.

I learned how to wait on customers by watching Mrs. Waldee. She had a pleasant, caring personality. People considered her a true friend.

My favorite customer was a woman named Florence. She walked to the bakery every Saturday. She used a fireplace poker for a cane because she said it was just the right size for her. Florence had severe osteoporosis, but her eyes sparkled and she was always smiling. When I was getting her order ready, she wasn’t on her cell phone (those didn’t exist) instead she was visiting with me. After four years of waiting for her, we formed a friendship. After the bakery closed I would go to visit her. She had been a teacher, and she encouraged me when I was struggling in college. She had a fierce determination to always do the best she could despite her physical challenges. It is this quality about her that inspires me today. Florence also taught me that visiting with others when we are out in public, can make us feel more like a community and less isolated.

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I have a lot of acquaintances because I love visiting with people, and because they make my life richer.