By Ellie Behman
Everyday life is filled with interesting experiences that can make me laugh or even cry. We just have to keep our eyes and ears open. It may be a spiritual incident or even a relationship issue that you have witnessed. I happen to believe there are stories all around us as they present me with new topics to write about. Someone once asked me where I got my ideas from and I simply said, “Life happens. I just write it down.” Everything I write is true and has occurred, but I have to admit I embellish a tad here and there, just to make sure the reader doesn’t nod off. I may have to plead the fifth when questioned by the subjects of my stories.
I have become a frequent visitor to the local YMCA (doctor’s orders) and as I entered the locker room one day, I soon realized I was the only one there. I walked to the back of the room to my usual locker when the lights went out. Ordinarily this would not be a major concern, but the room had no windows and I couldn’t see my hand in front of my face. I heard voices but didn’t know where they were coming from. I felt trapped and somewhat nervous as I carefully groped the wall making my way to what I hoped was the door. I was certain I would smash into the wall while getting out and hoped someone would eventually find me
I think I watch a little too much television, especially crime stories because I was certain someone was walking behind me, ready to attack. In an instant I knew what it must feel like to be sightless and my heart went out to those who are blind. After what seemed like hours, I was back out in the hall that had lights.
As I entered the main hall, I met up with other women in my water walking class so we waited until the lights came on. We have three locker rooms: one for women, one for men and a changing room for families. The door of the family locker was open and the light was on so one lady decided to change there. In an instant she whirled around and shouted, “There’s a man sitting in there. “She is a sweet elderly woman who was clearly embarrassed. (I must add we didn’t know if he was aware of the open door as he seemed as startled as she was, but we didn’t stick around to find out). Perhaps he stayed there when the lights were out and fell asleep. It did provide us with lively banter the rest of the afternoon.
Another time my friend and I were in the pool ready for class when one of the staff members in the YMCA came and called her name out. We had no idea who was looking for her but was told her medical alert went off and sent a call to her son notifying him that she may be in trouble. The answer was simple. The system (safely tucked in her purse) activated on its own and automatically contacted her son who was terribly concerned. Once she explained what had happened and told her son she was all right, we had a good laugh. Brought back memories when we worried about our kids when they were out and now it was their turn to take over the worries. What goes around, comes around.
As I write this, I can’t help but wonder if it’s safe to go out alone at this “tender” age. There are way too many hurdles to handle as we get older. I may consider filling my gym bag with a few extra’s, just in case: a flashlight, taser, and a can of pepper spray.
Ellie has been a freelance writer for more than 40 years and has written over 400 articles. She and her husband spend as much time as possible at their cabin where they enjoy the beauty of the surrounding area. This is where the majority of her writing is done as it is the perfect quiet setting for a writer.