Tuesday, October 13, 2015

He Swept Me Off My Feet

The first time I saw him my heart missed a beat. 
It had been a long time since any other had this effect on me and I knew I could not let him get away without meeting him.

I was standing in front of the florist shop at Food City in Elizabethton waiting on a floral arrangement I had ordered. He had picked up his grocery cart at the front of the store and had rounded the corner, headed in my direction.

As he kept strolling toward me my mind was racing. What could I do to get his attention? Should I quickly pay for my flowers and then follow him around as he picked out his groceries until I ‘accidentally’ ran into him? I felt my face blush at the thought of that idea; I did not want him to think I was stalking him…he would probably shy away.

By this time he and his cart were about three feet from me and my anxiety of missing this chance meeting with him overcame me I gathered every bit of courage I had and stepped out in front of his cart and stopped him.

Nervously, I extended my hand and introduced myself.

He, too, held out his hand and in a very low, somewhat gruffy voice said, “Hello ma’am. I am Mr. Lyons.”

I asked him if he knew how fascinating he looked and if anyone had ever been as bold as I to step out and stop him just to meet him. “Yeah, there was a woman in Jonesborough who did the same thing”, he said.

Well, I told him, she must have been a writer as well and she must have, as I, felt that she could not live another day if she could not take a photo and write a story about him.

“Yes ma’am, that’s right. She told me she writes stories for a magazine in Jonesborough. So you write stories too?”

And that is how I came to meet Mr. Lyons, the Chimney Sweep.

That day I met him he was dressed in the original clothing of a Chimney Sweeper of the 1800’s, black top hat rounding off the complete look, and I must say I was fascinated. He was definitely a story waiting to be written.

Long story short, Mr. Lyons soon afterwards came up to Misty Hollow and ‘swept’ Jake’s Cabin- and boy did that chimney need it!- for me while we chatted the entire time. This incredibly charming old man kept me in soot and stitches with his quick wit and running monologue of past experiences as a chimney sweep.

He left that day with an appointment to come back and sweep Bear Cabin and I was left with the gift that I had made a new friend up here in these mountains I now call home. The list of fascinating acquaintances keeps growing and I am richer for it.

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