Presidio Sunset” original watercolor painting by kayti sweetland Rasmussen

Every day we are looked after by scores of people, most of whom we either ignore or don’t see in the first place. The restaurant servers or the people who clean up after you move quietly from table to table in the restaurant, the checkers at the grocery store, the men who collect our garbage, the postman; most of these people are simply bodies in motion as we go about our business.

I’ve been thinking about these people for some time and I like to call them “our angels”. People who look after us.

Norbert is our postman. He is from the Philippines, a Democrat who doesn’t like Obama. He and Dr. Advice have long philosophic discussions every day and Norbert makes it a point to tuck our mail in a safe place if he thinks we aren’t home. He has a family and a wife who works also.

Cesar is our garbage collector. He is from Mexico, quite handsome with the whitest teeth I have ever seen and drives a cute Corvette which was given to him by an old man whom he helped over and beyond what was expected. He is married with 3 children and a side business as a handyman. I look for him on his pickup days because he is unfailingly cheerful and smiling.

A few years ago in our coffee shop, a disgruntled customer yelled at the small lady cleaning his table. We called her over to our table and tried to make her feel better. Dr. Advice had spent some time in the Philippines during the War and knew the town which she called home so they had an immediate connection. Carmen and Edith are ladies from the Philippines who clean tables, sweep floors, clean bathrooms and take care of customers at the coffee shop. I only understand about one word in 15 from one lady, but they always stop for a chat, give me a hug and bring extra napkins, cream etc. Carmen is going home to the Philippines in 62 days and will be gone for 6 mnths. I will miss her.

Ray, who works at MacDonalds, is from Mexico but loves to work on cars as a side business though he can do most anything. He invited us to his wedding last year which was an occasion we would not have missed though we were the only English speakers at the reception, which featured Mariachi music and the best Mexican food available. His wife is from Viet Nam and works as a caregiver. Together they have three children.

In Trader Joe’s and Safeway there are several other “angels”. People who work exceedingly long hours, yet are friendly beyond what is demanded by management. We are known to all by name, and Dr. Advice can always be found engaged in a long conversation while I spend his money. Jonah who is African American calls me Ma, and always stops what he is doing to give me a hug. Ron is retired from the airlines and is always available for good humored ribbing. Tilly, the hard working girl who makes sure the carts are stacked neatly, loves movies and can always be expected to give us a review of her latest favorite, which are always kid movies. I accuse Nancy and Mario of spending 24/7 at Safeway, because they always seem to be there.

In our Safeway there are several baggers who are handicapped. We are so grateful to Safeway for hiring these people as they add a lot to our lives and to others as well while they go about these jobs which are so important to their self importance.

I sometimes wonder if I was blind to these hard working helpers in the past, and if they only notice us now because of our age. I hope that’s not the only reason, I would like to think they value our friendship as much as we do theirs.

Author: kaytisweetlandrasmussen83

I am a retired fine arts teacher, sculptor/painter, writer, and a native Californian. I love my family,dogs, horses, movies, reading and music, probably in that order. I have been married forever to a very nice man who is nice to old ladies, dogs and children.


  1. I like this post VERY MUCH, Katy ! – and I commend you for it. The sole thing I take issue with is the fact that your spend too much time in McDonalds.
    I am coming to realize that all manner of people eat there – not just the young and those careless of their intake, but perfectly normal people like you and Dr Advice ! You could knock me down with a feather … [grin]


    1. A good many years ago a good friend and tennis partner bought 6 MacDonalds in town. Now that he has gone to the tennis court in the sky, his son and grandson run the 3 remaining.(A divorce took 3) So it’s a friendship thing, and the coffee surpasses Starbucks and Peets.
      We seem to involve ourselves in other people’s lives. Don’t know whether that’s a good thing or what.


      1. Why should it not be ? – I LOVE talking with strangers, and if I were someone who frequented places I would without doubt establish these kinds of friendships. It’s just you guys being nice, and that’s the bottom line.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I just love this essay about our Angels. You are a wonderful person, and I am so glad you are in my world. Hugs and Kisses to both you and Dr. Advice.

    Linda (i am in mountains for 3 weeks…grandkids etc. and will call when I return.) Hope all is well.

    On Sat, Jul 26, 2014 at 11:09 AM, Pachofa-Unfinished wrote:

    > kaytisweetlandrasmussen83 posted: ” “Presidio Sunset” original > watercolor painting by kayti sweetland Rasmussen Every day we are looked > after by scores of people, most of whom we either ignore or don’t see in > the first place. The restaurant servers or the people who clean up after > you”


  3. What a gorgeous post. Full of love and gratitude. You’re a gem. So is Dr Advice. I also recognise those downward drooping leaves and gumnuts. It’s an Australian eucalyptus!! Off to tweet your post. Have a happy Sunday xxx


  4. This is how it should be, if everyone was like you Kayti (and the good doctor) the world would be a much better place. I talk to everyone and anyone, not to be noble but because I am interested and I always benefit from the experience. It is easy to be kind; just be kind it’s easy. 🙂


  5. Giving and receiving the kind of attention you speak of here is what used to be called “graciousness.” Sometimes, we called it “neighborliness.” Always, it’s nice.There’s far too little of it in the world today, and it’s always such a pleasure when it’s encountered.

    I suspect the reason age plays into it is that we have more time now. A mother with a couple of kids in tow, or a guy just trying to get something to eat before a night at the office doesn’t have time to really look at the clerk or the server, let alone chat with them. It’s different in the morning, or early afternoon, and it makes a big difference when the schedule loosens a bit.

    I just hate seeing someone being fussed at in public — or worse. It takes almost no effort at all to speak in a normal tone, or smile, or make a little personal comment. Even the “hidden” people among us deserve no less — thanks so much for the reminder!


    1. Speaking of “neighborliness”, remember when it was imperative to take something homebaked to a new neighbor to welcome them? Unfortunately not any more What are we afraid of?. Maybe it’s the new west coast persona. People different from ourselves It’s too bad really.


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