Saturday, March 11, 2006
The rest of a good day
I’m up now. Suppose I will take up where I left off with the previous entry. (If you didn’t read it go back and do so you twit. Otherwise this may be Greek) Hey! I just woke up so the humor might be a little rough. Nothing like trying to be funny and having it fall flat on it’s face.
I’m not too proud of that type of sales. It was about the only job I could find just after Cherie and I had moved to Toledo in 1980. The economy was tight and I couldn’t find work in my trade as a machinist because I didn’t belong to a union. They really don’t have unions in Texas and Toledo is an old union town where, years ago, literally hundreds died in the early riots connected to the Autolite plants. Now it was “No union card, no job”. So I had a young wife and a new marriage and took whatever job I could find. I didn’t like it but I excelled at it like I have excelled at everything I have done. Unfortunately I excelled at being bad at times also.
Cherie and I had both made the big decision that “We’re not buying anything”. By golly and we’re sticking to that, we’re firm in our resolve, I’m no sucker, I know how this stuff works. Wanna bet? Fact is Direct Buy is a hell of a program, particularly for us.
Fact is we can buy all the stuff we need for the house in Texas for a lot less than anywhere else. Considering we will recoup our investment in the first year the math works well.
When we got there it was a place with catalogs and samples covering all the walls. More stuff than you could ever find in just one store. William was the guy assigned to us and after getting a cup of coffee we were ushered into a room where we went through a well orchestrated presentation that was as good as anything I would design. He missed a few opportunities to nail down his points better but did well overall. I always taught in sales that people generally are motivated to buy because of either need, greed, or fear of loss. They effectively used all three. Now part of our agreement forbids us from telling the details so other than the math working I won’t say much.
After the presentation we sat down with William. He was a nice guy with one of those practically shaved head looks. We filled out forms that basically qualified us, insuring we fit their parameters. When he got done and asked for our decision I said I would like to talk with Cherie. We both had no question that this would be a smart thing but had two main issues. First was to pay for the initial fee, which had an easy payment program but even that was hard at this time. We have no credit cards due to the bankruptcy and the savings was drained by our repeated need to go to Texas. The other question was whether we could use the membership in Texas despite purchasing it in Toledo. Finding an answer to those questions we decided to sign up. So much for resolve but a resolve based on no information lacks common sense.
William had gotten to know us a little during the initial interview. I listed my occupation as both retired and being a writer. That sparked interest so he asked what I was writing. We told him a little about the coma, memory loss, and our love story. I also explained I was writing on religion and ran a few concepts by him. We always seem to have quite and impact on those we talk to and he wasn’t an exception.
William had a nice young woman, named Callie, to finish the paperwork. She had a bubbly happy personality with the energy that comes with youth. Sitting down she explained she had only worked there a few days but would do the best she could. Somewhere she spoke of her love story which I made her tell us. Then we told her ours. We do that allot because it’s what excites us still, even after two or more years. We also tell it because it touches people, making them feel good and smile. This it did for Callie who grabbed our hands and said she was happy she met us and wished us luck. William told us God bless, which is I’m sure was more than just his standard “We’re glad you’ve come on board” thing. I gave Callie the blog address and told her she would be in it. “Hi Callie!!”
We left and Cherie suggested we get some lunch. There was a Red Lobster next door and their adds have been driving me crazy so that’s where we went. Besides I was feeling good about making a decision that would save us several thousand dollars, actually cutting much of the cost of fixing up the house in half. Cherie is excited and was just busting as we ordered and waited for our food. “I’m going to be able to do everything the way I wanted to now” Cherie looked at me and said with that smile I’d pay a million bucks to see. As she spoke of what she envisioned for the house I could see her mind painting the pictures of how she wanted things to be. I love her excitement and share it also. We looked at each other and again spoke of how things seem to be coming together all at once. This includes the needs of those I help, finances, the farm, and many other pieces of a puzzle just falling in place. Like an outside hand is putting all this together.
We came home and talked more and more about the future we had before us. Cherie's Mom called and they had a nice talk. This was good as Cherie hasn't had much communication from family for a while with the exception of Nate's call the other day. Cherie hung up the phone and looking at me said "The ice is breaking". Then it came time for me to go over to see Wayne. Wayne had five pages written up for me about what he has gone through since being diagnosed with MS. We played a game of checkers and he did well, almost beating me without knowing I helped him look good to boost his morale. We talked of his MS and I explained to him what kind the doctor said he had. Someone working for the lawyer in Kentucky called me today about Wayne’s address so I need to make sure that’s done.
I called Barb after we finished the checkers game and she told me that Dixie decided she didn’t want to go, which is probably good considering her mental delicacy. Dee opted out also so Barb said it was just going to be her. I picked her up and could tell she was real nervous and uncomfortable about seeing her friend in a casket. She just talked and talked in her eleven year old way and I felt for her. When she said “I’ll have to go in there by myself” I told her “Barb, I’ll go in with you”. This brightened her up and I could see the relief on her face.
Finding the funeral home I led Barb in. Going into where Dawn was being showed Barb walked up to the casket. She didn’t get very close and after a glance turned and walked quickly back outside. I could tell how much this disturbed her and then Barb said “I gave her that dress she’s wearing”. She was trying hard not to cry so I told her she needed a hug, giving her one. Barb thanked me several times and said “You’re so nice” like the child she is inside from her brain injury. Barb talked and talked all the way home. Ever since Basil is gone she doesn’t have any one around much to talk to except when Dixie is doing good enough to come out.
Allen had called earlier to say he had woke up with a moment of clarity, feeling good about life for the first time. He asked me to come over and play video games like we used to and Cherie agreed it would be a good idea. I headed over there after getting Barb home. On the way to the East Side I went down Monroe Street. There was a car and pick up truck at the open front door of Jasche’s old pawn shop. I have been trying to find him for over a year without luck so I did a U turn and went back to see if it was him.
Walking up to the pickup bed, which was backed all the way up against the wall at the open door. There was a big guy pulling a six foot tall safe up to the door and I could hear Jasch in back of it. As they struggled I started laughing. The guy in front looked at me and said over the safe “There’s some guy out here laughing at me”. Jasch yelled back “Who is it”. “I don’t know, he’s just laughing” he replied while he kept his eye on me. I yelled “Come on Jasch, as much stuff as we’ve moved over the years you’d think you’d know how to do it”. “Who’s that” he inquired. “It’s Bob”. “Bob Westbrook? I’ll be damned. Come over here and help” Jasch said. I did and we did a quick catch up on things. Then I told him how to get this one ton hunk of steel in the back of his pick up and helped him do it. I got his business card and phone number and let him know I had to fly cause I was on my way to a friends.
Getting to Allen’s I called to let him know I was there so he came up and opened the door. Allen was doing OK though it was partly because he had taken some Oxy’s. He was more positive than I’ve seen him in a while. Allen was getting very confused about everything like how to make his sound work with the Game Boy and what game to play. I did my best to keep things on an even keel but my mind can’t process fast enough to play the video game. Despite my explaining that in detail to Allen over five times he didn’t seem to get it and handed me the controls with a “you play”. After ten seconds I handed it back. “Don’t give it to me again Allen. I can’t do it” I told him. It got too much to handle by 10:00 so I told him I had to go.
It was a relief to come home and see Cherie’s smiling face. I fixed a bowl of cereal and then laid in bed. Cherie claimed her “spot” on my shoulder and fell asleep. I loved just holding her while she slept away, snoring contentedly in my arms. Wouldn’t trade these moments for a million dollars, it is just too right. I think that is a good note to end this entry on folks. Goodnight, do good.