Saturday, May 26, 2007

A pivotal moment

See the wolf?

5/26/07 Saturday
It’s 1:00 in the morning. One hour ago tomorrow officially became today. I am wide awake and never approached going to sleep. Just too much on my mind and it is operating well on top of that. In a few hours I believe we will begin one of those leaps forward in this life Cherie and I have been blessed with. The six years since I woke from the coma has had many of these pivotal moments.

Last night (I suppose a few hours ago would seem more accurate) Cherie had been poring through some of her old calendars which had notes in them like a diary. There was so much she saw as she looked at what she had written years ago, things she saw as if with eyes newly opened. We talked about much of it before she went to sleep. She is sleeping restlessly now as I type as quietly as I can in order to not disturb her. There is an old saying my boss at Bowman Distribution was fond of saying “The more things change, the more they stay the same”. The whole thing with her family in Toledo has been brewing in a pot of turmoil for over twenty years, fermenting till it must eventually blow it’s top. It is a poisonous brew that will continue doing damage as long as all the ingredients remain together in the pot that house has become.
I only got about an hours worth of sleep before it was time to get up and get ready to meet “the guys”. I was sharp, running about an 8 on the bob scale, a hair above average. By the way, it’s 4:05 in the afternoon as I write this so I’ve got a lot of ground to cover. First I need to check on what I wrote in the middle of the night.

OK, not much there. We both were up and running, excited to meet these strangers (No Janie, not you) who have agreed to come and see how they can help. Now I made a big deal that Cherie didn’t need to go on a big house cleaning spree because these folks would be coming in our house, so what do I do? I rush out to the garage and feverishly work to tidy things up.

Cherie was ready to go uncharacteristically on time and made me quit cleaning and get in the truck. We got there at four minutes before nine. Walking in Cherie says “There she is” indicating she saw Janie. Of course I don’t recognize her because facial recognition is one of the big losses that has not improved. There were six people there. Another couple didn’t make it as they went to the wrong I-Hop where they had held a table waiting for the rest to show. That’s a shame and I would like to meet them later. Everyone was introduced and I made a concerted effort to remember the names. First there was Steve, Janie’s husband, and another Steve, (That made it easier) and his wife who’s name escaped the clutches of my mind. The last person was Gary, who is an electrician active in residential new construction.

So we all sat in the tables that were pulled together to accommodate us and began to get acquainted. I was sharp and lucid when we first arrived but all the activity and commotion soon took it’s toll. I explained how it was effecting me as I probably do more than I should. Steve said he didn’t really notice. I am more aware of it than those around but being self conscious or something try to explain what they don’t see. Need to reduce that.

There was lots of conversation going around and I wasn’t able to follow much of it so mostly focused on what Janie, Steve, and the other Steve’s wife were saying. Cherie shared how we got back together and I told of some of the trials I went through after I woke from the coma. We had all ordered and eaten our fill when it was decided to head out to our farm. There was a debate about how to get there and who to follow so in the end we followed Janie. More or less. I stayed behind Janie as she looped around, at one point turning on her turn signal and changing her mind at the last minute. The other two trucks went their own way and somehow we all ended up in a convoy running down FM 829 together.

Being away from the commotion at I-Hop and pulling into the familiar territory of the farm brought me back up to speed just fine. Gary, Steve and Steve got right to business looking at the electricity and finding other things they wanted to see about helping with. I’m not sure what Cherie and the other women were about but I stayed with Janie’s Steve. He was checking out what it would take to get the stove, oven, microwave combination set up and working. He asked questions, made suggestions, and pointed out problems that could arise. Asking for a tape measure Steve went right to work drawing up blueprints of what was there and I suppose what would be there in the end.

I’m not clear on it but I think that the original idea was to just get us hot water in. It looks like things will go far beyond that now. Both Cherie and I are pretty blown away by how quick all of this happened. Cherie more than I. Janie brought a bunch of her clothes that she replaces on a regular basis, that mostly Cherie can fit in, and gave them to Cherie. I wasn’t there but am told that Cherie just started crying, overwhelmed by the generosity and blessing.

Steve knows a cabinetmaker whom he will ask to prepare something to house the stove, oven, microwave. Gary will run the 220 volt wiring needed for that as well as for the hot water heater. A new hot water heater is going to be purchased and installed. Gary will clean up the wiring heading out to the garage as well, making that safer.

The other Steve inquired about my past business background and specifically asked how my computer abilities were. I said they were fine so he mentioned that he is computer illiterate and would like to compensate me if I could teach him. At first I was “Yeah, I can do that” but as we talked got a little nervous. I explained that I didn’t want to make promises I couldn’t keep and have shot my mouth off in the past, confident that I could do something because at one time I could, only to learn I wasn’t up to it. Regardless, I told Steve I would be happy to do what I can but wouldn’t know how much that was till I got into it. Still it’s exciting for me to actually try. I am looking forward to seeing what I can do and his understanding this takes the pressure off. Now I want to start tomorrow. He gave me his business card which I need to go find. Set it down somewhere.

All in all it was a great time of fellowship. I showed them the garden, my plaque, and the pictures of the wreck. We talked about life’s lessons and they revealed some of their colorful pasts as well. All the business stuff was done so this was good camaraderie. Something I have experienced only a little of since we moved to West Texas and most of that has been through Eric and Janie, along with Amy who's way down San Antonio way. There are a few others also. Want to say that so I don't offend any of them. You guys know who you are.

A story that Janie told on her blog regarding a mishap Steve had while on his job site prompted my wicked sense of humor. I had mentioned this to Cherie, who was mortified at what I had in mind and said “Don’t you dare”. Steve is an engineer or something in the oil industry where he is on site at drilling rigs much of the time. These are often in remote areas and seldom have what resembles “facilities” if I understand correctly. So he had a little potty seat thing made for use camping. Seems that it gave way under his exertions with unpleasant results that I probably don’t need to go into detail about.

So we have the potty thing my grandmother had for her use because of the great difficulty she had getting to the bathroom. It’s a sturdy thing commonly prescribed for those who’s condition required it. It saw much use when we first came down and worked on the house before we got the well put in. What mortified Cherie was that I asked if she had a big ribbon and bow I could put on it to present it to Steve. Well she didn’t and if she did there was no way I would get it. Regardless I am feeling comfortable now so as they were preparing to get in their cars and leave I make an announcement that I had a special gift for Steve. Cherie knew what was coming so I heard “Robbb, Don’t. I can’t believe you’re going to do this” as I led Steve to the corn patch where I had last been using it to sit on as I planted new corn.

Steve seemed quite amused and I think he really liked it. Regardless, he picked it up and we walked around the house to the driveway where the rest were waiting. Janie just cracked up when she saw it. Steve grabbed the notebook he’d made his drawing in and sat on the seat to model how well it would work. We all had some fun with that and Janie recounted the story with Steve adding some details we might not have wanted to know. At first I don’t think Janie believed Steve was taking this home with him and announced “You’re not putting that in my truck”. Yes he was.

As we wrapped things up I thanked them all and told how grateful we both were. But I closed with this. “The gift I most appreciate is the one you can’t put dollar signs on but it’s the most precious one you can give. That is a little time, just coming out to visit with us is more valuable than anything else you can do”. They said they look forward to getting to know us and of course we do also. All in all we are blessed by just knowing them. I gave them all cards I printed up that have the blog address on so want to say “Thanks guys. We are blessed by your love”

Tomorrow we meet Eric and his wife at their church in Midland. Something else we are looking forward to. Like I said at the beginning of this post it seems that we are once again at a pivotal moment in the adventure of our life. Nothing more pivotal than finding and developing friendships.

1 comment:

Eric said...

Bob, I think you and Cherie have just encountered the reason why so many people move to west Texas, grudgingly, determined to hate it for its boring landscape and relative lack of amusements -- and then end up staying for a lifetime, unwilling to live anywhere else. It's the people, plain and simple.

Janie and her crew are the Church at work. What a blessing!