How do I get myself into these things? I got a call from a real estate agenda. It seems he got my contact information from an acquaintance/widow I sat next to at a senior hall luncheon earlier this week. She is building a condo and selling the home she and her husband lived in for 35 years. I, of course, expressed interest in the process she is going through. I asked questions to keep the conversation going and I told her that someday I want to move to a condo, too. But what did I say that led her to believe that I’d welcome a call from her real estate agent? If I was in her place, I might give someone my agenda’s contact information, but never the other way around. A salesman is a salesman, for crying out loud. Unfortunately, I talked to the guy for 10-15 minutes. Big mistake and I should have known better. I’m betting now he’ll be like a bloodhound in hot pursue of a coon even though I told the guy I’m not planning to move for a couple of years. Maybe if he calls again, I’ll tell him I have no more need to move to a smaller place because I found a boy toy to move in here. I checked out the agent’s website and one of the comments left said they appreciated that the agent prayed for their sale to go through. Really? No wonder The Big Guy doesn’t have time for bringing about world peace! He’s too busy overseeing real estate transactions!
A few hours after The Call I noticed a ‘for sale’ sign on my next door neighbor’s front lawn. Crap! I don’t have a lot of contact with those neighbors but they are friendly and their kids are respectful of the property lines. It’s a two story house with a two-level party deck that is big enough to hold all 360 members of the Mormon Tabernacle choir. What kind of neighbors will I end up with? If they start out by tearing down that hideous deck I’ll bake them a pan of brownies every week until I move from the neighborhood. I’ve hated that deck since they built it and I had a couple of 15 foot pine trees planted to prove it. All the want-a-be architect in me sees when I look at that deck is a lot of money spent foolishly. It isn’t even attached to the house! Who does that? If I had designed their deck, it would have been accessible from their upstairs bedrooms and their main floor family room. “Mind your own business, old woman” you’re saying to your monitor. Don’t get your panties in a wad. The neighbors don’t know how I feel about their white elephant.
My friends who were going to take me out for lunch this week in memory of Don’s two year sadiversary ended up canceling because their son-in-law’s father died and my friends had to do lot of babysitting surrounding his funeral---twin babies not even a year old. We got to talking on the phone about the deceased and it seems the consensus in the family is that the man threw his life away, that grief finally killed him. His wife had died ten years ago and after that his life fell apart and he never got it back together again. He lost his job, pushed his family and friends away---lost everything. He just didn’t care anymore to go on without his wife. I told my friend that the guy’s wife wouldn’t have wanted that for him and I suppose it shouldn't have shocked me that talking about this topic got me teary-eyed. My friend---the guy in the couple---and I are crying buddies. Over the past two years our conversations have often triggered one or both of us to shed a few tears. And it‘s good to have one close friend in the world who you can do that with without judgment. He’s like the son we never had.
Today was the day I was supposed to go to the movies with the Red Hatters, but I woke up this morning---on Don’s sadiversary---with the alarm clock acting screwy, flashing the time in a way it has never done in all the years I’ve had it. Even unplugging the thing and disconnecting the backup battery didn’t help. When I plugged it back in it was still flashing its two inch high red numbers. As frustration set in the first thing I thought of is that Don’s ghost is playing games with me again, like he did with my wedding ring so many months ago. “Get up sleepy head,” the flashing clock seemed to say. “Don died two years ago today and it’s time to play in the memory garden.” Then I looked outside the window and saw how hard it was snowing and before I knew it, I was e-mail the Red Hatters that something came up and I couldn’t meet them for lunch and the movie.
I know, where did my resolve and will power go? I can’t even remember the last time I avoided going someplace because the past was holding me back. I should have pushed through the tears the flashing clock brought and went off to play with the living instead of staying home to play with the dead. I never used to believe in ghosts and spirits, but isn't it a strange---and maybe even an awesome---coincidence that today of all days that clock decided it wanted to be grow up and be a flashing billboard instead of a time piece? And to add to the strangeness, why did it quit snowing within seconds of me sending the cancellation e-mail? ©
P.S. The photo up above was taken in 1973 at a 50's party and the clothes we were wearing were clothes we actually wore to our proms in the late 1950's, before we knew each other. I didn't even know this photo existed until earlier this week when a friend e-mailed it to me. I have so few photos of the two of us together and I was so excited and pleased to get this one.