Sunday, June 12, 2011

A Sunday Stroll

Sweetie has left me home alone while she goes out of town to a funeral.  I don't like being away from her, or vice versa.  As she drove away, feeling a bit melancholy, I sat down to the computer to play a little solitaire.  I didn't make it through one game before I knew I'd better get up and do something, or I might go mad.

I decided to go for a walk around the neighborhood.  I had no agenda.  I wanted an adventure.  A neighborhood adventure.  G. K. Chesterton once wrote:
"By asking for pleasure, we lose the chief pleasure, for the chief pleasure is surprise."
I wanted surprise.  I wanted to just go for a walk and be surprised by what came of it.  What a pleasure!
What a surprise!

As I walked past Virginia's house, I had a notion that I might stop and see if she'd made it home from the Care Center, where I saw her last.  Sure enough!  She's still spending most of her time in a wheel chair but is practicing with the walker a little more each day.  Beau is taking such good care of her.  I've not met Beau before.  Virginia and Beau have created some kind of symbiotic relationship that is a mystery to me, but seems to work wonderfully for them.  She's probably 20 years his senior.  Beau grew up on the Crow Creek Reservation in South Dakota.  Having spent some time on the Rose Bud Reservation myself we had a jumping off place for a wonderful conversation and chance to get acquainted.  The Sioux are such a noble people.  Beau was surprised to learn that I had helped carve the Crazy Horse monument.  (I paid $10.00 to push the plunger on a preset dynamite charge, which I watched from the Visitor's Center.)  That was 40 years ago, when there was nothing recognizable emerging from that mountain of stone.  I was surprised to see Virginia so well and to find such a great new friend in Beau.  Virginia was surprised to learn how sick Rex is.

I bade them farewell intending to check on Rex next.  On the sidewalk I encountered Ann and Rachael walking little Landyn around the block.  Turns out they were headed for Rex and Dora's too.  We went together.  Landyn is getting so talkative!  What a cute little fellow.  Arriving together I had a chance to introduce the sisters to Darrin, who I chatted with as the gals commiserated with Dora.  Rex is failing and getting in two visits for the stress of one was probably a good thing.  We didn't stay long, but were comforted to find Dora feeling better and Darrin so ably easing her burden.

Parting ways again, I moseyed on down the street until I was startled by a rather formidable, "Woof!"  A Bull Mastiff was saying hello over a fence ridiculously shorter than he was.  His owner was smoking on the front porch and tried to set my nerves at ease.  We introduced ourselves.  His name was Scott.  We quickly made connections to relatives of his in Tridell and struck up an immediate friendship.  Single and young, Scott is a bit of an anomaly on his street where most of the residents are in their eighties or nineties.  I was surprised at how protective he was of those old folks that surround him.  He let me know that he was proud to have played a part in putting the druggies in the house across the street into jail, away from these sweet old folks who "need their peace and quiet

On down the street I encountered Tanner giving his little sisters a ride in a trailer behind his bike.  They stopped for a visit and those precious little sweet hearts were so polite and dignified in their delight.  Tanner, seasoned beyond his years, is one of my favorites.  Fellow flautists (amateur at best) there seems to be an age old bond between us.  Such a surprise,  because we've only known one another a few months.  We didn't talk long, rickshaws are only fun if they're moving.

The other night I watched The King's Speech on television and decided I'd better go compare notes with John.  I asked if he'd seen the movie yet.  "Don't need to!" was his reply, "I was there!"  Of course I already knew that and John knew I did.  But when you've been witness to one of the greatest moments in history, you've got to glory in it every chance you get.  We had fun bantering about the significance of that moment and of all the wonderful things God had done to bring it about.  Some people might believe in coincidences, but John and I don't.  An hour's conversation flashed by in what seemed like ten minutes.  I had been mildly rebuked in Priesthood Meeting by Billy and I decided I'd better get on over there and take my licks, so I excused myself from John's pleasant company and headed around the corner.

Billy was out watching a sprinkler cycle, having just got back from gathering the Bishop's Store House orders for tomorrow's grocery run.  What a fine, fine man.  He didn't beat me up at all.  Just wanted to emphasize mine and everyone else's need to try just a bit harder to build the Kingdom.  Push me, Billy, push me, I need all the help I can get.

And so it went, my little walk full of unexpected blessings.  No more melancholy.  I guess I'll be just fine.  The chief pleasure is surprise!

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