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Saturday, March 10, 2012

A Good Day. A Good Night

Three milestones for me this week. I submitted resumes to two more job listings, I got dressed and actually left the house, and Charlie and I went and made a surprise dinner visit to Jeff and his parents. In light of the way I've been feeling lately, this is huge.

Not only did I submit resumes, but I did it for two jobs that I, (how do I put this?), feel unqualified for. Lately though, I reasoned that I feel pretty much unqualified for ANY job, and so I've submitted for positions that my family is telling me I'm WAY overqualified for. I remind them that I couldn't even get a job as a hotel maid, so how overqualified could I be? Besides, I already have that job, though unpaid, right here at home. I don't really expect to hear from these companies, but my husband tells me that should be the next big step in my "rehabilitation"; to EXPECT what I deserve. Yep, I'll work on that next week.

On Thursday, my dear friend of many, many years, CJ, asked me to accompany her on her plant watering route. She drives into Orange County from Bakersfield once a week. We don't get to see her that often now that she no longer lives here, but when we do, it's like getting a very happy Cosmo buzz. No matter how bad things get for her, she puts a smile on her face and moves forward. Spending the day tagging along with CJ was a very happy highlight of the week. It took us all of 2 hours to visit all of her clients, and then we took a drive to the wholesale flower market. She said; "How can one walk amongst all of these gorgeous flowers and not feel happy? It's like a floral smile tonic!" She was right. We laughed a lot, reminisced about our many "Lucy and Ethel" escapades when she lived with us back in the early 90's, ate at In-N-Out (which I haven't done in AGES), and for awhile, all our troubles melted away like the cheese on my burger.

When she dropped me off at home, I felt renewed. I thought; if this woman who is struggling to keep a dying plant business afloat, having to drive all the way from Bakersfield every week, has way more financial troubles than I have, can smile and laugh while she walks through the homes of wealthy Newporters and waters their plants, then I have no right to continue to moan. We hugged. She said; "See ya Huffnagle!", her favorite nickname for Charlie and I from decades ago, and said, "Listen, if you wanna have something good to write in your bloggie-thingie about, tell everybody about that time Charlie and I ran into each other in your hallway in the middle of the night and how we didn't have to turn on the lights because we're both so white, we glow in the dark!" We both crack up. We do have a lot of happy memories. As she calls them; "Depends Moments." I love this woman. As she drives away, I feel a sense of gratitude. Something I should be more aware of every day.

Yesterday, I called Charlie at work during his lunch break. I was thinking that we hadn't seen Jeff and his parents in a week or two. Since Jeff got out of the hospital from his last chemo treatment. His parents don't really like to go out much. They're self-professed Homebodies. It's completely understandable considering in the last year, they've spent more time in the hospital than at their home. We've tried to get them to come out with us, but they stick close to home. So I thought, why not bring Friday Happy Hour to them? I could pick up some wings and beer and we could show up at the doorstep. "Wanna take a chance?" I asked Charlie.
"I'm game!" He's such a trooper. So, I went and picked everything up, packed a cooler with beer, and waited for Charlie to get home.

Bryson was in the house playing his guitar. It was his first day off in 13 straight days. He told me how he'd packed a lot of his favorite things into this one day. He'd gone surfing with Jeff, which was the first time they'd gone in many months. Something amazing and miraculous in and of itself. He'd come home and had lunch with his beautiful girlfriend. He got to spend some time playing his guitar, and in just a short time, he would be leaving again because he and the guys were going down to the beach for a bonfire to celebrate a spectacularly beautiful California day. I mentioned to him our plan to surprise Jeff's parents. He loved it and called Jeff to see if they were home. Jeff said they were at the store picking up some steaks for dinner, but they'd be home in about 30 minutes. Jeff loved the idea too.

Thirty minutes later, Charlie and I were sitting on the tailgate of our car, parked in front of Jeff's house, waiting. Charlie popped the cap off a Blue Moon and laughed. It really was a beautiful afternoon, moving into a gorgeous evening. I mentioned to him what a good day Bry and Jeff had together, how good it was to hear Bryson play the guitar, how happy I was to be sitting there with him at that moment, and how excited I was for the Longs to pull up in their driveway. Seconds later they pulled in, honking the horn, smiles on their faces. The hugs were warm. We told them we thought we'd do a "Dinner Drive-by" and wondered if they'd like to share some pupus and beer. We spent the next few hours talking about everything under the sun and laughing. I could tell it was a nice break for them.

I mentioned to Jeff's mom how I missed hearing Bry play the guitar, and listening to the boys jamming in the garage, and how good it was to hear him play today. She said she missed it too, but that Jeff just didn't have the strength lately. No sooner were the words out of her mouth, the four of us heard some beautiful guitar rifts coming from their garage. We all smiled at each other. After a few minutes, Jeff came back in to say goodbye. Bryson and the guys were outside to pick him up for the bonfire. We toasted that happy thought. In just a very short time, two very distinct miracles on the same day, in both our houses. Music, and our sons going OUT. Later that night, the goodnight hugs were even warmer and tighter than the welcome hugs we received when we first arrived.

If I am not so engrossed in ME, I am better able to see the journey of the amazing people around me. And they ARE, all around me.


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