Why did I feature this photo? I'm not sure. Probably because it's raining today and because after taking down all the Christmas decorations a few days ago I looked at my ducks and thought about how they remain constant. I received the mommy duck and her baby as an anniversary gift and added to them over the years. So yes, someone taking one of my babies actually hurts, but life is life. I'm going to find another one. Home Depot no longer sells them, but someone will have a baby duck just for me and my little family.
So many things happened today. This wasn't the post I thought I'd write, but here it is. I saw my absolute favorate gentleman at the park today. It was raining SO HARD and there I was trying to get everything done when he appeared over the little hill and waved. He drove to my car and we exchanged a hug. He's a gorgeous 60 something year old, smart, funny, charming, caring man. I just adore him. We didn't talk long because I told him I had errands to run and I'd freeze if I was soaking wet. He informed me I had the wrong "gear!" He looked so handsome and "cool" in his gear as he headed off. He's the retired teacher I told you about a few months ago. He's a gem of a guy and has become a dear friend. And then two days ago a very young guy drove by and waved and I couldn't stop smiling because just by his wave I knew who he was. I've never told you about him. He and his friend stopped by to chat probably a month or so ago. They were lovely. The one I adore most was more chatty and very interested in the cats. He has kitties, so knows them well and seemed so interested. And he looked almost exactly like the goalie for our high school soccer team (Voted "All New York" back in the 70's), who looks almost exactly like my younger brother "R." So, in an odd way, it was as if I was talking to my brother and our high school goalie! I'm serious. It's so odd, you have no idea!!! I remember talking to Rob afterward and saying "it was so wierd." But it was also a hell of a lot of fun. The guy was and is wonderful. He's remained in contact and every time I see him I smile. He's on a racing team that comes through the park. The bike path is something like 50-60 miles long and racers train on it all the time. I was at the park a few weeks ago and it was so, so foggy. I could barely see in front of me. I started down the bike trail and out of the fog and over the little hill came a racing team. I searched franticially for my camera because I have it every day and this was a money shot for any sports magazine. I've never thought of photography in that way, but when I saw what I did, it was SO STUNNINGLY BEAUTIFUL, I knew. I couldn't find my camera and realized I'd left it on the kitchen counter. I was the only one who would ever see that beauty. Ever. Just me. And so with tears in my eyes I watched them all ride by, way over 50. Way, way over 50. And yup, lots of them waved, said "HEY!" but one gave me the thumbs up. My guy. I knew it was him even through he was so protected by a helmet, goggles a face mask, etc., because it was very cold. It was the first time I'd ever seen him with such a huge group of racers, but he was still "my guy," and I knew. I smiled a lot that day. I have dear, dear friends at the park. From homeless to socialites. You all know the journey I've taken and it's so wonderful to share some of the people with you. I feel blessed. And oh, remember the beautiful socialite I met the one day by the bathrooms!!!??? I saw her a few weeks ago and she's still as beautiful as ever. We embraced like long lost friends, chatted about life, running, homeless, kitties, dogs, hubbies, friends, you know, all the good stuff. She encouraged me again to start running and perhaps consider a marathon. She said "Sue, you have the body for it, you just have to believe it." I can't believe I go from talking to a homeless person one minute to talking to a socialite the next. And that's what happened that day. I often think about the lesson. What am I supposed to learn?
This is long, but for a reason. I have a lot in me and apparently it has to get out. This whole blog came about because of something that happened today. I was working around the house and took some time to pet some kitties at my office window. While doing so the local high school track team ran by. They do that often. They fool around but nothing stupid, so it's a joy to have them here and fun because it reminds me of running with my sister while she trained for track and cross country. It's trash day here so today it's trash and recycling day (next week is trash and yard waste day!), so everyone has their bins out. The bins were emptied early this morning, but most folks don't come home till early evening so empty bins are in front of all homes. The kids ran by fooling around as usually and then some tipped the bins across the street. Over they went and everyone laughed. I didn't. The neighbors across the street are handicapped and they would have had to pick them up in a wheelchair. I stood for what seemed like ages considering what to do. I said nothing. Even when one of the young guys ran across the road to retrieve their tennis ball on my lawn and saw me. I said nothing. He knew I knew, but I said nothing. I know he was waiting, but I said nothing. When they'd left and I composed myself I walked across the street, picked up the bins and took them back into the driveway. I looked at my house, their house, the street, the sky, the trees. I wanted an answer. I wanted to know why people are so stupid. Nope, not a single answer. You know me by now, I would have said something. Why didn't I? For one of the first times in my life, I said nothing. I realized I needed time to think. Kids do stupid shit, but that doesn't mean they shouldn't be held accountable. An hour and a half later I drove to the local high school looking for the track coach.
5r4jjdj (Bijou just wrote that...why the cats use the keyboard and not my eye as a springboard is beyond me).
The highschool campus was so confusing!!! I almost went in the wrong entrance (one way!), then could barely find the right one in the rain and darkness, then I had no idea where the hell to go, so I just drove toward the largest building with the cars! I pulled up to a lady who was walking in and said "If I'm looking for the track coach do you have any idea where I should go?" She replied "No, but I'm here to pick up my nephew who plays basketball so I'm going there." And pointed in the direction of a big building. We laughed. I parked and realized my slot said "STAFF ONLY." I thought..."Hummmm, you think they're serious?!" No, I didn't move. Why? Because there were lots of staff parking spaces, it was dark and it was raining!! Hey, I am SO NOT PERFECT!!!
Walked into the gym. She was there. Lots of kids playing basketball. We stood, chatted and had a grand old time and then her nephew arrived. What a cutie. I said "Honey, do you know where I can find the track coach." He replied he did, but that the track coach had probably left the building an hour ago. Hummmmmmmmmmm. I said "Can I speak to the basketball coach?!" He said "Yup, he's still here." I asked where I could find him and was told "Right there, the guy in the white shorts." I said "Honey, no, not the Team Captian, I need to talk to the "REAL COACH." He replied "That's him." I looked again and said, "I'm going to talk to an 18 year old!!!???" He replied "He's not 18, probably about 25."
Jeasus Christ. I realized I had to talk to a wee baby. Well you all know the drill with school and adults. Adults can walk right into anything and interrupt, so that's what I did. The coach was playing basketball with his students, but I didn't have all evening to waste, so just walked right up and said "HEY." Game ended, coach walked over. I don't know what about poke-a-d0t flip flops, sweat pants, a fleece jacket and a gorgeous pink Boston Redsox baseball cap from Hunter makes men swoon, but that young man did. I saw him!!!! He had to wipe ALOT of sweat from his brow, his cheeks, his chin, his neck, the man was dripping. Then he basically said "Whatdayawant?" He barely looked me in the eye. I'm used to dealing with professionals. People who know the importance of eye contact. Trust me, it was a struggle. I said I was looking for the track coach. Wasn't there. I told him my story and said "Look, I don't have a lot of time to waste, is this worth my effort?" He replied "Yes, we care about how our students behave." Great. I replied I'd call or be back tomorrow to discuss the facts with my new found friend, "Mr. King." And off I went. Through the gym doors and back out into the pouring rain. I found a wonderful puddle of mud and nearly went down in my flip flops in front of a bunch of 4 kids who looked like they were on the Year Book staff. No, mud and rubber don't mix. I saved my own ass with lots of arm movements and a whole hell of a lot of luck! The woman and nephew I'd met were parked right near my car and I was still laughing, so we chatted. Yes, in the rain. I said "Are you a teacher?" She said "No." I said "Are you staff?" She said "No." I said "What the hell are you doing parked here?" She said "Same thing you're doing." Hey! A comedian!!! She said something so precious, "You're so much fun and I don't want to lose you." We exchanged phone numbers on our cell phones! I arrived home and less than an hour later the phone rang. It was her. She didn't say much, but sure said plenty. She said "I want you to know that if I never see or speak to you again, you mattered in my life today. You are one of the most genuine, kind, funny and loving souls I've ever met and I want you to know you mattered today." I felt so humbled and said "Oh my God. Wait till my bloggie buddies here about this!" Honestly. That's what I said! I was also so honored I could barely speak, said thanks and "let's keep in touch." We will of course. She said her nephew said something I might want to hear. "I want to marry someone just like her." I started to laugh. Then we both started to laugh. I said "Trust me, you don't want this much trouble in the family." We both laughed harder. She said "Well all I can say is I think that 9th grader's in love. God we laughed hard. He's gorgeous and precious and he'll find the woman of his dreams who can actually still give him children!!!
What an amazing day. From start to finish. I have a great life. I often don't appreciate it because I'm in so much agony about little crap.
I have a great life.