The world has begun to slowly rotate again and the seas have calmed since last week’s window-rattling news.
The kids have stepped up to check in on their old man; how are you holding up?, what leads do you have?, what are the job prospects locally? As was mentioned a few posts ago, it’s important to me that they be good people. They seem to have paid attention.
Today’s letter to Ellen and Reid won’t be posted until next Monday as per the tradition of this blog. The nuts and bolts of what they will read is that it’s all about taking one step at a time and that regardless of what the near or medium range or long term future may hold, this is not the end of our world although it might seem like it. It is a matter of perspective. There is always someone worse off than you are. What they won’t read is a senseless blame game; it’s a little bit me, a little bit others, a little bit economic. The goal is to look forward, not obsess on what already looks smaller in my rear view mirror.
Already, well-meaning friends have rushed forward with names and suggestions and leads. My inkling is the job hunt process is front loaded in just such a way. As I told my two, if nothing pans out soon, if no company hands me the keys to a new cubicle, then the burden shifts to my shoulders in that you can’t go to the well too often to ask people for more help and yet more help.
But the big picture I must paint for them is that, like other tough times, this will fade away too. I believe that to be true.
My circle of recipients continues to grow wider. Here’s what was mailed to one of my oldest and dearest friends Pete, who, when the hours got progressively dark earlier this month, really came to the fore for no reason. He and I go way back, but his kindness closed that gap of years.
July 7, 2010
Pete: I got up early on Sunday with the intention of heading up to Tryon for a surprise visit but then it dawned on me that I knew neither the name of the camp nor its location. Even my last go-round of there had me ill equipped to re-find it. There weren’t enough bread crumbs on the road to navigate the way. You guys were probably better off without a Harley with loud pipes to max-out the tranquility of a summer camp. That’s not what the parents pay for.
Hey, I did want to thank you for everything you’ve done over the past few weeks. You really went above and beyond, especially when you picked me up knowing full well that you’d get little or no sleep before herding your cats toward the airport the next morning. The lift was very much appreciated. It was great to have you at the visitation and the service. That in and of itself was also above and beyond.
Things went pretty peacefully for dad. No discernable pain or discomfort. The Hospice folks had a good handle on that although it’s not a job for the timid or faint-hearted. We got into a couple of stories from the Hospice nurses, and man, they really get put through the mill. Dad was on minimal drugs until the very end when the time came for him to ultimately relax and let go. Even though dad appeared asleep for hours and hours, I guess patients can hear and are aware throughout the entire ordeal. I think it’s interesting that they (the nurses) actually encourage the family to talk to – and encourage – patients that’s its fine for them to move on. The thinking is that some folks need to be told that it’s okay to see what is on the other side. We talked to him until the very end. Some of us talked more than others.
I don’t think we have anywhere near the same travails that you and Nancy had in terms of ‘stuff.’ Most of it has already been cherry picked but what they did hoard was paper. Stacks and stacks of it; records of bills paid, photos and documents, family histories. Incredible to sort through all of it. But he did a pretty good job of cataloging things but there was a just a hell of a lot of it. Why we needed property tax records from 1963 through 1999 is beyond me, but it is what it is. He saved no trees but then that was before people went green.
Do keep me up to speed on your biking travels when you come down toward Greenville. This is pretty much a biker haven down here although you’d have a hard time finding me on two wheels without a motor. To be blunt about it, the drivers down here don’t have a lot of tolerance for cyclists. There are ‘Share the Road’ signs plastered along the roads and streets but I guarantee folks pay them no mind. The locals sure as hell don’t practice sharing in any way, shape or form. That’s especially true when you’re out in the boonies. Yet I’ve thought about getting a bike for leisurely rides around on the green belts and such. You won’t find me tooling around most of the local roadways. Bikers are always getting crunched.
Thanks again, Pete, for stepping up. I’ve done a particularly lousy job of staying in touch over the years, and literally have no – zero – relationships with any of our fraternity bros. That’s bothered me, so I appreciate that you’ve rekindled things. Hey, if you and your bride ever need a non-camp base closer to the more civilized parts of North and South Carolina, you know who to call.