I was out beside the busy road this morning, hauling the trash can and green waste bin back through our gate and up our little lane, when I saw a familiar face doing the same next house over, then a familiar smile. D.W. doesn't live there, but his mother does --I help her when her pump goes flooey. D.W. does everything else. We waved and walked toward each other, met there in the gravel between highway and ditch and asked how each other was.
Hope you enjoy this compassionate song as much as I, down the years:Buddy Guy, "Done Got Old"
He was the first kid I met when my family moved to the Vineyard area in 1959. He was 11 and I was 10. The little country school we attended had three grades to a classroom, so we saw each other all the time.
Now we are somewhat older. He takes turns with other relatives to help his mom, so I glimpse him from time to time and had to ask how he was doing.
He said, "Well, I had cancer two years back and open-heart surgery a few months ago."
I replied, "I had heart surgery 12 years ago and cancer over the summer."
"Well Geo.,"he said."We always did things backways around from each other."
"There was always some common ground, D.W. What've you got now?"
"Hey, me too! Got an inhaler? A nebulizer?"
"Yep and yep."
"D.W., I've been repairing a bench out back and have to sit down every ten minutes."
"I been clearing mom's garage and doing the same thing. That's why I have a sit-down desk job now, Geo."
"That's why I retired...couldn't get a desk job."
We looked earnestly and happily at each other, then collided in a hug. Cars whizzed by, busy-busy-busy, while two old men embraced on a country road. All those frantic commuters --I hope such happy hugs are in their futures.