Monday, April 16, 2007

The post Easter Noreaster

We had quite the storm yesterday. I had planned to do an open house in an adult community and we agreed that no one there would be venturing out. I was relieved. The winds were very loud at times. This morning I have discovered my phone lines are not working properly. I feel lucky that the computer connection seems ok, if not a tad bit slow. ONLY my downstairs phone is ringing, none of the three upstairs. Tried to call Verizon but they are inundated with calls and I get a message advising me to call back. Glad I have service although I was cut off twice during the calls that did make it through.

My friend who owns a house on the Chesapeake Bay called earlier. She was there alone as her husband drives back to Pennsylvania during the week for his job. The winds were so strong that she was concerned. While we were talking the phone suddenly went dead. Apparently she lost her electricity. I know this because she called later and although my phone didn't ring she left a message. She had left the house there to go stay at a friend's in town. I am so grateful for the convenience of cel phones and somedays I wonder how we ever lived without them. I can only test my phone because I have a cel phone. I cannot count the times that having a cel phone means I don't have to drive back to a place.

This Saturday I took one of my clients out to look at seven homes. That put a bite into my day but when I got home I had the most wonderful dinner waiting for me: talapia with roasted red pepper sauce and bok choy. On Sunday my resident chef made me pan seared chicken breast with eggplant in a marinara sauce and a side of rigatoni after my salad. Delicious and it's a treat to eat a meal that I did not prepare.

On Sunday I got a phone call from my friend I met in 5th grade, Karan. She relocated to Texas many years ago and I have only seen her twice since then. Normally we are in touch a few times a year but over a year had slipped by. I had forgotten to notify her of an email change and we were out of touch. Her home was still under repairs. It was hit hard by Hurricane Katrina and just as those repairs were done, another hit. She has replaced the flooring in her downstairs three times. I cannot imagine what that is like. Hopefully I will never know. She was saying how it seems things are never complete before you begin again. She is a social worker who runs a big program of case managers and often puts in ten hour days. I don't know how she manages. She is the mother of three who although they appear to be grown seem to still take up a lot of her free time. We laughed about how we thought when our sons were grown we would have all the time in the world to do all the things we still wanted to. I am hoping that sometime in the future I can get to see her home and children and grandchildren. Karan and I have a very special connection. When we met in 5th grade, so did our brothers who were in 7th grade. We were both from families with 5 children. Karan's brother Michael had a beautiful smile and was very handsome. He and my brother Jimmy often went hunting together. Both were very experienced hunters having gone with their fathers from a young age. (I am opposed to hunting UNLESS all the game will be eaten by the hunters and even then I have safety concerns.) One day Michael came to our door and asked if Jimmy could go hunting that day, with him and his older brother, Johnny. My mother said no because it was overcast and beginning to drizzle. Michael left and walked a few minutes to his house and he and John left, with John carrying a 4 10. The following day we learned there was an accident and Michael was dead. John said that the 4 10 had a broken safety and he knew that. He slung it over his shoulder and Michael was walking behind him. All of a sudden he stumbled and the gun went off. The bullet went through Michael's neck much like President Kennedy's injury of a few years earlier. John carried his 14 year old brother to the main road minutes away and frantically tried to flag down a car. Unfortunately several passed him when they saw both young men covered in blood. Finally a trucker stopped and took them to the then new local hospital. Shortly afterwards Michael was pronounced dead. I remember wanting desperately to go to that funeral. My parents wouldn't let me. I think they were in deep shock at the time. I called Karan and I went through that grieving process with her. At times I still visit Michael's grave and knowing that brings her comfort. So many years have passed and still that memory is so vivid in my mind. Karan went through so much losing her brother and the surviving brother fell apart from the incident. Sometimes we talk about Michael and it bothers her that her children will never know him. It comforts her to know that I still see his face in my mind's eye. I made a promise to Michael when he died to always be there for her. Now thousands of miles away, in a sense at least, I am still trying to keep that promise.

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