I strive to be punctual but today for the second time, I got to the Opera House fifteen minutes late to meet my friend Pat Reynolds.
Perhaps it’s something about the place or its distance from Brookside. My son and I met Pat there during Thanksgiving and arrived ten minutes late then too.
Today I had to go back into the house to change shoes. I had walked down the driveway in the cutest Danskos you’ll ever see but halfway to the car, I realized my walking today needed something sturdier. I crab-toed back into the house and to my room for a pair with a strong buckle and a full back. Then I stood at the backdoor trying to persuade my dog to abandon her quest for the scent of the raccoon and come inside. I surrendered after five minutes and scurried back to the car. Pat texted me at the halfway mark, just as I crossed 31st street arguing with my GPS lady who always wants me to take a different route than what I’ve planned.
I adore my friend Pat. She’s full of piss and vinegar, as my Dad would have said. She keeps me apprised of all the latest news from my Liberty office when trials south of the river occupy me. Her politics sit left of mine. She’s an atheist. She’s fiercely independent and takes no grief from anyone. She sits in the top five list of people I’d call if I just could not stand another minute of my life, along with Jenny Rosen, my son, and Brenda Dingley. (Yes, I know; that’s only four. Surely there must be someone else. . .).
Pat forgave my lateness.
On the way home, I turned the radio to KCUR which I have barely tolerated hearing since the election. The strains of The Moth Radio Hour greeted me. I listened to a story by Charles Upshaw, a man with MS who taught himself to walk faster hoping to qualify for a miracle drug, only to learn that he had improved so much he no longer needed it.
I could not contain my smile. Chuck, Chuck. Way to frickin’ go.
I parked behind the house in time to see my little dog chase a squirrel to the fence line. She stood with quivering enthusiasm, barking to remind the rodent that its territory did not include her domain. I called out my congratulations. We old broads have to assert ourselves at times. I locked the car, started forward, and made it to the top of the driveway without stumbling. Feet, don’t fail me now.
It’s the first day of the thirty-seventh month — the first month of my FOURTH journey around the sun since I started My Year Without Complaining. Life continues.
If you’d like to hear Chuck Upshaw’s story, click HERE.