Friday, November 15, 2013
POST 1192; NOVEMBER 14, 2013; BELLINGHAM, WASHINGTON
Yesterday, I gave notice to my landlady ... notice that I would be leaving WOODROSE APARTMENTS as of December 01, only to be informed that I must give 20 day notice not later than the 10th of the month. This means I have missed the train. Next notice deadline for month-end departure is December 10, with departure being December 31, 2013.
This is OK by me, as I no longer live by schedules. Gives me another month to prepare for our walk 'n roll.
This past week SAM and ME have completed two rather long walk 'n rolls; one in Seattle with a local walking group around Lake Union, and yesterday a 30+ mile trek from the Peace Arch at the US/CANDA border crossing to Bellingham.
The Lake Union walk brought back many memories, as it was my major playground in those early years in Seattle. In 1942, I often "borrowed" the dinghy - tiny row boat - from a family friend Harold H. who lived (and parked his rather large motor yacht) in one of the well known boat houses - Restless In Seattle - lining the lake shore. Down the shoreline was - and still is - located the Seaplane terminal. As a daring 7 year old, I found great sport to row Harold's dinghy onto the "air strip" where the planes took off and landed. My goal was to row like crazy into the path of aircraft taking off....only once did I have to duck to avoid being hit by dripping pontoons roaring over my head.
Then too, was the huge sign board high on the side of Queen Ann Hill facing Lake Union where Aunt Patricia - Pat was 9 months older - and me would climb, sit on the work platform, watching cars and trucks traveling Highway 99 some 100 feet below our dangling legs... and the sea planes taking off and landing on the lake. It was on that big billboard in 1944, that Pat one day said we can't play you show me yours and I'll show you mine anymore...ending some of the most important lessons of my young life. Some years before, Grandma caught Pat and me comparing notes while under the driveway bridge to their old Allentown home. After being switched all the way into the house, Grandma took us into a private room, sat us down, and held an impromptu sex class.
My buddy Patricia, suffering from Arthritis for many years, died a few years back from the effects of countless surgical operations to replace virtually every joint in her body. To the end, Pat and I remained close and in touch.
Other things happened on Lake Union...among which was the discovery that Harold H. was sent away to the State Penitentiary in Walla Walla for child abuse...I somehow missed out on that.
So, this Saturday morning some 70 years later, I sit uncomfortably in front on my mini HP, ... uncomfortable from a very sore body not used to 8.5 hours SAM and ME spent on the roads yesterday walking 'n rolling to and from the Peace Arch.
Just yesterday I received a telephone call from my dear friend, Karen, from Columbia, North Carolina.
The destination for SAM and ME in two weeks time, was to walk directly to the home of Karen and Craig. Karen asked us to please NOT come. After battling cancer for untold years, ..."I really do not have the strength for visitors...".
It was Karen's phone call that precipitated our long walk 'n roll yesterday.
Spending much time on the back roads of America, I recall the endless moments of my life and the many people I have loved...many who accompany me in spirit only. I am, however, one to live for the moment. Cherishing the past moments, I look to the next hill and curve in the endless roadway...I look to the next corner up ahead...knowing (and often proven) that incredible moments...incredible new "friends" await my arrival.
From time to time, I receive the opportunity to speak with / before groups. One memorable moment, I was asked..."...of all the places you have been, what has been the most rewarding moment...?"
I considered this question for some months. When again receiving the same question, I was ready:
..."This one...this moment that you have taken to come chat with me. There has been / is no greater moment in my life than this moment we are spending together."
I now often repeat this moment. For retired older people, many of whom have been left behind by their society, are shocked and reduced to tears...hearing that they are the most important moment in the life of a complete stranger.
As Karen said to me: ..."It is as it is, Bruce...."
How can I not step out to meet these people.
I spend quite a lot of time these past 4 or so years with tears falling down my cheeks.