“What is the point of living, if we don’t allow life to change us?”
Early this evening we walked to the lake’s edge. While Robin walked her dog and cat, I sat quietly near a fencing, sipping red wine. After all, it was the cocktail hour. Yes, you read this correctly. It is not uncommon to walk one’s dog. But Willow has resigned herself to the fact that she lives a dog’s life. As the two , the inseparable lady and her tramp saunter the grounds of the resort, a cat follows in footsteps only a fathom behind.
As the bottle becomes less red and more transparent, I ponder the many different personalities that have crossed with mine in just four short days. How diverse, how totally disconnected they are. Yet, as broad a spectrum of color they paint in my life, I love them dearly. Equally all.
We sat and payed homage to a friend while extolling his virtues at a table of feast and celebration. There were fellow full timers Jerry and Cheryl, along with their daughter Mindy. We share both exaltations and shortcomings as parents of grown children, noting our mistakes as well as our triumphs. At the same table sat our dear friends, Eli and Esther, members of the Old Order Amish. We’ve grown especially close to them over the past year, visiting and learning the nuances of a life so different, yet so intrinsically similar in old fashioned values and mores.
And then there was Jerome, my summer time supervisor as well as friend. Along with his children and new life’s friend, they make working at the campground not a project of toil, but a work of art, weaving friendship and camaraderie on a daily basis.
We later met Ron, who was camera shy. One of only 5 certified technicians across the amber fields of grain, Ron was our savior, providing us with much needed refrigeration upon our return to South Carolina. He pointed out the shortcomings of this summer’s work to fix a recall, how important it is to inspect work once it is done, and a phone number to call if verification be needed to procure a rebate for shoddy work that really didn’t happen. He demanded that we get our money back from the previous dealer. And to be defiant in our complaint of paying for something that we didn’t get. He fixed the problem in twenty minutes but spent the next hour spinning stories of his past, his philosophy, and musing on life in general. It proved more than a service call. It was a free lesson on many aspects of life.
Late into the day on Sunday, I received a call from Paula. We had met her two weeks prior at a house party given by Mike and Gail. She remembered us much to my surprise and somehow found my cell number. I was taken aback to hear Paula’s voice on the other end of the line, inviting us to her abode to partake in the Superbowl festivities with a houseful of company that for the most part we had never met. The evening would find us not only feeling at home, but meeting new faces, as varied and unique as the words of a crossword puzzle, yet intertwined nonetheless. We parlayed our bets on the Ravens and Forty Niners, hoping each quarter to win the pot of gold set by the card squares. We would leave knowing that we would return, but relating to each another, how much the new, remind us of the old. Sometimes, the only things that change are the names and the faces.
Yesterday, I was cruising an alternate route on my return home. I choose to do this often, being summoned by roads never before traveled. You may say that I became lost. I don’t use that term. Gypsies don’t get lost. They just find themselves on roads never taken. I pulled into a drive and walked to a porch for directions. There I met Tassie. She was a bit leary at first, noting the truck plates of a Yankee, wary of an unknown man in her yard. As directions were given in a down to the big tree, right at the iron fence, and straight through the thicket of palmettos, I determined my instructions would not help. So we diverted, and I learned of her ancestors, the Bellamy’s, one of the oldest and largest black cotton plantation owners in all of the old South. Another road less traveled that has proven the correct choice.
Today, fellow campers Jack and his lovely wife asked us to golf. Jack and Dottie are full timers from the Garden State. We made their acquaintance last winter and since they’ve schooled us on the places to eat, golf, and entertain in the greater area. Jack provided a discount coupon, we played 18, had lunch and a drink, and a cart, all for a mere $26 per person. The course of choice Cypress Bay in Little River, along Rt. 17, just south of the NC border. It was one of the better courses we’ve come across and I recommend it highly if in the Myrtle area. As well as the course played, the laughter and hilarity that these two provided was worth far more than the physical attributes of the links.
By the round’s end, Robin was more punchy than weary. She parred the 18th. Her celebratory dance didn’t do much to faze Jack but to her, the day couldn’t have ended on a better note. Her innocent frivolity has no place on a course of distinction, but when we grow old, should we not dance at the drop of a hat.
As the grapes took their toll, and I contemplated the faces of the week, I smiled inside. I am rich beyond anything I could have imagined. Not in material possessions, but in the people that I know and love.