Monday, January 31, 2011

I'm in LOVE!!

We met, of all places, at my brother-in-law's visitation.  I noticed him the minute I stepped through the funeral home door.  He was sitting quietly in the back of the room, wearing a crisp pair of khaki chinos and a colorful shirt with a button down collar.  A nice look, if you can pull it off - and he could, yes indeed, he could.

I was drawn to him, immediately wanting to make a beeline in his direction but circumstances intervened and I could not.  There was much to do and say to so many people!  Later when I glanced in his direction, he was gone.  Disappoint swept over me.  I had heard about him for years and now, my first opportunity to actually meet him had slipped through my fingers.  He was gone. 

My nephew wandered over holding a soft drink and mentioned that there was a small room at the back of the hallway with beverages in it.  Suddenly I realized I was parched and excused myself.  As I stepped inside the room, there he was, sipping on a diet Pepsi.  Because his frame did not include an extra cell of fat, I wondered aloud, "Why diet?"  "Like the taste" he replied.

The ice was broken and we began a casual, easy conversation.  He began to talk about his friends, his hopes, his dreams and his fear of being abducted by aliens.  I was spellbound.  Here before me was that elusive male that all females dream of - one that will actually talk.  He clearly had far more expertise in physics than I did, but he never once talked down to me.  He gently and patiently explained every concept in words that I could understand, answering my every question as it arose.  The conversation was fascinating!  Time flew by.

My nephew strolled in, glanced our way, came over and asked him if he could do an errand.  Before the entire sentence was complete, he had exited the room, willing to do anything to ease my nephew's pain.  "I was trying to rescue you, Aunt Chris" he explained.  "I'm afraid he can be a bit of a nerd."  Uh oh!  I realized people were noticing how engrossed we were in earnest conversation.  I went back to the visitation room and sank down in a chair in the back.  Soon, he slipped into the chair next to me and we picked up right where we left off, without missing a beat.

After the visitation, our group went to dinner at a nearby Asian buffet.  I ended up seated between my husband and my newly widowed sister-in-law.  He was at the other end of the table, happily surrounded by children.  There would be no further opportunity to talk.  As I walked behind his chair to get to the salad bar, he turned and quietly said, "I tried to sit by you, but couldn't make it happen." 

I had a warm glow in my heart the rest of the evening.  The attraction was clearly mutual!  After the meal ended and we left, I thought about the wonderful gift that this stranger had given me:  the opportunity to see the world through the eyes of a fifth-grade boy.

Thank you, Nathaniel.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

When Hell Freezes Over

Dad is a colorful man and nowhere is that more apparent than in his speech.  "When Hell freezes over" was one of his favorite sayings when I was growing up.  I just hope he remembers telling me that because...

As everyone knows, I now live east of Hell in a place that is so hot in the summer that sweat, like tears, will pour down your face as you sit in air conditioning doing nothing more strenuous than, well, sitting.  Imagine my surprise last Saturday evening when it started to snow, snow and snow! A day later we had six inches on the ground.  Then it happened.  Snow turned to rain, then as temperatures dropped, freezing rain hit the snow-covered ground. 

Voila!  Hell (and everywhere north, south, east and west of it) has frozen over.  The trees look like they are straight out of a Currier and Ives print and the ground crunches as you walk.  It's truly beautiful.  Treacherous, but beautiful.

...I am so excited!  When will my pony be arriving?