Back la’-bas
Tuesday October 18th 2011, 9:55 pm
Filed under: Life,Lupus

Went to a meet-and-greet for the author Douglas Thayer today.  Found I’d somehow missed out on a really great professor back when I was studying in the English department at BYU years ago.

Meantime, the idiot light on the Prius had come on, and since I had time to deal with it, hey. So I was the one who drove over close to their quitting time, expecting to drop the car off and walk home with as little sun time as I could manage.

The assistant manager, George, said no, no, we can check that out and get you on your way I’m sure, no problem.

Great! Except there were benches to sit on–outside. Only. Um. I did a tour of the showroom and met a salesman who separated himself from the pack and would be very happy to help me ditch my old minivan (later, later, still got a kid in college after these eleven years). Actually, he seemed nice enough: I was glad to see that the obnoxious one that had made me walk right out of his sales pitch when we were buying the Prius didn’t seem to be there anymore.

I escaped: I went back to George and explained about not being able to be out in the sun.

I didn’t even have to tell him about not really wanting to fend off salesmen nor offending them by sitting on the floor watching them talk; without a word, he totally got it. He went looking, found me a barstool-type chair, and gladly brought it back to his tiny cubbyhole of an office. It had a door to outside, access to a narrow hallway behind him, and room for basically him and a customer or two standing. Tiny.

I sat.  We were close to eye level (hey, I’m used to being short). It was a quiet time of day. We chatted a bit; and then, more and more, we really talked.

He told me about his daughter in college. His youngest son’s chronic condition. I was sympathetic, and he decided I was someone he could open up to.

I explained, when he asked, what lupus was–and then I got to watch in his face exactly what had been in my own 21 years ago when I was told what I had and could never in my life from that point on ever get away from.

He was crushed; but then he picked himself up and said, “So you adjust. You find new patterns.”

Yes! And I told him, “I’m a nature lover. And so I bring nature to me.” I told him about the birdfeeders. About the California Thrasher the other day, the vanishingly-rare-here Zone-tailed hawk, things I would never have seen nor known.

I told him about how I felt my children had grown up to be people who see when someone is in need and they step forward to help, that they are kinder and more compassionate for what they too have had to go through with all this.

My car was done.

That’s it?

Yes, and no charge.


He was very pleased.

Trying to pull out of the dealership, there was simply no turning left against the lanes of rush-hour traffic; I gave up, pulled right, went into a neighborhood, came back around and back to a long light.

Where, looking up, I saw a large bird and a small bird. Waiiit… That soaring wing pattern, that’s a raptor… As they flew gradually closer, the small bird was no small bird, it was a crow, and the one leisurely coming up behind that it was getting away from–

–I’ll be darned. It was. It was the juvenile Zone-tailed hawk. IT’S STILL AROUND HERE!!! I got to SEE it again!!! I got home, flipped through my Sibley, but no–there was nothing else that matched it. That was it. Wow. WOW.

George had mentioned at one point his mother back home in Greece.

I needed a quick grocery run this evening, and I decided to go to Trader Joe’s.

Where they had A, B, C on my list… And what I had really come for: a package of baklava for a certain automotive assistant manager to offer a piece of to his customers tomorrow for as long as the sweets last. They may not in any way equal the Old Country’s, but he clearly loves his new one, not for its perfections but, like all of life spread before him, simply as it comes.

10 Comments so far
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Great story!

Comment by Monica 10.19.11 @ 1:34 am

People are so amazingly good. And such treasures once we begin to get to know them.

Comment by Lynn 10.19.11 @ 4:44 am

No coincidences. Nature came to you as icing on the cake!

Comment by Channon 10.19.11 @ 6:16 am

As Channnon said, no coincidences. It was meant to be.

Comment by Sherry in Idaho 10.19.11 @ 7:47 am

it never fails to amaze me what magic happens when people just stop and LISTEN to one another (I wish our politicians would GET that!)

Comment by Bev 10.19.11 @ 8:36 am

So we take our little problems and turn them into assets.

I TOTALLY agree with Bev!

Comment by Don Meyer 10.19.11 @ 9:22 am

Always amazes me what is put into our paths and it seems we are there at the right time, when we can help someone else. The Good Lord gave you a treat for continuing to listen to him, Also have discovered Trader Joe’s, store in Madison, just got there “Fearless Flyer” in the mail, things look good

Comment by Kris 10.19.11 @ 9:22 am

You can still taste love in store-bought baklava.

Comment by LynnM 10.19.11 @ 9:45 am

Lots of smiles here, including the one on my face right now.

Comment by twinsetellen 10.22.11 @ 8:01 pm

“George” means “farmer” in Greek. More essentially and literally, it means one who works with the soil (as a snarky professor of mine used to say, “In Greek, the whole world is ge”)

As our world expands, we find new soils to till and new ways to till them, yes?

Comment by Lanafactrix 10.26.11 @ 8:36 pm

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