Tuesday, September 30, 2008

**the cab ride**

one of my favorite sites is DOOCE and i read it every day. today she linked to a sweet story that really got to me. i wanted to share it so here it is.

The Cab Ride I'll Never Forget
by Kent Nerburn

Twenty years ago, I drove a cab for a living. One time I arrived in the middle of the night for a pick up at a building that was dark except for a single light in a ground floor window. Under these circumstances, many drivers would just honk once or twice, wait a minute, then drive away. But I had seen too many impoverished people who depended on taxis as their only means of transportation. Unless a situation smelled of danger, I always went to the door. This passenger might be someone who needs my assistance, I reasoned to myself.

So I walked to the door and knocked. "Just a minute," answered a frail, elderly voice. I could hear something being dragged across the floor. After a long pause, the door opened. A small woman in her 80's stood before me. She was wearing a print dress and a pillbox hat with a veil pinned on it, like somebody out of a 1940s movie. By her side was a small nylon suitcase. The apartment looked as if no one had lived in it for years. All the furniture was covered with sheets. There were no clocks on the walls, no knickknacks or utensils on the counters. In the corner was a cardboard box filled with photos and glassware.

"Would you carry my bag out to the car?" she said. I took the suitcase to the cab, then returned to assist the woman. She took my arm and we walked slowly toward the curb. She kept thanking me for my kindness.

"It's nothing," I told her. "I just try to treat my passengers the way I would want my mother treated."

"Oh, you're such a good boy," she said. When we got in the cab, she gave me an address, then asked, "Could you drive through downtown?"

"It's not the shortest way," I answered quickly.

"Oh, I don't mind," she said. "I'm in no hurry. I'm on my way to a hospice."

I looked in the rear view mirror. Her eyes were glistening.

"I don't have any family left," she continued. "The doctor says I don't have very long."

I quietly reached over and shut off the meter. "What route would you like me to take?" I asked.

For the next two hours, we drove through the city. She showed me the building where she had once worked as an elevator operator. We drove through the neighborhood where she and her husband had lived when they were newlyweds. She had me pull up in front of a furniture warehouse that had once been a ballroom where she had gone dancing as a girl. Sometimes she'd ask me to slow in front of a particular building or corner and would sit staring into the darkness, saying nothing.

As the first hint of sun was creasing the horizon, she suddenly said, "I'm tired. Let's go now."

We drove in silence to the address she had given me. It was a low building, like a small convalescent home, with a driveway that passed under a portico. Two orderlies came out to the cab as soon as we pulled up. They were solicitous and intent, watching her every move. They must have been expecting her. I opened the trunk and took the small suitcase to the door. The woman was already seated in a wheelchair.

"How much do I owe you?" she asked, reaching into her purse.

"Nothing," I said.

"You have to make a living," she answered.

"There are other passengers."

Almost without thinking, I bent and gave her a hug. She held onto me tightly.

"You gave an old woman a little moment of joy," she said. "Thank you."

I squeezed her hand, then walked into the dim morning light. Behind me, a door shut. It was the sound of the closing of a life.

I didn't pick up any more passengers that shift. I drove aimlessly, lost in thought. For the rest of that day, I could hardly talk. What if that woman had gotten an angry driver, or one who was impatient to end his shift? What if I had refused to take the run, or had honked once, then driven away?

On a quick review, I don't think that I have done anything more important in my life. We're conditioned to think that our lives revolve around great moments. But great moments often catch us unaware—beautifully wrapped in what others may consider a small one.


Thursday, September 25, 2008

**well crap**

i've been tagged. thanks Anne. way to make me update my blog.

...and off we go...

  1. i count the towels as i put them in the washer. usually 7 or 8.
  2. it drives my nuts if my car isn't parked perfectly straight in the driveway.
  3. messes/disorganization in my house drives me crazy but my computer area/scraproom is a nightmare and it doesn't really bug me.
  4. i love math. i did really well at it in high school and took calculus for the term that i was at OSU.
  5. i don't consider a movie worth seeing if i have or will have missed the trailers. those are the best part.
  6. i tend to get caught in ruts. for example right now i am addicted to crime shows such as Criminal Minds, Bones, The Closer, and Without a Trace. thank goodness for TIVO.
  7. i am deathly afraid of bats. (there is a long story behind it) now that i think of it i had bat issues when i was a kid at my grandma's house so maybe i have always had this fear. hmmm...

...now i have to tick off 7 other bloggers (sorry guys)...

i'm lame. that's all i have that are close enough for me to do this tagging stuff to. i might offend everyone else.


Friday, September 19, 2008

**as i live and breathe**

she posts!! i know, i know it's a miracle. life has been strange lately and this has seemed like a chore so it kind of got put to the side for a while.

back to school got kicked off on a positive note. both kids were totally ready to head back. cj is a social fanatic and he totally missed all of his friends (read girls here). he also missed the weight room and has decided to wrestle this year. he met with all of the coaches and was thrilled to learn that he doesn't have to cut his hair....he just has to wear a funny hat-thing under the other funny hat-thing that wrestlers wear. it's going to be strange going to a sporting event rather than a choir concert. talk about opposite ends of the spectrum.

bailey was excited to go back because this is her senior year and that in and of itself is just way too cool. plus she is kind of a nerd (like me) and likes school. btw, she is taking HealthOc and one of the things that they get to do is go to the hospital and see a cadaver. i had her ask her teacher if i could tag along and she said yes. i am so excited. based on the schooling that i am doing and the fact that i have always wanted to be a nurse this is right up my alley. i can't wait!

angela took bailey's senior pictures last week. they turned out great. towards the end of the session i added cj to a few of the pictures and then had her 2 best friends in for a couple pictures as well. as soon as i get the final prints i will post some pics. angela is amazing and she was so fun to spend the time with.

i know this is kind of nerdy but the kids and i have been doing jigsaw puzzles at the dining room table. we get the 1000 piece eye-spy ones and they are a lot of fun. it's kind of "our thing" and i think that's really important right now. it's so funny to see the kids' friends jump on in when they are over...needless to say we get them put together at a pretty good rate with all the help.

speaking of the kids' friends, my house has officially become the house. a lot of the time i have 5 teenagers here making a lot of noise. but you know what? i love it. cj and his friends are playing "halo live" and the girls do what girls do. sometimes they get in the car and make a dutch bros. run...i wish starbucks was open later because i am not a dutch bros fan. all i can say it thank goodness for the little caesar's $5 pizzas. they are a lifesaver. the $5 footlongs from subway aren't too bad either.

well, i cut my hair. short. did i say short? if not i will say it. short. here is a pic of my inspiration. we are still tweaking it a bit and i go in next week for a color and touch-up cut.

this is vicki boutin. she is a great scrapbooker and i read her blog regularly. as far as i can tell she lives in canada which is a bummer because she teaches scrapbooking classes. i would really like to take a class from her. here's a link to her blog. check out her scrap room. it's too cute. vicki boutin i did copy her in the vinyl wall art of the owl on the wall and the birds above the door. they are so cute.

did i mention that i have a fat dog with acid reflux?? yeah, ummm how weird is that? jack apparently is about 4 pounds too heavy. dr. reid says you should be able to his ribs. yikes! he put jack on an extremely bland dog food and i give him a 10mg Pepcid in the morning and one in the evening. bug is queen of the "i am going to itch my face off" so we have her on some kind of cortizone/prednizone mix. pugs are a pain in the ass. seriously. if it wasn't for this....

i am really missing this girl right now. funny how a plane ticket is all that separates us from the laughter and long talks over coffe and tea. bummer.

well, the divorce is coming along. i didn't realize all that is involved in separating items. when both of your names are on everything it takes a lot of time to change all of that. the power bill, the gas bill, the phone bill, the cable bill, and the list goes on. i am doing just fine. it's an adjustment but it's the right adjustment.

Some think it's holding on that makes one strong; sometimes it's letting go. --Sylvia Robinson