Thursday, May 22, 2008

How are you, anyway?

A dear friend asked me today how I was doing. It's the kind of question that a person is asked far more often than the answer is relevant or even desired, but in this particular case, my dear friend really did care.

The answer was worth posting here, so here it goes:

Me? Little ole' me?

Well, health-wise, apart from some sneeze attacks and itchy eyes (which are typical maladies for me this time of the year), I'm pleased with the state of my health.

This past Saturday, Rachael and I went riding on the motorcycle to Richmond. On the way there, we stopped at a rescue squad open house where all sorts of rescue equipment was on display, including a brand new, shiny, sparkling, yellow helicopter. The pilot told us to hang around for a few minutes because we'd get to see him take off, which we did. As the grass was rippling outward from the center and the trees limbs were dancing to the music of the chopping blades, the helicopter slowly defied gravity as it rose into the air. With windblown hair and detritus swirling around us, Rachael and I were both smiling and cheering excitedly like little kids.

We then mounted our motorized steed and were off to our favorite ice cream store. The store always has the smell of fresh-baked waffle cones. After briefly perusing over the myriad of choices she settled on the chocolate-chocolate chip and I ordered the almond-amaretto. We sat outside on semi-circular benches, licking our treats, trying in vain to keep it from dripping on our hands while telling fun stories.

We then rode downtown to historic Richmond. People walking on the sidewalks and sitting on porches kept smiling and waving at us. I was wondering why people were being so friendly. Then I noticed that Rachael was busy smiling and waving at everyone that we passed. When I realized this it made me smile even more. She's such a friendly and passionate person - the kind you want to have around you because just having them around makes you feel better somehow.

We rode by the monuments on Monument Avenue, and I stopped at the monument of J.E.B. Stuart to tell Rachael about our famous cousin. When we were finished looking at the statue of the red-headed general, I turned around and pointed to the window of the room where her great grandfather departed from this life at Stuart Circle hospital. I told her what a profound influence that man had on my life, how much he meant to me, and how much he would have loved her if he could have met her. (Rachael was conceived just days after he passed away.)

By the time we got home, the sun was giving everything a deceitfully warm hue, but we were a little chilled, so we put on our swim suits and jumped in the hot tub for a good warming.

So, how am I over all? Well, I'm still a friendly and passionate person, but I'm having trouble finding a starting point in this maze of mental disarray. It's like a large, tangled mess of string that I somehow have to put back on the spool. Not a task beyond my ability, but I just long for the patience that I had 20 years ago.

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