By COLLEEN LEDDY
On the way to Ryan Lucas’ open house Saturday I said to David, “Maybe the Begnoches will be there.” He looked at me like I was nuts, so I explained. I figured since Ryan’s open house was at the Weston Methodist Church and Brenda grew up in that church, maybe if they were visiting Brenda’s mom, Joan Waldron, they would all pop in for the open house.
That’s how my mind works...always connecting one thing to another. The only thing I really know about the Weston Methodist Church is that Brenda used to go there and her mom still does. I couldn’t remember when Brenda and her husband Steve would be getting back from a trip to Ireland, but it seemed remotely possible that they could be in town.
David didn’t look too convinced, but as soon as we arrived, I scanned the fellowship hall for Begnoches and was disappointed to discover they weren’t there. Could my powers of premonition and logic be so far off? If I were a better friend, I might have paid attention to when they were returning and called and asked if they were coming.
But, even after 25 years, we are pretty casual in our friendship. We can go months and months without communicating and then pick up right where we left off. Well, that’s not altogether true. These days, chances of us remembering where we left off are slim to none, but we do always have an enjoyable time with Steve and Brenda.
Anyway, later Saturday night while I was working late at the library, I called David to see if he was at all interested in taking a walk. Imagine my delight when he said, “The Begnoches just walked in the house.” I thought he was messing with my mind, but at the same time it seemed extremely plausible. I could have said, “Yeah, I know,” but I just told him l’d be right home.
I wish I could claim credit for making things happen, but I am not delusional and sometimes I don’t even recognize that what I ask for has arrived.
“We need a handyman to put together those fans,” I said to Liz at the library the other day.
A little while later she nodded her head in the direction of the annex and said, “Joe is over there.”
I didn’t even get the connection, but she meant “your handyman has arrived.”
Poor Joe Timar, a Johnny-on-the-spot ace volunteer, had walked in to the book sale, not knowing he’d be asked to assemble some tower fans to keep the annex air circulating when the summer reading program starts. Heck, we didn’t know it either, but he gamely put them together.
The way these coincidences occur is almost on the eerie side, but it also just seems like that’s the way it works. It also seems like the way forwarded e-mail messages work. My friend Adrienne, the queen of forwarding e-mail (most of which she doesn’t check with snopes.com before she perpetuates mistruths, lies, slander, etc.) always seems to send something that relates to what I’m pondering. The day before the Begnoches arrived she sent an e-mail with a link to a site that shows the price of gas at the stations closest to your zip code. At the bottom of that e-mail was that oft-quoted outlook on life:
Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, WOW! What A Ride!
It was with that quote in mind that, at some point in the conversation with the Begnoches, I said I figured I would die soon. I’m 49; my hair is pretty much completely gray; my elbows ache like the dickens in the morning if I’ve been on the computer too long, gardened or done any other physical labor the day before; I have bulges sticking out on my feet (Brenda diagnosed them as bunions); if I kneel too long my knees ache like crazy after I get up. In addition to all that, I have lousy genes; my mother died at 72, my father at 69??
I figure I am not long for this world.
“You better start looking for a younger woman,” I said to David.
He didn’t hesitate before saying, “OK.”
“Well, wait until I croak before you start looking,” I said, changing my tune quickly.
He better watch out—or I’ll predict bodily harm in his future.– June 13, 2007