Editor Bob Says Have A Good Weekend

Hey you,

How’s it going? How’s the weather in your part of the world? I really can’t wait for the weather to warm up just a bit so we can go cook out! I’m just really glad that I have a great group of friends that I can surround myself with, though. I try to appreciate them everyday.

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  Friendship Etc.

I was just catching up with the female GI online, now that she’s transferred out west. We figured that even though we’re not dating anymore, we’d still like to keep in touch and be friends. I spoke to her about Laura and the veterans that I’ve met. She said that she’s proud to be a friend of mine. I told her that I haven’t really done anything. I mean these guys have been through so much.

She told me how important it is to have a support network of friends. There are few people who can get through what they’ve been through without it. We talked about Megan, too. About her job loss and the economy–sometimes it feels like you can’t count on anything except your friends.

Autism Awareness Month [April]

Since the female GI left for another post, I haven’t really been out much. But I asked Laura, who I met with Kong at the hospital, out for coffee. Our date was really interesting; we talked about a lot of things–the economy, the war, and about her son, Tim. It surprised me a bit because I don’t think I’ve ever dated a single mom before, not that I mind, but I’ve never thought about dealing with kids. I mean, I spend a lot of time with my niece Rachel, but when I babysit her, it’s more like she’s babysitting me. I am sure she’s wiser than I am!

Tim, on the other hand, is no ordinary kid. He’s been diagnosed as an autistic child. Laura told me about how she needs to pay a lot of attention to him to understand his needs. It’s very hard to communicate with autistic kids and that’s such a big part of life. He goes to a school for kids with special needs. She gave me a lot more insight into her life. I was amazed by how she is a caregiver not only professionally, but at home too. She looks at things in such positive light and she really appreciates the little things in life.

When I went home, I read up on autism. I was surprised at how little I know about it. Of course I’ve seen movies like Rain Man, and Mercury Rising and I’ve talked about it here and there, but I’ve always left it at that. But now that I’m more aware of it, I’m surprised by how little doctors and researchers know about it. I mean, autism is still a mystery. What’s more, April is Autism Awareness Month.

Overall, I really liked my date with Laura. What was great about it was that we talked like two old friends–you know when you just connect? It was really good to know the other side of her life. I liked not having that pressure of being on a DATE date thing. Sometimes it’s just too much. Laura was very casual about the date, which was nice for a change. “I’d like to meet Tim someday,” I told Laura. “Really?” she asked in a surprised tone. “Ya, I’d like to meet him. If that’s ok with you?” “Ya! Sure why not,” was Laura’s reply. We arranged for us to meet this weekend. I’m really looking forward to it.

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  Lady Luck Day [Apr 5]

I went to bingo with Mrs. Bradley. And boy have I got a story to tell ya about my luck! First off, I’m not really a bingo guy, in fact I’ve never been to a bingo. Mrs. Bradley invited me to a fundraising benefit for the local soup kitchen downtown. They also provide temporary shelter for the city’s homeless. I figured, why not, it’s something I can do to help, right? I also get to have fun in the process too.

So we headed to the bingo hall in the evening and the place was packed. It seemed like she knew everyone! When I walked into the hall, there was a heavy set lady that caught my attention. She was wearing a very colorful dress. Everything she wore was somehow matching the same orange color. Her eyes were brightly colored with eye liner and eye shadow. She had a beehive hairdo and orangey lipstick on. She was also wearing horn rimmed glasses with a plastic bee attached. She looked so familiar but I couldn’t place her anywhere. She had a deep gravelly voice–probably the aftereffects from years of smoking. She kept talking to me after Mrs. Bradley introduced me and I had this weird feeling that I might’ve known her from somewhere.

Then, it came for her to go to the podium to announce the numbers. The orange lady said, “Good luck, Bob,” smiling a sly smile at me. I didn’t know if there was any intent behind her comments. She had that smile that said she knew something I didn’t. It was bothering me. Of course when the game got underway it didn’t help either. I had the worst luck ever! Nothing matched the numbers on my tickets. When the first round was over, the orange lady came to sit next to me. This time, the numbers were coming to me! It was really surprising–as if the orange lady was my Lady Luck after all! She saw I was going to win so she paid attention to my ticket. When I completed the B-I-N-G-O she started screaming and jumping enthusiastically, “BINGO! BINGO! BINGO!” She was really excited for me and the enthusiasm was very infectious.

When the games wrapped up, the orange lady and I spoke for a while. “Thanks for sitting next to me. I think I won because of you,” I told her. She replied, “Ah, don’t worry about it. You’re just lucky today that’s all. I hope we see more of you at bingo. If not I’ll see you in a couple of years I guess.” Then it occurred to me, she’s the lady from the DMV! I just renewed my license a couple of months ago and that’s where I’ve met her. But by the time I looked for her to talk about it, she had already left the hall. Just like a true lady luck, she was elusive in her very colorful way.

How to Enjoy the Weekend

Do you know how to tell if Spring has really arrived or not? Forget the groundhog–all you need to look at is the love birds. Of course I have my own love birds to watch–they’re named Kate and Jeffrey! Every time we have our Monday catch-up dinner, Kate has to tell the latest story that Jeffrey had done this and that and this and that… The women just flutter their eyelids and become hypnotized. These mushy, lovey-dovey stories at dinner are killing us macho guys, me and Rick. When Rick or I try to change the subject, their eyes enflame and shoo us off to the bar.

Last weekend, they had taken a three day vacation and went up to Stowe, Vermont. Kate looked happy and really refreshed when we met her on Monday. The birds stayed at a romantic bed and breakfast place. When they got there, roses and handmade chocolate truffles were waiting for Kate. (Studs take note: they’re not just for Valentine’s Day!) “Stowe is a colonial town to begin with so it was really quaint and romantic,” Kate recounted. “The inn was really secluded and hardly anyone was around so it was just perfect. We had candle lit breakfasts in the mornings, they had the tables right next to the windows so we saw the sun rise as we were having breakfast. The view of the mountains was terrific. We took a day to go hiking on Mt. Mansfield so that was really nice. We had a couples massage session in the evening after that.”

Man, Jeffrey thought of everything, didn’t he! She went on and on about how great it was and how you should think about going there for a honeymoon etc., etc… I mean, why can’t she just say that they had a great weekend? Most of you know that I zone out after a while, which I did.

All I remembered was that dinner was really great. It was Rick’s turn to decide the place so he picked a diner which serves both food and booze. Ahh, nothing like a nice old fashioned burger with fries and a beer! Well folks, I’ll have to leave you at that. Perhaps the most fitting Zen quote this week comes from Donna Williams, an accomplished writer who is also autistic, “Romance isn’t a quick cracker with cheese, it’s a Ferrero Rocher [a really expensive chocolate-wafer-hazelnut ball thingy].”

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Editor, 123Greetings

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