Friends


Who’ll Stop the Rain

Christmas was Friday.  And Stephanie enjoyed Christmas 2015 more than any other.  Our personable four person celebration included Mel & Joyce from our church family. I have been able to count on them for everything.  

Their kindness shown brightly when I called them to jump start my car and it was done promptly and with a smile, then again when they met me at the car dealership and we went to breakfast while I waited for the vehicle. After our breakfast at a neighboring restaurant Joyce made the offer to go inside the dealership and wait with me for the car.  I turned the offer down assuming the car would be all done.  

Apparently though, she knew how the dealerships worked around here…the car was not done.  I was only having the car washed – a job that was done automatically in Minnesota anytime the car was brought into the dealership…cost $30 here.  They couldn’t do the recall work because they didn’t have the right parts even though the recall notice had said the parts were in.  

On Thanksgiving morn it was Joyce that made us a turkey dinner with all the fixings and another dear friend, Carroll, brought the pie. Neither friend likes for me to have to go up or down the apartment stairs but I don’t mind too much.  To me, it’s better than having someone living above me and hearing their every step and creak in the floor.  And though I don’t need to be taken care of – it would seem that they have made it their job, for Stephanie’s sake as much as mine.

This morning the relentless store sales were in full swing though I doubt there were many customers…but I am usually wrong concerning shopping preferences.  The entire day has been cloudy and rainy with loud thunder boomers and unyielding lightning strikes.  During most of the day heavy rain pelted the windows and localized flooding is probable.  

We drove to church this morning and we could see from a distance on Riverdale Rd that the church parking lot was empty.  I surmised the reason was because of the rain which came down heavy at times and was non-stop for two days and counting.  I had debated with myself about going because flash-flooding was possible, but we were so close and we hadn’t a problem until getting near the church.  

Through the large puddles (small lakes) we traveled.  It was obvious the river had gone over its banks.  The normally dry fields were now swamp and pond-like.  We pulled up next to the greeter standing out in the rain and heard the news from him first hand…

“Pastor Jamie called it off today because he feared the riverbanks would widen to the church doors, or thereabout and didn’t want people trapped in their cars,” said the greeter.

I wondered why he didn’t get word out far ahead of starting time.   Joyce told me by text that he had given notice on their Facebook page and when we returned home Steph had checked her phone and her Sunday School teacher, Tami, had sent her a text at 9:33 this morning saying there would be no Sunday school today because of the rain.  Steph’s phone was not charged up and that’s why there was no message.  I am not a member (a trait gotten from Dad, “”Don’t join any clubs or groups”) but I think church is different.  

So this is winter in Missouri.  Dark the day long until evening comes…then it gets darker.  The rain is relentless in its falling at times being pelted from above.  

The darkness of the entire day and the constant rainfall reminds me of the Philippine typhoon, and so it goes…..

 

Steve Richie

Hi folks, Two lives in one lifetime. The first me, lived to age thirty-four. That Steve was overly confident and oozing with pride. Then, on a record heat-setting day (107º) here in the Twin Cities area of Minnesota and western Wisconsin, a one car near-fatal wreck left me in a two-month long coma. I emerged much as I was before minus certain physical capabilities, but my mind seemed mostly in tact. The crash and its effects did not change me (I emerged a happy individual) but the deeds perpetrated against me in the ensuing months from my wife of sixteen years scared and humbled me as I was dragged down with nothing left by my wife who now had guardianship over all of our accounts. And neither would she allow me to see our kids. She took everything out of, "Our" names and changed them to her name only; then would not allow me to our home and divorced me. I was angry, but no more. I spent half of 1988 and more than half of 1989 in hospitals, nursing homes and a three month stint at a head-injury rehab center where I was being taught how to re-enter society as this different person, that I didn't know. I was not able to return to my previous line of work, a self-employed decorator, you know, painting and paperhanging. It was a physical job which required much dexterity, finesse, and a good grasp of numbers. I returned to the beginning, school, but on a community college level. One of the instructor's liked my writing and I began focusing my attention on that. I attended classes at, "The Loft," A Place for Writers in Minneapolis. While there, a classmate of mine was having her friend from New York, a CBS executive, to her home for the holidays and asked me if she could do a critique on a couple chapters of a book I was writing, "A Day I'll Never Remember" and I obliged. When she returned to class the following Monday she told me that the exec wanted a ten-page synopsis of the book for a possible movie; I was excited. After obliging for that also, I never saw or heard from her or the guy from CBS. Next thing I knew I was watching a movie called, "Regarding Henry" starring Harrison Ford and the scenes of therapy were exactly like what I went through and had written about. Regarding Henry - could've been my story except that, "Henry" got his head injury from a gunshot and his wife stayed with him throughout the ordeal. Coincidence I'm sure, though, the therapy scenes entailed what I described in the book so I always wondered..... My hope, my dream is to bolster our income for my daughter and for myself. I am and have been raising this beautiful, talented little girl who was diagnosed with autism at age two, since 2006 singlehandedly. I divorced her mother the same year following complaints that I spent too much time with our daughter. However, Stephanie began school with no need for special education. She has been reading since age four and understanding what she'd read. Stephanie maintains straight "A's" on her report card, has published two books (through school) and has been selected as an, "Honors" student for seventh grade English. My ex moved to New York to be closer to her sister and has been remarried now for a number of years. Well, that's only a snippet of my sixty-one years and I would like to thank you for reading, thank you.

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