Monday, July 20, 2009

The Other Side

Photobucket I've been having a lot of fun regaling you with my friend, M.E.'s weird experiences, but I can't help feeling a bit mean, not that anyone has suggested it. You're much too polite. It's just that I don't want anyone to think that she's a raving lunatic.

M.E. is actually a very generous, caring woman who goes through life tilting at windmills. She is five years older than me and, while I barely move around and don't particularly like to leave the house, she is like the Energizer Bunny, up and out every day.

Her husband died when they were in their forties, leaving her with a house on about an acre of land and three teenagers, one, a girl, in her first year of college and two boys still in high school. M.E. is an R.N. and worked as the only school nurse for the entire school district. She had an office in the high school, but was often called to one of the other schools. She supervised all of the hearing and vision testing with the help of a handful of mothers who volunteered. She checked for head lice alone.

On Friday and Saturday nights, about twice a month, she worked at the local hospital on the 11 p.m. to 7 p.m. shift.

With the aid of her late husband's Social Security, bank loans and various part time jobs, all three kids finished their educations. Her daughter is a teacher, one son is an engineer and the other son is a doctor.

Summers, she continued to work the night shift at the hospital about five nights a month and enjoyed playing golf. As my bridge partner, she drove me nuts because she didn't bother to bid correctly. Playing bridge was simply the price she had to pay for an evening out with the "girls." I lived for thirty years in the vain hope that one day her natural competitiveness would kick in and she'd be compelled to learn the rules. Never happened.

After she retired from the school system, she continued to work at the hospital, but she never slowed down. Her new-found free time was spend doing volunteer work and taking care of her property. She has painted every room in her house numerous times over the years. She's an excellent seamstress and periodically makes all new window treatments, throw pillows, etc. for her house and, her daughter's. If you drive by in the summer, you're likely to see her bumping along on her riding mower, weed-eating or trimming shrubs.

She spends a day a week at one of the nursing homes and bowls in two bowling leagues. She is the most curious person I have ever met, and can ask two dozen questions in one breath none of which I can't answer. She thinks nothing of loading her dog into her car and driving to Little Rock or Dallas to see her kids and grand-kids. And, have I mentioned that she paints beautiful water-colors?

So, I think she can be forgiven a few quirks that she is quick to laugh about along with me. I just thank God she doesn't own a computer. If she did, she might be writing a blog about all of my many eccentricities.

Stay tuned.


kenju said...

She sounds like the kind of go-getter I'd like to be. You have to hand it to a woman who holds the family together after being widowed so early.

Arkansas Patti said...

Wow,with the load she has managed, she can afford to be a bit weak on electronics.

Looking to the Stars said...

I can see why you are friends, she sounds delightful. I am glad that you can see the humor in the things she does and you share it with us :)

Dianne said...

I never once thought you were being anything other than lovingly truthful and now I see why

M.E. sounds like an inspiring character :)

and you tell her story so beautifully

Grayquill said...

After reading this post I think I need a nap. Where do people like that come from? OMG - that was pretty funny (and stressful)

Grannymar said...

I want to touch this woman so some of her energy passes over to me!

Ima Wizer said...

I like her!

Anonymous said...

I think most of us could tell that you adored your friend, M.E....The laughter that you had about the numbers and the results was in loving gest, for sure. She sounds like a remarkable woman and that is why you treasure her in print! Thanks for telling us about this "whirlwind" of a friend....

Kay Dennison said...

M.E. sounds like she is fun!!! You are blessed to have her.

Deanna said...

She sounds like my Aunt Fronie. One snowy day when Fronie was 90, she baked a batch of cookies and walked up the slick sidewalk to the nursing home to visit the "old" people. Dang I miss that lady.

ME sounds like quite a treasure.

Snowbrush said...

Can you believe it?! People who actually HAVE a life sometimes DON'T have a computer

Betty said...

kenju: She wears me out. But, she has slowed down a bit. She used to be able to shop 14 hours straight. Now, she can only do about 10.

Arkansas Patti: She doesn't have time for electronics.

Looking tot the Stars: I'm sure she could tell you a lot about my little quirks, too.

Dianne: She is amazing, when she isn't being exasperating. lol

Grayquill: I know. I got tired just writing it.

Grannymar: It doesn't seem to work that way.

Ima Wizer and Margarethall: She is very likeable.

Kay: We have had lots of fun over the years.

Deanna: That sounds like something M.E. would do.

Snowbrush: And, she's just a bit superstitious about computers, anyway.

apathy lounge said...

That's the way to get older: in a fearless, "go-getter" way.

Betty said...

apathy lounge: I hope I am a little bit like her.