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Glorious Mountain Time…

Glorious Mountain Time…

So. This is what beautiful means. Another kind of beautiful. A not enough oxygen for the Every-Day-Joe kind of beautiful. A Travel-Here-At-Your-Own-Risk kind of beautiful.

Worth it.

We arrived here at the tail end of a thunderstorm. The wrong end of the thunderstorm, I clarify. Actually, we started at one end of the thunderstorm, traveled up the mountain in growing darkness through the middle of the thunderstorm, hydro-planed around semi rigs and a Volkswagen bus on wings of guardian angels, and sluiced to a stop at the resort, clean air and slightly dripping aspens all around.  End of thunderstorm. No big deal.

There is a reason this resort is here. In Vail. It had to be here. Vail had to be the backdrop for twinkle lights drenching the pines, and customer service draping over us the second we pulled up. The temperature, the crispness of the air, the sincere pride the staff took as they welcomed us… All of the elements had to work together to create the ambiance that is this place. And I love it.

Even now, it is raining, and it is enchanting. Wait. It “rains” in other places. Here, it RAINS. The raindrops frolic as they reach the resort. Then some dance on the surface of the infinity pool, bringing steam up invitingly. Other drops lazily make their way down aspen leaves, pitter-pattering to the stone, and gurgling down the gutters. All the rain forms together to make a filmy, misty sheet that flutters down the mountain, across the pines, and onto the property.  That’s what the rain looks like here.

I get to witness it from a plushly padded lounge chair, just under the eaves of the outdoor rooms. Talk about bringing the outdoors in. And the resort does do that. Three beautiful fireplaces ring the saline infinity pool, one for the hot tub and two for gathering spots. They are inviting, with their rocking chairs and outdoor heaters. They just beg guests to enjoy hot chocolate out in the rain, snow, or chill of the air.

As the days and nights progress, I truly experience the consideration that is seeped in this place. From the sights of the outdoor property, to the scents of the on-property restaurant. A hamburger is NOT just a hamburger here, by the way. It is a culinary delight. Onion ring, pesto aioli, and beef or buffalo cooked to specification (mine was beef, cooked medium), set off bells of pleasure on my taste buds. Even something as mundane as french fries took a ride to happy town with chives, garlic, and mushroom wreathing the steak cut morsels.

As rain came down on the beautiful village of Vail, people took the time to come together over drinks and food. Or a game of chess or cards. People read in the lobby, or library, sure, but the stories flowed from the mouths of people wanting to make connections with others, right there in the conservatory.

In that room, with huge windows showing the beauty that was nature on one side, and a roaring fire on the other, people would gather in twos, or fours, or more, and talk about their lives and what brought them to this spot at this particular time.

Many came for a conference. “Hello, how are you? Are you here for CIMA? Do you know…” And simple as that, they are off and running on system security management for the here and now.

Others, however, are here for weddings and family gatherings and such. I met some interesting girls this way. They flitted here and there popping around walls and bouncing wherever they went, happy as clams. They flopped down next to me and asked me why I was here? I told them my husband was speaking at a conference here, and they sensed it was their turn to speak, so they did.

A lot.

They let me know they had flown in with their family, from New Jersey, for a cousin’s wedding. They were also a bit sad that their grandpa couldn’t come because he was so funny. I asked why he couldn’t be there, and they said, finishing each other’s sentences, that he was 89, was in a home, but had just needed to go to a hospital for something. He was very funny, they said, and the nurses laughed a lot around him. I said it must be nice to have a funny grandpa, and they said yes, grandpa Yogi was the best.

Yogi is not a common name, and I thought it was also the name of a bear, and then some other guys name, maybe a football or baseball player from long ago. That’s as far as my line of thinking went, as these young ladies, vivacious and glad to chat, kept up a history of their lives as they knew it. Staying with their grandpa Yogi. “He reminds us of a gorilla!” The younger girl, maybe 7, said. “His ears, you know… They are preeety big.” The elder sister, around 9, chimed in. “He kind of walks funny, too.”  I learned that he was indeed named Lawrence, but that no one called him that since he was a catcher in baseball long ago. His team mates, then just people, called him Yogi and his last name was Berra, and wasn’t that funny?

The girls went with their parents to Florida every spring break, and… Their dad used to play sports as a job, and … Then the two blonde haired, talkative gems were hustled out of the conversation by a 50-something year old man, fit and trim, that wasn’t too keen on my friendly smile. He seemed in a hurry, and that was that.

I had just had a fun discussion about and with the great Yogi Berra’s grandchildren.  I think so, anyway.  Maybe not. I confirmed some things with my husband later, and with Wikipedia. Yessirree Bob, I had been brushed off by a retired ball player/dad, had a chat with a legend’s grand kids, and enjoyed the weather while doing it.

Nice place.

My last night found me down at the hot tub with my husband. We enjoyed the stars hanging in the sky, the trees swaying in the cool, crisp air, and the steam rising off the stone hot tub water. A fire blazed just a few feet away, beautifully corralled by stone and wrought iron fancy.  We soaked for a bit, marveling at the adventure we had experienced, and caught up on our day. He nailed his presentation, had been productive at the socializing that went on at these things, and now he was ready to relax and go home. I shared with him my time and observations, and we both laughed. Then sighed.

It was good to soak.

After a quick dip in the pool, and a spell by the fireplace, we retired to our room.

Our room. Our room! Big, beautifully well-appointed… Our room was a vacation in and of itself. On the top floor, we got a beautiful view of the pool and mountains. The room housed a plush king size bed with a suede headboard. All soft and inviting, I spent a few hours curled up in it, I’ll tell you. Large closets, well stocked mini fridge area, big bathroom. All done in woods and stone and glass. An office area for hubby to do his conference calls and business. Nothing was an afterthought. Everything was warm, yet elegant.

Our morning was spent packing and smiling because we knew that we had loved this place.  The sun was out. Our trip would be dry. And it was the perfect end to our adventure in a truly breathtaking spot in this world.

 

 

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An Update…


Dad passed away on October 7th. Just 2 weeks ago now.
In some ways, it feels like years.
In other ways, I am still in the middle of it.

I see the sunshine seeping in my parents kitchen window. It’s about 2:00 PM, and it’s just that right temperature of warm but not too warm.  I still hear dad breathing hard in the other room, from his hospice bed. He is in the very last hours, and 2 of us kids hold his hands at all times. It’s not my turn. (When it is my turn, I look forward to touching his warm skin, and looking at his face, knowing I won’t have very long to do that.) His breathing gets easier for a bit, then stops. We all count, as we have been told that an apnea can come at this time, stopping the breathing for anywhere from 15-45 seconds. …5, …10, …15, and he takes in a deep breath. We all take a breath, too, and continue our scrabble game.

Yeah, scrabble. We were playing a game while my father was dying. We had been looking over and after him for 5 days straight, and as neighbors, friends, and relatives came to say their goodbyes,  or dropping off cards and food and hugs, well at some point we just realized that it was ok to do something other than watch the man die. It didn’t mean we loved him any less. In fact, it was probably a relief for him to hear some laughter and gossip coming from the next room, like in old times. (You should probably know that dad got 5 daughters, and would lament, only half jokingly, that he had somehow upset The Lord for Him to punish dad with so many chattering, laughing, bickering daughters…)

So we went on with our game. QAT was my word, and I got it hooked to a double word score. Woot! And I did woot, right out loud.  We all looked at each other quickly, and then at dad in the other room. And our voices raised even more. It was almost a relief to remember that we were allowed to be living, while he was dying. It was odd, but during this vigil, we still ate meals, and hugged each other, and talked normally.

At first this all felt like a betrayal. How dare I sleep when I should be watching over this dying man! Right? And I could not imagine leaving his hospital bed, whether to go to the bathroom or for food, a walk outside, or to play a game of scrabble. Why should I go do these things when he could not?  I don’t know what I expected. I guess for us to be hush hush around him so he could labor in quiet…. I guess that was it.

Well, life is not tidy.

What happened instead was 8 siblings descending upon the Thornton home, from across all sorts of states, all in various stages of grieving. The one thing that didn’t happen was quiet. I was stupefied. The house of grieving flipped like a switch. We had a room of crying and whispering. A room of food prep and eating. Then we had a room of catching up and visiting. And, because we are Thorntons, that room turned into a room of laughter and loudness. In all rooms, reverence was gone.

It was the best thing that happened, in my opinion.  Where I had been moping and obsessing before, being exhausted beyond belief, there was now a life and energy renewed.  Instead of literally watching a man die to death, we provided a father and husband with family living and celebrating his life all around him.

We played board games in the kitchen, just a few feet from where his hospice bed was set up.  We played the piano where he could hear his favorite songs. We put Pandora on the iPad and let him listen to the “Tabernacle Choir” channel because he loved the music so much. And it worked

Whatever IT was.

IT spread through the house gradually. Through each room of sadness, IT seeped in and smiled the sadness away. Oh.  The IT was… Peace.

Peace spread through the house and household. It made it ok for us to laugh or cry. It made it ok for us to sleep in, or stay up all nigh with our sweet dad. Peace made it ok for dad to rally at the end, for us.  He came out of the labored sleep he was in, and acknowledged those who were there in the house. He said he loved hearing the music. He touched our faces and let the little ones give him kisses or high fives. He loved our laughter and talking which, he said, just sounded like LOVE.

And that was when I let go of the process looking a certain way.  I was not in charge, and neither was anyone else. Dad’s death was between him and The Lord. My only responsibility was to be part of the peace and love that was family.  And so I did.

He passed away peacefully, between one breath and another, with family around him.

 

Goodbye…


Sunbeams

I’m not ready to say goodbye yet, but here it is. It is time to say goodbye. The gift you have given to me is that it was gradual. I get to say thank you, along with the goodbye. Thank you for teaching me tennis. Thank you for giving me lecture 47, about everything from cleaning my room to having a fight with mom, and then turning it into a life lesson. Thank you for getting down on your knees to wrestle with me, and play horsey with me, and pray with me. Thank you for playing the only song on the piano that you know, and doing it well. At least the first part. Thank you for dinners together, and basketball games on saturday mornings. Thank you for teaching me the old man shuffle when running was too fast for me, at age 9. Thank you most for loving me, believing in me, and never giving up on me.

Thank you for instilling in me a desire to be more than just me. To be part of something bigger.. Greater. Thank you for teaching me to expect and give respect. Thank you for never raising your voice or your hand to me. Thank you for showing me how I should be treated as a wife and mother. And thank you for showing me what a father should be like.

I get to say my thank you’s along with my goodbye’s, but also my I love you’s. So here is an I love you…

I love that you didn’t like Ketchup, only Catsup. I love that you would sit with me out on the porch and watch the birds, and the neighbors, and the cars roar by. I love that you let me watch you milk the cows all those early mornings, and even tried to teach me how to milk one. I never got the hang of it, but you didn’t lose your patience. Not once.  I love that you made up the game, Balloon Volley Ball for our Family Home Evening game times. I love that it turned into a neighborhood favorite. I love that you built the addition on to our home big enough that Balloon Volleyball fit so well in our family room. I love that you aged so well. You look great with a bald head. Like Jean Luke Picard.  I love that you loved mom so well and so deeply. And I love that you loved us 8 kids so completely.  We were your life.

All these Thank You’s and I Love You’s I get to say to you silently as I patted your cheek one last time. As I held your warm hand. As I kissed you on your forehead. Almost a goodbye. But not yet. And I am grateful, Your last breath is your first step into your next life, and I envy you your journey. But still. Still, I am not ready to say goodbye.

Not yet. So I just hold your hand while the hospice nurse is called. I look at your peaceful face when mom needs to be close to you. And still I can’t say goodbye. When the mortuary tenderly and respectfully brings your body to the facility to be readied for the funeral, I know you are gone, but can’t say goodbye. The viewing is hard, because your sweet presence is gone from the body that is in the casket.  I know that.

It isn’t until now, when the man in the suit is ready to close the lid of the casket, and asks that any of us that want to come by your body to say the last goodbye, that I realize that this is it. This is the moment that, whether or not I am ready, I have to…need to…say goodbye.

And so I say goodbye silently.

Goodbye to the past heartaches and pain. Goodbye to Cancer. Goodbye to awful pills and hospital beds and walkers with tennis balls on them. Goodbye to all that. And Thank You for all of who you are and have been. And I love you for being strong through this last part.

OK.

Goodbye for now.

 

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Trying out a new story…


English: Schematic map of the italian regions ...

So here I am, writing for my 15 minutes. I really don’t know what to say today.

I have put in my time starting a story. It’s about a girl who is almost out of Julliard as a Cello player, has a wealthy boyfriend, and some good prospects. All she and her parents have trained her for are about to come to fruition. She is a small town girl who works hard to fit in with the New York crowd. She never wants to go back to small town life, in fact, and it doesn’t look like she has to. However her life takes a turn when all but 1 auditions fall through, and that audition takes her to Italy, where she knows no one, doesn’t know the language, or the atmosphere. She loses even that prospect and has to face that she may not be as good as she thinks she is.

Dejected, she starts the short journey to the airport when her wallet and identity are stolen. She is stuck and has to rely on others to survive in Italy. Through a kind man, she ends up playing in a small group for a traveling opera around the smaller regions of the country. She learns to rely on small town people to keep her going, and she finds a love of the country and a man.  She also finds out what it is to let go of fortune and fame, and embrace service and love.

I like it, but we will see how it really takes off, when I start fleshing it out.

 

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The Piano Guys Did Battle


Gray Sphere, see

I didn’t realize how much I had simply gone….Gray. How I had frozen and forgotten to feel anything. Something sad set it off, but I pushed it away as not having time to feel about it and so it sat there, doing nothing but doing something, nonetheless. I didn’t have time to feel about it and so it let me go about my day or night, and when I woke up, I hurt deep down inside. My dreams were sad, sad, sad. My body ached about it, and my smile went away. I woke up and I was sad, but didn’t know how to let it go. I didn’t know how to let that go because it had nestled into my emotions, making a place along the hub-bub of my schedules and car rides and budget making. And then it spread its tendrils just a little at a time, unbeknownst to me. And it waited.It could afford to wait because I was too busy to see that my smile was going away, and I was getting short-tempered. “If I can just get this budget right, then I can take a break.” But I didn’t take a break, and something else talked louder than the heartache. The tendrils spread a bit more and I forgot to love on my kids, and then I forgot to use kind words, and then… and then I just was mad. (Mad is only covering up sad, you know. Mad is a flavor put hastily on to cover the hurt that is bubbling up.)

Until this morning. I felt gray and I kind of liked not feeling anything at all that was real. Until this morning.

Piano

A strange thing happened. It was called music. The music was called “The Piano Guys”. (Really, that’s their name.) They played something  beautiful, with a Cello and a Piano, and with heart. It sounded good and deep and it called to me. Music washed over me this morning, and little did I know that it would do battle with the sad something. They played a soothing, moving song. It let me remember that I could feel, and it melted and thawed the something that was holding me back.

The grayness started to melt, and it showed up as tears.

Great Battle

I sat there, in my bed, with kids coming back and forth, and schedules going on, and I cried. Hard. No holding back, with the music doing battle in the background. Kids and husband asked me why and what was wrong, and what did they do to set off mom, and I didn’t care enough to pull out of my battle with the gray. Not yet. I waved the loved ones off just long enough for the tears to wash away the sad something that had held on to my emotional self and I found me again.  I found my smile, and my animation, and the part that had been held hostage.  The music did that for me.  The tears did that for me. The notes washed the gray away.

Piano

I remembered what it felt like to love on my kids, and to get dressed in warm clothes, and to communicate kindly. With a smile. I remembered me.

Music is that strong.  It is that kind, and good, and powerful, and needed. For me, it is my shield against the gray. It keeps my emotions flowing, and even if that means I cry a bit more, I am grateful. Thank you, Piano Guys. I am loved because you love what you do, and you are talented at it. You do battle with The Gray.

 

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Monday, But Only So A Bit.


Cover of "The Outsiders - The Complete No...

I answered Dina’s update with an affirmative. It is a happy Monday! Indubitably, though, someone will nay-say this. And I say, to this nay-sayer (As Robert Frost said once, and as Ralph Maccio said to C. Thomas Howell in “The Outsiders“):


ImageNature’s first green is gold
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf‘s a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay

 

For this part of Monday, Dina, Monday is golden. No mistakes made. No angry comments given or received. No eyebrows pulled up and lip a slight snarl as it is realized that it is “Only Monday”. This part of the gift of the day is recognized and shared.

Thanks, Dina.

Again.

 

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A Millionaire Asked Me To Marry Him… and other moments of falsified bliss.


California Department of Motor Vehicles headqu...

I went to the DMV today. With my son. To get his driving permit. It was bliss.

And if BLISS is what you call standing in a packed room, or sitting in uncomfortable chairs next to a coughing/hacking/wheezing woman for 4 hours then that’s exactly what it was.  (Did I mention the 3 screaming toddlers playing World Wide Wrestling in the isles while their moms chatted it up in a language unknown to me?)

That is not the bliss that I mean, actually.  The bliss came in the sliver of a laughing out loud moment while a crowd laughed with me. It came in between numbers 118 and 129, I think. (We were number 139, and had been there since number 85.) The bliss came after the harrumphing at “those out-of-control kids”, and the glaring at “those-irresponsible-moms”, but before Clovis the cougher admitted that she was getting sick. And it definitely came while we were getting a bit restless. And so was the group around us.  There was a temper or two lost, just seconds before I blurted out to my son, “Did I ever tell you that I have been proposed to by a millionaire?”

Cropped screenshot of Betty Grable in the trai...

Cropped screenshot of Betty Grable in the trailer for the film How to Marry a Millionaire (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My son, in the middle of a meaningful glare at the two kids that were pulling each others hair and wailing at the top of their lungs, pulled back a bit and said, “What?”  “Did I ever tell you-” I started again.  “I heard what you said, mom. I just don’t believe it.” And, of course I had to tell him that he could be filthy rich. So I did. I told him that not too many years ago, a millionaire became interested in me. It was very flattering, and he lavished his attentions on me and my boys, for about a month. He told me he was a pilot and was one of the original owners of… Fill In The

I pondered the possibilities of being married to a millionaire, and it felt GOOD.  No money problems at all. Companionship with all the wealth that came with it and…and…and… and then I was shown that he was not what he seemed. At all. (Imagine that. Imagine my surprise.) He was a student in a small town that, apparently, liked to spin a good yarn. And all it took was a mom and sister hiring a private detective to bring me to reality.BUT FOR THAT MOMENT, I told my son, I KNEW WHA

T IT WAS LIKE TO BE COURTED BY A MILLIONAIRE.”Was I ridiculous to fall for an internet story?”, I asked him. “Oh yeah.” He smirked. “Did I feel like an idiot?” I asked him. “Um, Dur.” He said. “But for that 1 moment in time, you knew what it was like to be woo-ed by a millionaire. And not many people can claim that.”  My son stared at me. He gaped at me. He had no idea, and could not believe that any millionaire wooed me. But he laughed hysterically when he found that I had been had. As well he should. It was funny. In fact, it was funny to a few people around me, as well.

The DMV numbers had moved from 118 to 121, and I didn’t even notice. I must be doing something right. The couple on the right of us, and baldy to the front had turned their chairs to face us, smiles getting large. (Lets do it again, shall we? This thought goes through my head, and so I do.)

The American professional tennis player Serena...This time, I poll the group and ask, “What moments have you had? The ones that you know are amazing and you love, even if it is only for a moment or two, before it goes sour?”  The crowd looked blank. I just kept blathering away. I figured if they were listening, it was their fault.

“Ok, how bout this. I HAVE BEEN ASKED BY A TENNIS STAR TO BECOME A TENNIS STAR IN THE MAKING.”

This perked up a few people, and a few others leaned closer (which wasn’t necessarily good because someone smelled a bit like a fart. Just sayin.)  I warmed up to telling my story, and it went like this:

“When I was 15, I went to the tennis courts to play tennis.  It is what I always did because at that time I ate, drank, and breathed tennis. ( I played mostly with boys because the girls didn’t like how competitively I spanked ’em.) And, tennis was the major activity in our small town. So I played . This particular day, I didn’t have anyone to meet at the court, so I went, hoping for a Pick-Up Game.  Which I got.

A man I had never seen before was also looking for a quick game until his opponent showed up. He agreed to play while he was unoccupied. I figured right off the bat that I could take him, because he looked a bit old. So I, in my cocky way, dHe whooped me.  He didn’t just whoop me, he pulverized me. After I amped it up, he just looked indulgent as he creamed me over and over. I felt ridiculous, and tired, and cramped up, but also I felt in awe. Who was this man who could be this good, and what was he doing here in small town tennis-ville…?

After his partner showed up, he gave me a card and let me know he was something called “a pro”. This obviously meant short for “Professional Tennis Player, Ranked and Successful”.  And that he would love to let me come to the city and  train with him.  And then I went home, and he went to play his new level of tennis that I had never seen.” (By this time, 10 or 15 people were standing/sitting/coughing around us, and all I felt was a bit of humor. Because of what I said next:)

“This man, whom I perceived to be a tennis star, a tennis pro on some tennis circuit that stopped in small town me-ville, had shown a singular interest in me. He had singled me out to be his prodigy, and I was on my way to making bank! Fame and Fortune were mine, as this had been the big break I had dreamed of.

I hummed the whole way home, fantasizing about how I would break the great news to my mom. She would be proud of me, and would even throw a party! (I forgot conveniently about how I had been wiped all over the court by this man.)

Sam Arnold - Touring Tennis Pro

At home, I relayed my version of my day, and my mom guffawed a bit. She let me know that this man was only called a pro by his profession. PROfession, maybe. (Guffaw) And that we would have to pay HIM for lessons. He was a teacher, not a star. My heart broke. (Guffaw and snort. Then back to her dishes)

There would be no recognition for my skill. There was no singling me out. There was just me being taken in by the possibility of fame and fortune. I felt ridiculous.   BUT FOR THAT MOMENT IN TIME, I WAS ON MY WAY TO BEING FAMOUS!  I knew that feeling, and not many people did. (I haven’t played tennis for about 20 years, by the way.)There were guffaws there at the DMV as well. I know, because I did one, thinking back to my arrogance. And circumstance. The numbers crept up, and the audience got a bit bigger. I didn’t mind because my son was asking for another story. I asked him for one first, but I knew he wouldn’t have one. He hadn’t had life happen to him yet. So I thought a minute, and immediately launched into the normal stuff. Like:

Hitting it big at the craps table, making everyone else there wealthy; only to find that I had misunderstood the rules, had lost my 30 bucks at the same time, and got the stink eye from the other crap-ees. The girl on the left actually asked me to leave the table. I did.

A quick-pick ticket with two sets of numbers f...

How bout buying the scratch ticket that had 28,000 dollars on it, and I had just scratched it. I checked the rules 3 times, and I HAD WON!  Being absolutely high on life as I fantasized about what bills I would pay off, and what gifts I would give to my family as a surprise, and it only cost me 3 dollars.  Only to find that I had misread the rules on the scratch ticket and my dreams were shattered by the gas station attendant, Lilly. She laughed quietly, and behind her long hair, but FOR THAT MOMENT IN TIME, I WAS THE ONE PERSON IN A BILLION THAT GOT SOMETHING FOR ALMOST NOTHING!

The rest of the time at the DMV went slowly, but when I looked around, people were shaking their heads and smiling at me. Sure they didn’t share what their amazing moments were. Of course they were smirking at me, but my son… he told me that was the best part of the day. Only to be topped by getting his driving permit.  I’ll take it.

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  • At home, I relayed my version of my day, and my mom guffawed a bit. She let me know that this man was only called a pro by his profession. PROfession, maybe. (Guffaw) And that we would have to pay HIM for lessons. He was a teacher, not a star. My heart broke. (Guffaw and snort. Then back to her dishes)

    There would be no recognition for my skill. There was no singling me out. There was just me being taken in by the possibility of fame and fortune. I felt ridiculous.   BUT FOR THAT MOMENT IN TIME, I WAS ON MY WAY TO BEING FAMOUS!  I knew that feeling, and not many people did. (I haven’t played tennis for about 20 years, by the way.)There were guffaws there at the DMV as well. I know, because I did one, thinking back to my arrogance. And circumstance. The numbers crept up, and the audience got a bit bigger. I didn’t mind because my son was asking for another story. I asked him for one first, but I knew he wouldn’t have one. He hadn’t had life happen to him yet. So I thought a minute, and immediately launched into the normal stuff. Like:

    Hitting it big at the craps table, making everyone else there wealthy; only to find that I had misunderstood the rules, had lost my 30 bucks at the same time, and got the stink eye from the other crap-ees. The girl on the left actually asked me to leave the table. I did.

    A quick-pick ticket with two sets of numbers f...

    How bout buying the scratch ticket that had 28,000 dollars on it, and I had just scratched it. I checked the rules 3 times, and I HAD WON!  Being absolutely high on life as I fantasized about what bills I would pay off, and what gifts I would give to my family as a surprise, and it only cost me 3 dollars.  Only to find that I had misread the rules on the scratch ticket and my dreams were shattered by the gas station attendant, Lilly. She laughed quietly, and behind her long hair, but FOR THAT MOMENT IN TIME, I WAS THE ONE PERSON IN A BILLION THAT GOT SOMETHING FOR ALMOST NOTHING!

    The rest of the time at the DMV went slowly, but when I looked around, people were shaking their heads and smiling at me. Sure they didn’t share what their amazing moments were. Of course they were smirking at me, but my son… he told me that was the best part of the day. Only to be topped by getting his driving permit.  I’ll take it.

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