Finding Nigel

Truthfully, Nigel found me!

We just hosted Christmas dinner and Nigel and Angela were with us.  I have to write this down because, given the experience of being swept up in gravy and my grandson, there wasn’t a single photograph archived of my dinner guests.  You know the one…the one where everyone is gathered into a collective and asked to say CHEESE!  There is always only one person left out of that photograph.  Well, this year…well…no need to get redundant.

12/6/17, 4:11 PM  I received this message.

Dear Kathleen, I will always remember you as “Mrs Hanrahan”. I don’t know if you remember me, but you taught me grade 7 art some years ago. I have been searching for you for some time, but it is only appropriate that I should find you now, as I am about to embark on a new adventure; teaching art. Would you be interested in a get together and perhaps imparting some of your wisdom to me?

NIGEL????  Remember you???

Of course, I remember you!

Following our reconnect were stories of remembrance of the Junior High variety…students working things out in my storage cupboard…stuff like that.  As I revisit those years, Robbie Fernuk isn’t far away.  He was a big part of the creative energy that lived in that particular art class.  So was Nigel.  Oh, how the years have sped by…

Photos from our first get together, when I got to meet Angela.  Oh my goodness!  It was as though we had never been apart.

Nigel and Angela first meetingNigel and Angela first meeting 2

I treasure our friendship.  Nigel is life-giving.  He is kind and smart and funny.  Angela has  become a new friend and I hope that we have the years to build memories and share experiences.  Both Angela and Nigel are animal whisperers, brilliant, well-read and artistic.  I love them!

 

(looking for Angela’s birthday photograph, but can’t find them in my archives…sheesh)

(I just ripped them off of Facebook)

 

Nigel and Kath Rumblehouse

Nigel and Kath painting at Rumblehouse

HEH! WAIT!

I have the day off.  I woke with a dream…I’d say that it was a dream from God, meant to comfort.  Maybe you haven’t had one of those, but our Lord gives them to me on a not-so-regular basis.  Today I know that my dream was a gift.  So, there you go.  I felt as though I had a particular kind of courage for the day as I rolled out of bed and placed my feet on the floor.  Think about it.  Isn’t that such a powerful symbol when you put those feet down in the morning?  There starts the gratitude.

I shuffled to the yellow chair.  That’s where I get my grounding in the morning…lift up my day…ask for help…pet Max…give thanks…be.  Usually I make my coffee before plunking there, but today I didn’t.  Once up and at the counter, I stood there long enough to enjoy the aroma of those first drips of coffee into the pot and then I heard it!

…the revving on and off again, plunking and bumping of the garbage truck in the back alley and shocked, went into a panic mode about the absolutely filled-to-the-top black bin that cradled my garden clean-up leftovers!  YIKES!!  “WAIT!!!” I shouted to absolutely no one and tore to the back door, slipping on summer sandals along the way!

He was two doors down…his truck rolling along…his robot arms reaching out and embracing each black receptacle along the way!  I waved my arms while simultaneously looking into the bin that I knew was stinking and pouring over with garden materials and last week’s bag of refuse from the kitchen.  HEH!  WAIT!  I ran across the alley to see if the neighbours’ bins had been gathered up!  They had!  Like some sort of lunatic with a shopping cart, I spun the bin onto its back wheels and started running!

Did I even consider what this might look like to others?  Absolutely not!  Did I continue to wave my arms in the case that someone in that truck looked into a rearview mirror?  You betcha!  Were there any witnesses to this early morning event?  Of course!  One woman, bound for work and perfectly coiffed, was returning her emptied bin to its perfect spot by her perfect curb as I made eye contact, but flew past her.

I was gaining on the garbage truck!  By this time I was two thirds of the way down the length of the alley.  Within two lengths of his truck, he put on the brakes…came around…looked at me.  And he smiled.  Is it possible to fall in love with the garbage man…in a moment…a flash???  (just kidding).  I begged him, “Would you please take my garbage?  PLEASE!”  Now…how pathetic does that sound?  Would you please take my garbage?  That is just a pathetic opening line!  But…he smiled again…and said, “Move aside.”  I happily watched the container lift into the air and empty itself into the opened mouth of the truck.

He said, “Have a great day.”

I said, “You too.”

And pushing my cart, I headed back to my back gate.  By now, I was finally aware of my cold arms.  I looked down at my pink leopard print pajama bottoms.  I looked at the thin worn t shirt that barely covered me.  I flashed back to the face of the witness.  All of a sudden her body language made perfect sense.  Becoming fully conscious, I hoped that I would make the return without meeting up with anyone.

The question came to mind, as I neared the house, “I wonder if I slammed the gate shut.”  You got it!  In fact, the gate WAS slammed shut in the initial frenzy.  What about the shoelace that I had attached for such situations?  Yes, you got that also!  The latch and the shoelace were no longer one entity!

Reflecting back on Outward Bound days, I rammed the guilty bin up against the gate and without thinking, braced it and climbed up on top in order to break through to my own property.  I’d be darned if I was going to walk back the length of the alley, freezing now, and in such dress, and then back up via the front street to my locked house, with yet another back yard gate that was standing in similar circumstances.  The latch gave way and in I fell to the backyard, Max sitting at the back window staring at the calamity.

Here I sit…sipping coffee…waiting for my son to call.  I could not help but write.  I only wish you could experience the face of the witness…the warm humour of the garbage man (sorry, I think there is a more politically correct term for one of these, these days) and I certainly would like my ascent to the top of the garbage bin captured in film…but, instead…here are my words.  Enjoy.

The pajama bottoms…thrift store…and not all that attractive.

The random t-shirt…unfortunately transparent (if you get my meaning).

The sandals at the back door…unfortunately it had snowed night before last.

The latch…the shoelace.

The bin.

The alley: Count six black bins down on the right, you will see my target location. I know…you can’t count six black bins down on the right. My point.

Sometimes when I think how good my book can be, I can hardly breathe. Truman Capote

First Off…

My readers don’t truly believe that the cat is here, do you?  You are also wondering how I can possibly keyboard and write while a Peanut-Meister is curled up in my arms.  I will publish proof…not staged.  As I’ve been reading some remarkable and entertaining novels lately, it is sometimes a thin line, that line between what’s ‘real’ and what is fiction.  From where you sit, you may never believe that the cat is here, but in the case that you don’t… right off the bat, I want to leave you with an image.  This will cause you to doubt yourselves.

I pressed the PUBLISH button for the entry, Write On, and Peanut glared at me.