….and monstrously big ones, at that! My cross-the-street neighbor Barbara rang the doorbell last evening, and handed me a bag literally bursting with massive lemons! Apparently the tree in their backyard has provided them with a bumper crop of huge yellow orbs. These are the size of grapefruit! She said that the fruit is not normally so large, but the tree just seemed to want to outdo itself, in many ways!
She had been busy gathering and distributing lemons for the entire afternoon, and I was her last stop. BUT, she reassured me, she saved the best of them for us! She then proceeded to invite Glenn and I over for dinner on Saturday night.
“Just the four of us, so we’ll get a chance to get to know one another better. Is five-thirty good for you?”
Sounds good to me! I forgot to ask her if they prefer red or white wine, but I will undoubtedly be chatting with her before Saturday. She frequently stops by to ask me if there is anything I need help with.
“Charles is very strong, despite his memory slipping a bit. Just let us know, any time, you’ve got out phone number.”
I know that Barb’s writing desk faces the street, so she’s always first to know if I return from shopping with my trunk loaded. She dashes out and tells me to ‘just leave everything, Charles will be right over to deal with it’. I know that she is aware of my MS, but I still think that I’m a bit better able to handle things than a 92 year old man! At least, I think I am….!
The two of them are already well prepared for when Glenn has to go to China in May. I get the same advice to ‘just relax, we are here to help you out when you need it. I rather think that there is an increasing note of anticipation, when she discusses Glenn’s looming departure on this trip. Between Barbara and Glenn, this trip is making me feel even more like everyone else can hardly wait, while I am less than delighted.
I now know what part of China he is going to: Shanghai. This is where the factories are that manufacture the Apple products for which Glenn writes the firmware. Although we no longer own a globe, or even a current atlas, I am anxious to see where this city is! He mentioned that it isn’t far front the ocean, but has no other details. The reason that he only had to be vaccinated for typhoid is that he won’t be anywhere else. He will be picked up at the airport, transported to a five star hotel, picked up in the morning and taken to the factory, then returned to the hotel in the evening. He and the others that will be traveling with him will lead a very cloistered existence when there, but that is for their own protection. Normally there are many more prepatory vaccinations needed for visiting China, but since they’ll just be in the one locale, they only need the one. The fellows that they will be dealing with over there are in fact here right now, meeting with other hardware and software engineers.
It is obvious to anyone that the neighbors are simply anxious to feel needed. I sometimes think that I’m just handy for their purposes, but truly it is nice to be in such a role-reversal. For oh so many years, we were the ones that were needed, with Mom and Dad’s advancing years and failing health. They relied heavily on us, but we were very glad to be there for them, and honestly feel that we got just as much out of our relationship. Even after that, Diane needed me to take her shopping, just so she could get out of the house periodically.
Now, we are too far away to be of use to anyone. Although we didn’t run away from family responsibilities deliberately, I’m sure a cynical soul could interpret it that way! When the math of the situation is tallied up however, I think that our physical distance from friends and family has put us in the negative column far more often than not! I sorely miss having coffee with my buddies in Ottawa, or stopping part way through a day of shopping with Di for a break to rehash everything we had seen. I do try to get out and make some new friends, but I am also an insular creature in that I don’t care for large gatherings as much. On the designated meeting days for the MS Support Group here I attend whenever possible, but the carefully organized nature of these gatherings does not lead to much casual chit-chat. The organizer insists that everyone takes a turn to speak, which makes sense, especially in a larger group. Normally there is about two dozen members in attendance. However, I seldom get the opportunity to befriend any single member, due to the fast-paced nature of a group this size, especially when some of them are transported by an organization similar to Para-Transpo, in Ottawa.
The socializing that I miss often takes place on this computer. I do love to write in my blog, and to an extent, that fulfills my end of the conversation. The responses I get after posting are the other end of the chat! I’ve met many new people since I started this, and appreciate the responses from every one of them! Sometime it is just a “like”, others there is a comment concerning the subject matter, and sometimes it is just a confirmation that there are other folks out there that are possibly doing just exactly what I am.