Monthly Archives: August 2020

Making New Friends

One of the joys of life is finding a person with whom you are “simpatico.” There are possible relationships swirling around you all the time, but you may not have been looking for more friends. When a special person appears, you feel blessed that you have met someone; you feel that your life has been enriched.

            I recently met such a person whom I hope to keep as a special friend in my life. Dan made me laugh when I didn’t know if I would ever laugh again. I am comfortable with him, and my appearance isn’t nearly as important to me as it usually is, because I sense that it doesn’t matter to him. That feels like freedom!

            I can count on one hand the male friends I have had that weren’t also friends of my husband. This man did not know my husband; he is my friend, although I think Jerry would have liked him. He has a calm personality, and it seems we have a lot in common. We can talk about anything; nothing seems to be taboo. I like that I can talk about my late husband and he can talk about his late wife without discomfort. I just like to be with him, and I think we would enjoy being companions, for dinner or the theater or the things that are just more fun with someone else.

            I also have a new woman friend, whom I would like to get to know better. She is very busy, and seems to be involved in everything, so we have not even had time to go to lunch together. I found her personality attractive, sensing a depth and substance, from the first time I met her.

            Some friendships take a long time to develop. Occasionally a person will just not sit right with me when I meet her, but when I look back years later, I cannot imagine my life without her. Some relationships are mutual attractions from early on, while some need to simmer awhile to get the flavor right.

            I have been lonely, but I did not think I was looking for more relationships. Perhaps the grief process has made me more open. I know I am vulnerable and cry easily, whether sad or happy.  But I would just like to be able to meet with many friends I have missed during the pandemic. Whenever I talk to such a friend on the phone, I get a little rush of pleasure, remembering all the things I like about her, and we may linger in conversation a long time.

            There is always room for more people in my life, I realize. And that makes me smile.

Alone in a Hurricane

The wind roared, the rain pelted and I grabbed my sheet to pull it up around me. Hurricane Isaias was rampaging through eastern North Carolina and my back yard. Bump bump bump: something banging against the house? I heard a quick whine/squeak and I recognized it: power going out, making it even darker. I looked at the clock: 2:45. I slept fitfully the rest of the night. As I tossed and turned, my cat Frankie moved with me, snuggling and comforting me. I was proud that I had endured his plaintive cries to be released and not let him escape into the night. I knew the storm was coming, and he needed to be safe.

            The next morning, Isaias having moved on, I went out to survey the damage: it appeared that debris was covering every inch of my front and back yards. There were a few larger limbs, but mostly small stuff and no damage to the house. I was relieved. I had never had to endure anything at night like this before by myself. I hoped I never would have to again, but it is early in hurricane season, so there is no guarantee. It seems we may have underestimated this storm; it was more powerful than expected, and continued its destruction up north, even spawning tornados.

            Still without power, my first task was to see if I could start the generator. I rolled it out of the shed, heading for the garage. It was very heavy and would not roll over pinecones, which were all over my yard. I managed to get it into the garage, but I had never started it, and was clueless about the next step.

            Fortunately for me, my neighbor across the street pulled into his driveway at that moment, and I hurried over to catch him before he went inside. I don’t know him well, but he is an older gentleman who has been kind since Jerry died, offering to help if I needed him. I had a sudden flash that this was to be my life now, begging for handyman help. The Bible mandates that we take care of widows and orphans. “Here I am! Widow! Somebody please take care of me!” It’s not a comfortable position to be in.

            My neighbor was very amenable, explaining how to work the generator. It fired right up and he went to get a 3-way plug to lend me, so I could hook up more appliances or other objects to the two outlets the generator provided. Before he left, we had the refrigerator and freezer in the garage hooked up, and I made sure I could start the generator myself. What a racket! The whole neighborhood was full of the cacophony created by generators. I brought a long extension cord into the house and tracked down a power strip. First thing plugged in was the coffee maker, so I did not have to do without my daily caffeine. Then I began to move perishables from my kitchen out to the garage refrigerator.

            Power was restored by early afternoon, so this was not a long ordeal, and I didn’t lose any food. I encountered a problem however, that some GFCI circuits had tripped off and I couldn’t get my outside refrigerator going, as well as several plugs in the kitchen and bathroom. The freezer, on a different circuit, did work. I found friends to help, and that problem is mostly resolved now.

            I think about some of the things I have feared happening since Jerry died, and I guess hurricanes were on that list. I did survive, and the experience helped me realize I can do more than I thought I could.

            It looks like I’ll get by, with a little help from my friends.