I have been pensive of late. Almost too much to consider. It is rainy and chilly here as we fill the pool. I can't imagine wanting to swim, but there would be an uprising should the pool not be open. The month of May is always the busiest time of the year as we scramble to be ready for Memorial Day. The weather rarely cooperates and He Who procrastinates refuses to heed the advice I offer every year. I have come to the conclusion that my big purpose in life is to nag. After 40 years I have become quite adept.
My recent trip north was over shadowed by sadness. You will recall that my laptop died. I took it along and my son replaced the hard drive and I am back in business. Since I was checking e-mail primarily on my I-phone, I would simply scan the campground site for reservations and just left the rest.
As soon as my laptop was functioning I visited the campground e-mail and found a message from the parents of a dear friend, telling me that he had died. It was such a shock. He was only 45. Don had kamped here 4 years ago when the pipeline came through. He lived in a tent until his work as the safety advisor was done. About 8 months.
He was a rugged outdoorsman, choosing to live in a tent. I remember well, the day I met him. He was inquiring about monthly rates for a tent site. I had never been asked that before, and told him. He hung out as I took care of other customers and dealt with some swimmers about following rules. I tend to mutter to myself when annoyed and had totally forgotten he was there.
He was amused at my thoughts and added his own. We were instant friends. He was witty and sarcastic and we totally understood each other. I came to look forward to seeing him at the end of the day. My own children live so far away and He Who worked evenings, leaving me hungry for an ear to listen. I will miss that ear so very much.
Don stopped me from cutting down a very young Sycamore tree. I thought it was just another fast growing weed. He explored all my property and informed me that I also have some Persimmon trees. He even searched for my old cat when he disappeared. I don't know if he found him, he would not tell me. He just told me that he would bury him if he did find him.
Every time I look at my Sycamore tree that now towers over my side garden, I think of him. As I mowed the dog park yesterday, I was thinking how much Don would have liked it. One of the Persimmon trees creates the shady end. Don was a dog lover and agreed with me that there is something wrong with people who don't love dogs.
He Who does love dogs was also very fond of Don. We shared our dinner table with him at least three times a week. He was no stranger to my kitchen, sharing cooking duties with me. Dinner conversation was always spirited with our friend.
We kept in contact with phone and e-mail over the years. When my son died, he called frequently to check on me. He was easy to talk to and understood more than he knew. He helped me through a very difficult time.
As I mowed, my thoughts also went to his family. I hope his parents and brother will find some comfort in knowing what a wonderful, sweet and quirky son they had. He will be missed by all the people lucky enough to have been a part of his life.