February 26th, 2016

photo by Neal Menschel

photo by Neal Menschel


Thank you for Orest fixing my car door.  Though I had never told anyone, it was all I had wanted for Christmas.  And now, for the first time in over a year, I can open the drivers side door from the outside without having to reach in through the backseat and open it from inside the car.

Thank you that due to a few choice knots learned from years of jury-rigging canoes onto vans and trailers, I have never come across a piece of furniture that I have not been able to strap onto the roof of my car.  For finding two free doors in an alley north of Sloans Lake that were the perfect size for shelving in the newly acquired shed, and hoisting them on top of the Volvo in the hot sun while Eloise and Julian sat patiently in their carseats, eating cheetos and listening to eighties rock on the radio.  For that flash of nostalgic gratitude that I felt for my boating days of yesteryear as I formed the final loop of the truckers hitch, complete with the obligatory tug on the taut rope that according to my dad all boaters did.  Saying out loud to themselves (as I, too, said aloud before getting back in the car) “That’s not going anywhere.”

Thank you for the lady who met me in the parking lot of King Soopers in Aurora to sell me a set of vintage American Tourister suitcases for $20.  She had offered to meet on the edge of town so I wouldn't have to drive the dirt road to her house, and when she saw me pull towards her she stood beside her car and smiled.  There was something unadulterated about her wardrobe and the genuine kindness of her face - a plain fleece jacket, a classic nineties perm, a pair of clean-pressed jeans.  She showed me the suitcases stacked neatly in the trunk of her Subaru, which she and her husband no longer needed as they had received a new set of luggage for Christmas.  They had used these up until that point, not because they were cool vintage suitcases but because they had owned them for four decades, and they still worked fine. 

Thank you for the two small pamphlets about God that I found in the inner pockets of the suitcases when I got home, which did not warn me about going to hell but mentioned only the name of the lady's church and that God loved me.  It made me feel a measure of endearment for the woman, so that I emailed her again just to say thank you, and that the suitcases were perfect.  And she wrote back saying how she loved when everything came together in just the right way.