Today I such a lovely encounter in the midst of the CRAZINESS of work right now. Note to self: In one's first fall in a new congregation in the midst of a construction project, do NOT, do not, do not do not PLAN a membership/community event on Friday night when Teacher orientation and opening of Sunday School is on Saturday and Sunday. Do not believe construction people on Monday who say everything will be fine, because inevitably, on Wednesday at noon, they will tell you half of your rooms will be inaccessible. This will take some time to Sort Out, and you don't have to be running around finding ice cream scoops and blowing up balloons for the community event, which will be fun and wondrous, when it finally happens....Do not, either, allow for scheduling a funeral on same Saturday at same time of Teacher Orientation (there are times that this cannot be helped, but....)where all (teachers, funeral goers will have to use the same entrance. This will cause more Shifting and Sorting on your part, thus leaving Precious Little Time to get at the meat of everything, e.g. content of curriculum, because you are wondering if the fridge that you counted on in the kitchen is even working, and you wonder how the heck you are going to keep that ice cream from melting while you are trying to learn the church database system to make your life more streamlined but instead complicates A Lot. But I digress.
My lovely encounter. In the midst of craziness, Buster, our wondercat, has taken up strange behaviour. The last couple of days he will rub up against us and beg to be scratched and then get all close, and then squat and pee exactly two drops...on your shoe; or this morning, on the bed (ylech). Clearly there is a message in this and upon calling the Vet, it appears it could be an emergency (crystals, urinary tract blockage, and all Horrors such as this.) So it fell to me to have to leave the office to take Bussy to the doctor. Well, Bussy, being a Kentucky horse farm barn cat rescue, prefers to be outside during the day, against our wishes. I was calling and calling for him (he has a hiding place) and the old Italian man, sitting on his stoop across the street yelled at me, "Who are you looking for"
So I walked across the street to talk to him to tell him I was looking for the black and white cat without a tail. He nodded and in his thick accent said he hadn't seen him, but he knew the cat. Then he said, "you want some cucumbers? I give you some tomatoes, too" And we walked over to his voluptuous garden and he gave me cukes, roma tomatoes, celery, basil...and we talked about his medical emergency the other night (This is our first conversation ever, although I do wave at him when we walk the dogs)...and he taught me "come here with me" in Italian. He asked my name, and said, "oh is beautiful name" and I asked him his, and he said "Rico" I tried to roll my r the way he did when I repeated it, and he said, "It is really Enrico, but they call me Rico"...so I asked, "is it o.k. if I call you Rico, too?" and he smiled and patted me on the back, and he said, "it would be a pleasure to me."
So, I hadn't found Bussy yet, so I took my booty home and arranged it on a plate just to look at it and smell the basil and tomatoes. I went back out, and a lost car driver was wandering down our dead end, so I gave him some directions, and as he sped off, Rico was yelling to me from across the way, "Kar-La , Kar-La" and pointing with his cane to my neighbor's yard. It was Bussy, hiding in the bushes. I went over, scooped his little tuxedo tail-less self up, and turned around and gave a thumbs up to Rico, who made a circle with his finger and thumb and gave me a nod and wink.
Awww. I made a friend today with my neighbor. And.... I went and bought a ball of fresh mozarella to make a nice fresh tomato basil salad tonight. Yum. Life is rich with bounty and produce and neighbors like Rico. Amen.