Part 2. Bulldozers and a Triple Iced Venti Latte: L'Chaim!The bulldozers came at Christmas a few years back. The eyesore across the street from the old place is no more. No more turpitude. Just an open field proudly owned by the cute little Methodist church.
Without the Japanese beetles, I never would have discovered why none of my trees ever grew on North Territorial--except in that one spot where it's likely something very large is entombed. It was because our yard was sick with grubs. Grubs are the larval phase in a Japanese beetle's life. (little bastards!)
The whole time I was thinking I was fundamentally at odds with Mother Nature. Instead, apparently, I was just not putting the right chemicals on my lawn. Or so Kay Gee told me. No, the irony of that statement was not lost on me.
I was so dejected that fateful day that I henceforth referred to it as 'The Day of the Beetle.' It was nearly August and my fruitless growing season coupled with my horseless state rendered me untethered. I announced to Jeff that I was going to find a horse to ride. In Montana. It was the height of the horse market at that point. I explained to him that a decent well-trained Quarter Horse was going for $7,500-$10,000 in Michigan. So it was worth it to go and look elsewhere. Also, I needed to think. About stuff.
He just smiled as I packe.
I got upgraded to first class on the first leg of the journey because I was still working and traveling a lot in 2005. I was seated next to the nicest guy. After we took off, we exchanged pleasantries. The flight attendant brought some wine and we instinctively looked at each other and said "L'chaim" and touched glasses. He said "I'm not even going to ask you why you said that so perfectly." I smiled.
|Hamilton, MT - The Bitterroot Valley|
He said, "Listen, I'm a harmless, happily married family man. But we've got a long flight and I just had a triple Venti iced latte at Starbucks. So I'm not going to be sleeping any time soon. Why don't you tell me your life story and the reason why you don't have any kids? I can tell there's a story in there."
I loved the guy's earnestness. He was forthright and bold, sweet and not threatening in the least. So, I told him of our fertility woes. I told him that my husband and I recently sat down and decided that we'd be okay with or without kids. That it was a sad realization but that we were only partly involved in the baby making process and the ultimate authority had spoken loudly and clearly on numerous occasions blah blah blah.
He said "Let me stop you right there because that's bullshit. He's just testing you guys to see how bad you want it." Hmm, I thought. I had never looked at it like that. He went on to explain how when everything in your life comes easily, you think everything should. And how sometimes God is going to be testing to see how serious you are. I think he was the first person who I ever heard say "Parenting is not for ****sys so if you think the beginning part is difficult just wait! Don't think it's all fun and all lovey, kissy, huggy and shit all the time. It's f****g brutal! But your life will be so empty if you don't go and adopt---like right now! Forget about this horse business, go home, fill out the paper work, turn in your crap and have a baby already!"
Interestingly enough, the horse deals I made that week in Montana all fell through under very odd circumstances. Bone spurs detected in the vet check in one, reneged deal on the other. The third horse was as insane as his Jack Mormon 12-kid 3-wife-havin' owner. I flew home empty handed but did exactly as my friend told me. I got to work and never left the house for a week. I looked like a mad scientist when I went to turn in our dossier. But in less than 10 days from that encounter, I had completed all the necessary work for us to be adoptive parents.
All this from this nice Jewish guy from Oak Park, MI who owns a dry cleaning business, or so he said, and whose three kids had cancer, alopecia and a wicked slap shot respectively.
I can't for the life of me remember his name.
So I refer to him in my head as Angelo Rosenberg. The Jewish Angel.
Patron of much-needed ass-whoopins and attitude adjustments.
Wherever you are right now Angelo: L'chaim!
And, of course, Thanks.