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Sunday, December 19, 2010

My pal, Kent Ballard, at his best . . .

Oh well. We all agree that people of good will can honestly differ with one another.

No we can't.

Louise, please don't pick on Bill. He's one of the most kind-hearted guys I know. Why, just the last time he came to visit us in our humble woodland home he appeared with an injured crow he'd found along the road side on his way here. He lovingly carried the bird into our house and asked for some wooden popsicle sticks and tape, whereupon he gently tended to the bird's broken wing and hand-fed it kernels of corn and little sips of water until it could fly away happily on its own the next day. We were touched at his tenderness.

Along with that, Bill always brings us gifts. He generously presented me with not one, but TWO brand new comic books, the latest issues of "Donald Duck" and "Archie and Jughead" along with a large Chicago pizza! Whatta guy! And for Tess he brought gift-wrapped chocolates, a large bottle of wine, and a negligee from Fredrick's of Hollywood.

That day upon his suggestion I retired to our balcony to enjoy the pizza and comics. Bill knows I'm a very slow reader, often having to sound-out the harder words and go back and reread some word balloons to fully understand the story, but he's too kind to ever mention it. Bill thoughtfully helped me set up a folding chair and table on the balcony so I could read without distraction. Several hours later, stuffed full of pizza and marveling at the hilarious adventures of my heroes, I got up to thank him again. But the balcony door was locked somehow and I couldn't get back into the house. No problem. I just re-read the comic books by the glare of our security light that comes on automatically at night and around 3:30 AM Bill came and unlocked the door to our darkened house.

He explained that Tess was "tired" and had gotten a "headache" and went to bed early. He had quietly been using my computer to surf and read things of great import while she slept, he said, and he didn't want to bother me while struggling through the comics. Bill listened with great interest to my telling him about all the wonders I'd read and seen in the comics for a full two minutes, then announced he was worn out too and went to the guest bedroom for some sleep. I was ashamed of myself for keeping our guest up so late so I said goodnight just as he shut the door in my face.

I went into our bedroom where I could smell the wine Tess had apparently enjoyed several glasses full of and noted that she'd carelessly tossed her new sheer negligee on the floor. I made a note to tell her to take better care of kind gifts from my friends. I also stumbled over Bill's shoes and clothes on my side of the bed and wondered about that for a moment, then realized that my buddy was in a strange house and probably got confused about which bedroom he was to change in. I quickly figured he'd put on his pajamas there, then realized his mistake while Tess was still up and working on her computer. I picked up Bill's clothing and set it quietly just inside his guest bedroom doorway. I laughed lightly at his little error then slid into bed myself after picking up the sheet and blankets that Tess had kicked to the floor while suffering from her headache.

The next morning Bill looked admiringly at our fireplace and said he was a bit chilly. Tess asked me if I would go way out into the woods to cut some firewood for it, suggesting I take a certain path. Still sleepy, I climbed into the truck and followed her directions only to become hopelessly stuck in a wet area of the forest. Several hours of digging later, I freed the truck and hurried to cut enough firewood to have a merry, crackling fireplace going for the rest of the night--it was dark by then again--and returned home to discover the door was locked once more. This time, however, I had my keys and unlocked the the door, only to find that Bill had gotten a sudden phone call and had to return to Chicago to take care of a sick relative. Tess was staggeringly drunk (the poor girl never could hold alcohol of any kind) and I realized she'd polished off the bottle Bill had so generously given her in order to show her appreciation for his kindness and generosity. I guess after Bill left and it got dark, Tess decided to try on her new negligee because she was wearing it when I returned, although it appeared wrinkled and she had it on inside out. I told her to take better care of her things as she lurched back into our bedroom and fell asleep as soon as her head hit the pillow. I once again picked up the covers she'd kicked off the bed and tucked her in.

I sat up for a while, rereading the great comic books that Bill had
given me (I'd forgotten the stories in them by then) and heard the
little "ding!" of our washing machine turning off. I went to look and
Tess had washed our sheets and pillow cases. Bless her heart, she'd wanted to have them fresh for me after a long day working in the woods.

I simply glowed at this. A wonderful wife, a great friend--seriously,
who could ask for more?

Bill is a great guy, generous to a fault, considerate and thoughtful.
His tightly wrapped posts here are merely his way of joshing wish us.
Tess and I are eagerly awaiting his next visit.


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