Today…I met with Brothers and Sisters

This is the latest update of ‘Da Story’ first told in “The Architect, The Master Builder and Me”

Both paid work and  volunteer hours, 
I do for for local clients,
Those who do so much for our,
Just like my Dad, the Plumber,
Demonstrated to me.

Today was the Annual Picnic,
Of those connected to the schools,
That once dotted our rural area,
A total, once numbered as five,
But consolidated into a central one,
The year I was born.

As I did my job, I paused to read,
A label worn,
Bearing the last name same as,
My Second Grade teacher...

Her daughter I got to know,
Many years ago,
At this same annual gathering,
She has her mama's eyes,
And her mama's smile,
That my child's mind remembers.

So many years older than I,
Graduated before ever I started,
I read the name, but before I even asked,
The elderly man, with a cane,
Said, "Your Dad was Dallas?"

Before I could reply,
He rushed on,
"Of course you are, 
I remember you.
Such a little thing back then.
Your dad did the plumbing in our house,
He was my brother"

So close on the heels,
Of me 'yearning out loud',
And Lauding My dad and his brothers,
Here was one, who remembered me,
But whom, I did not.

He was pleased to know,
I remembered his mom fondly,
I was pleased to know,
My dad his memory held tightly.

I promised to mail him information,
And I'm thinking I just might yet,
Have another written letter 'pen pal'
Which I love...

I work so much in email, txt & chat,
Communicate with others,
In digital world...
It's such a treat, to sit down and write,
A letter that takes a while to
Arrive to where it's sent - 

And then, at some point, 
You receive a missive back,
Something to look forward to...
A stamp, an address, 
A name, 
That catches your eye and proclaims,
"Not a bill or advertisement"

And you rush home, and with shaking fingers
Carefully open the envelope,
Pull out the letter or handwritten card,
And read the news from their front.

No hurry to send,
No hurry to reply,
Just record of what has happened,
Since last we wrote - 

No need for full health update - 
Once you are familiar with the hand,
It's easy to see where strength is spent,
Or where eyesight is failing,
Or where what is important enough,
To write out by hand, 
What is big enough, to be included.

My letters are shorter, 
I assure you!
Than most things I compose
And send, digitally...

I long ago, learned to type,
102 words per minute, 
Without typos, without errors,
On an electric typewriter
Never surpassed much above 92,
On a manual, I believe,
But I'd have to call my typing teacher,
She'll remember,
If I need to fact check - 

And that still wasn't good enough,
To be hired for the best secretary jobs - 
Computers and backspace and delete,
Started to fill my 'work world',
Back in 1992 or so - 

No one used carbon paper,
One sheet, two sheets,
or more,
To type it once, error free,
and have all the 'carbon copies'
Anyone would ever need...

I visited with the older brother,
Of the girl who taught me to ice skate, 
On the frozen pond in their pasture,
When she was in high school,
And I was just 4 or 5.

I visited with the man,
I just learned! 
Is uncle to my classmate - 
The one who died from cancer,
The year we both turned 50.
She before me,
I was baby of the class,
All my classmates were older than me.

I never understood, why that man,
So ever much older than me,
Looked at my name tag,
The year I graduated,
And the past few years,
Makes a point to always
Visit with me.

Turns out, my classmate - 
For 13 years,
Start to finish,
Was one of 'his beloveds'.
I wonder why he never mentioned?

Their last name not at all the same....
An older relative of my classmate's mom,
And well, her maiden name,
I never knew - 

But then he mentions,
The bypass he had,
And feeling lucky to be alive, 
And I figure, well...
Sometimes, after close call,
We the living, just can't bear,
To not say out loud,
The name of our beloved,
And spend time with those who
Also knew them.

So many wives met,
As alumni went off,
Into the world,
But who travel back here,
By their husband's side.

Today I met a gal,
Freshly retired - 
A Librarian!
Didn't we just get on like
A house afire!

The ones who show up,
To attend with family or friends,
One put,
"I'm a bulldog' 
On his name tag,
And I didn't recognize him...

So when I had the chance,
And he was standing alone,
I just asked,
"Was that your nickname?
Or are you from this neighboring town?"

He grinned and said, 
I'm from 'that town',
But enjoying being here,
And I said,
"Well fierce rivalry for many years,
And I remember the chanting jeers and cheers,
On the other hand,
Us folks gotta stick together, no?"

And he told me stories of great athletes,
From my school,
He competed against, 
Oh, so long ago....

And just like that, 
A day that is 'work day' for me,
I got Blessed a million times over,
With the joy and beauty.

"If you love what you do,
You'll never work a day in your life,"
Is what 'they' all say - 
"Follow your bliss,
The money will follow"
Is the other trite phrase....

But often I go work,
What is mine to do,
Not for money, fame or fortune,
But simply because it's true.

I can tell you this,
For me,
There are parts of what I consider 
"My Job"
That vex me greatly,

The days that lack,
Even a spark of creativity,
The canvas, the picture,
The words, the layouts,
None of it come easily....

The battles fought in cyber space,
I'd rather do without....

But days like today?
While I go work for 'free'?
And am a free inheritor,
Of my father's legacy?

No Pharaoh's chamber,
Templar ship or Solomon's Treasure,
Could ever surpass,
The measure,
Of the riches,
Freely given, 
To me.

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