Waiting

The heat factor is 106 degrees and the dew point is 75. It is one uncomfortable afternoon. I just finished watering our plants…they were happy for the respite and I was happy when it was over. My Buddy, Elizabeth, texted me Tuesday to be sure and stop for a Snow Cone that was sponsored by the Chancellor’s Office and the Civil Service Council. It sounded inviting but I was in St. Louis. Elizabeth remembers our time together as members of the Civil Service Council. I thought that I was passionate about the Council…until I have witnessed Elizabeths’ dedication to the betterment of all Civil Service Staff. I have been retired for nearly 12 years from Southern Illinois University @ Carbondale…yet I am on Campus virtually every day that I am not out of town. My dear friend, Joe Cash, told me years ago that I would be surprised how fast retirement would come…and he was right.

Often we are in a hurry with no particular place to go. We seek constant frenetic activity to assure ourselves that we are making every minute count…and to validate the air space that we take up on our beloved Earth. The concept of Waiting is onerous to us. ‘I want what I want and I want it now, said my mother-in-law, Fernie, to me. This was regarding her asking MJ if I would pressure wash her house. I told MJ that I would be happy to and that I would do so on Saturday…since it was already Wednesday and Saturday was my day off of work. Fernie telephone me on Thursday and told me that she was going to get someone else to pressure wash her house as apparently, I was busy. I replied that I was happy to do it on my first day off work…Saturday. She laughed and said that would be alright. I did not charge for this service that I had done on several occasions.

It is possible to be in a rush even in retirement. You feel that you must get to this location and do the thing prescribed in your plan…by a date certain. Old habits die hard.

Billy B. could not wait to graduate from Eldorado High School. He was convinced that the adult life of doing what you want to and when you want to do it…was a halcyon experience compared to what he was accustomed to. He moved from his home the day after Graduation. Billy B. was going on ahead of Chet to explore life at Southern Illinois Univesity @ Carbondale. Billy B. took a job in the Building Services Department and Chet enrolled in Accounting. They loved SIUC…but it soon occurred to them that their young adulthood…was a herculean amount of work. They shared a house in Elkville that was a few miles from Campus. Elkville was a village. A peaceful village with one moderately sized market and one very small and family-owned market with dust on the can goods. There was neither Theatre nor Billard Parlor…but there was a large furniture store. There was a massage parlor…that Chet heard offered risque massages… The 15-mile drive from Elkville to Carbondale was on highway #51 and the little town of DeSoto was in the middle. Soon Billy B. enrolled in Electronic Data Processing…or EDP. The African American Chairman of the Department treated Billy B. with such respect…that he believed that he did have what it takes to succeed in College. Billy B.took an overview course in Computers and the Professor treated him with such respect that he knew that he was going to continue his education. She gave him an A in the course and told everyone he knew about his academic success.

Chet enjoyed academic success from the beginning and became a CPA and opened his own Accounting business in Eldorado. He became one of the most successful Eldorado Business in the Community and his mom, Thelma, served as his assistant. Billy B. began as a Building Service Worker I…but ended his career as the Superintendent of Building Services. They waited for success and it came…quietly and on little cats’ feet…and with God’s Blessing.

‘Life is short if you live to be 100,’ Grandma Askew said to Billy B. ‘What God wants for you…you will receive…in his time…and his time…is not our time,’ said Grandma Askew.

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