Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Happiness is....

Will, my next door neighbor here at the Palace, is a most interesting fellow. 70ish, a wicked sense of humor behind a boyish smile, he can be haughty and pretentious just as easily as he can be Kansas farm boy common. He waits impatiently for his monthly retirement check which he gleefully calls his "welfare check". Yet he rarely does anything without being dressed in a pressed Ralph Lauren shirt, sport jacket, Gucci loafers and silk scarf. His small apartment is quite elegant, full of antiques, books and a jar where he collects his pennies.

He is such a contradiction, I can't tell if he is rich or poor or in between. I think he is just comfortable.

Anyway, Will has an older car like mine. A 94 Lincoln Continental which is getting a bit ratty but has few miles on it. I don't think it has been farther than the Fairway Hen House Market in years. About a month or so ago, I watched him as he broke the driver's side door latch. He was tying to get the door open but the accumulated ice had frozen it solid. He found out the hard way that just pulling on it didn't work. I didn't think a thing about it after that until I watched him last week go to his car, unlock the passenger door, reach over and push the driver's door open from the inside and then walk back around to enter the car from the driver's door. He was mortified that I saw him.

"I have to get that fixed," he said with a grin.

Well yesterday he got it fixed. Took it down to the a shop and 2 hours and $40 later it was as good as new.

"Oh joy JOY JOY!" He smiled and waved at me. "I don't have to get in the other door to get in my car, and only $40 to get it fixed. I am just so happy now." He smiled contentedly as he bustled inside, off to iron some shirts or do something else that makes him happy.

This morning, as he went out to breakfast as usual, he chirped "no more contortions getting into my car, life is so good. Have a nice day....keep in touch now!" and off he zoomed into the city.

It is amazing what can make us happy.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What a great story, thanks for sharing! It's true that too few of us take the simple pleasure in something reliable, such as an old car or truck, a good pair of shoes, a faucet that doesn't drip, and so on.