When I was home a couple of weeks ago, I met up with my friend Tom and his granddaughter to do the AIDS walk. As we were plodding along, we were talking about my recent travels - and he decided I NEEDED to meet his friend Hans in Seattle. They met in the military in Germany in 1960 (there's something about those military friendships - even when there's no war involved...) and have been friends since.
Hans turned out to be a delightful gentleman. We met at his apartment near the Space Needle after work one evening, and went out to enjoy some delicious Thai food.
Hans' health isn't what it used to be; he has MS, and needs a walker to get around. We didn't let that slow us down much - and his handicapped placard bought us a free semi-legal on-street parking spot right around the corner from the restaurant. (they didn't mean for us not to park in that mini construction zone after hours did they? The machine was all tucked in with orange cones for the night, and wasn't going to need the space to move or anything. I didn't get a ticket, so figure the local police agreed...)
Hans' mobility may be limited, but his intellect and sense of humor haven't been touched by his illness. We talked of how he met Tom (of course), of marriage and divorce and camper van trips (I manage to bring that up a lot - I like to go back down the lanes of those memories) and friends and how great it is to get a car with hand controls so he can drive on his own again (he'd been relying on friends for rides for a couple of years, and while the friends seem to have been OK with it, it's hard to not just be able to step out just because you want to.)
It was a nice break from the normal work-eat-sleep routine that's become my daily norm on these trips. I hope to see him again soon - only this time, I figure he can make the trip out to where I'm staying instead of my having to drive downtown. He has the time, is enjoying his new freedom to drive, and that way I won't have to use part of my meager after-work energy supply to negotiate rush hour traffic.
bright moments. to be treasured, always.