OK, Despite the cold it has been a wonderful day. First I got to sleep until 7:15 and it was a restful (innocent) sleep. I find that some things are liberating and once you have liberated your mind from some crap it really helps. And I got two e-mails that let me know that a couple of Brothers were thinking about me and wishing me good - that always helps.
Then I was able to go to Nevada to get a replacement sticker for my license plate. I had the darn thing last October (My car is so old it only cost $35. to license it) and didn't get around to putting it on the plate. I realized on Monday that I needed to get it on so I rushed over on my way to Des Moines. I anticipated a replacement charge. It turns out if I had lost the registration I would have to pay $3 but since I needed the sticker it was free. Go figure.
Then I met my friend, Matt McCoy, for lunch. We were going to meet last Friday but I didn't go down because of the weather. Matt is the one who just beat the Federal Government because he was wrongfully indited and it only took the jury about 2 hours to acquit him. Through all of this I have been supporting him with my friendship and I even went down one day for a hearing. I wasn't able to get down for the trial but let him know how I felt by e-mail. This is a picture of him and his son, Jack.
Jack has become a good friend also and I really enjoy talking to him. I gave him a couple of books and he always lets me know how he appreciates them. When I gave him my favorite book from my childhood (yes it is still being printed) Misty he copied a picture from the book as part of his thank you notes. Matt and Jack's mother are raising him right. (Thank You notes are so important. I remember my mother drilling that into us, Right Ginny?) He also gets involved with helping others with fundraisers, etc. He is a neat kid.
Any way this was going to be about Matt and what a good friend he has become. I have met him for coffee several times and we just talk about things. He suggested that we meet at Lucca's for lunch and I mean it was top notch. We had roast beast (beef) sandwiches with soup and it was thin sliced and rare - perfect. Just the right size and tasted better than any sandwich I had ever eaten. Matt is well known in there he is a State Senator (Democrat of course) and works with the Know Downtown group.
This was my first expedience with the pay and park system. You park your car and go to a central pay station. Fight with it - go back to your car and put a ticket on the dash board. It was cold and the stupid machine wasn't working well at all. I was finally able to get it to work with my debit card so I got tickets for me and for Matt and for two ladies who knew Matt (everybody knows him) when they could not get it to work either. I had sort of met them as we were parking as I pulled over and asked them where Lucca's was and they pointed it out to me and said they were eating there also. As we were all getting the tickets up walked Matt and it turned out that they knew him.
The East side of Des Moines is really almost a destination in and of itself. There are restaurants, Coffee shops, Stix, and other places where people meet and eat (or drink) or shop.
After we finished our lunch we went down to the Coffee Bean for the best (Sorry Chef's Kitchen) chocolate chip cookies I have had in years (you could taste the butter) and some coffee. Lucca's was a little chilly but the piano music (and the food) was excellent. I wasn't expecting to get any gifts from Matt and Jack (but I took some books and candy down for them) and was super surprised and grateful to receive three books from them Just when I needed a new book. It was a wonderful time.
Matt and others are showing me what friendship is all about and that friends do for one another. I have always had women friends. I worked in a school full of women and had a lot of women friends. Still do. They are good friends. But since I am not interested in football or basketball or baseball (the most boring sport) I have never developed close relationships with other guys. That is why the Lodge means so much to me. Because I have a chance to develop those friendships and in a very real sense (as I have said before) they have become my family. I really enjoy (most of ) them and get a lot out of my fraternity. Friends don't criticize you or lie to you. They are glad to see you and make you feel good about who you are. I have a lot of friends and I appreciate every one of them.
After lunch I went to the Art Store and got some ink for my (retractable) fountain pen and a few other things. Stopped by the gateway market to get some more of the little chocolate nutmeg things you can put in your coffee to make it really special (I really like the Gateway market. they carry such different, tasties.) The out to get my car washed and dried. Guess what it is a white car and not a grey one. Now I can put the sticker on the plate. Then a quick stop at Barns and Noble (just because I am a member) and besides the three books I got from Matt and Jack I now have three others. That ought to hold me until February. I got the new one about Anthony and Cleopatra and two others.
Costco gas was 12 cents a gallon cheaper than gas in Ames or Des Moines. I didn't go in the store as I figured I had spent enough. When I got back to Ames I stopped at Staples to get mailers for the Masonic Cookbooks which I had originally purchased for family but when that fell through I decided that Maryjane would enjoy getting one and I have to send one to Ginny. I still have four others to dispose of.
The "boys" were happy to see me when I got home and now I am going to read the papers and spend the evening in anticipation of David and Craig. I hope everyone has had as nice a day as mine was.
Big Hugs - j