IF IT'S NOT ONE THING, IT'S ANOTHER

Avatar_DavidBentley It was raining when I walked downtown to get mail and eat lunch. My mailbox was empty, as was the post office. Few people were on the streets, and even fewer were in the stores. After lunch and a chat with the restaurant owner, I bought a few groceries and headed home. Suddenly the rain intensified, so I ducked under an awning to wait it out. That's when I noticed a 12-year-old trying to stay dry, too.

Both of us squatted against a low window sill. I sorted out shopping bags while he was busy texting. Soon we had finished our tasks and were staring at the falling rain. I suggested that it was a shame to have rain on a school holiday. Shrugging his shoulders, my companion replied, "Well, if it's not one thing, it's another."

Swallowing hard to keep from laughing, I asked what he meant. Without averting his eyes from the raindrops, the boy shared his tale of woe. "All my friends went skiing, but I couldn't afford to go. I've tried texting them, but they aren't checking messages on the slopes. So I went to the skate park, but nobody's there. Then I went to shoot hoops, but nobody had a ball. I decided to get some computer time at the library when it started pouring. Now, I can't even get home to watch TV without getting soaked."

"Yeah, I see what you mean," I responded. Then the two of us sat silently, still staring at the falling rain.

Suddenly, a gray sedan came into view, and my buddy jumped up and began yelling, "Grandma! Hey, Grandma!" The car stopped. The boy grabbed his backpack and dashed out to the street. Then, turning back toward me, he asked, "Do you need a ride, Mister?"

"No, thanks," I responded. "I'm just going to sit here and take it easy a while longer."

Suddenly the deaths of two close friends in the past few weeks didn't seem so depressing. I wasn't angry about politics and the idiots who don't see things my way. I was even smiling despite the arthritis pain in my knees and back. The boy was right. If it's not one thing it's another. Yet, if I don't keep my eyes open and stay alert, I'm likely to miss an unexpected solution.

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About David Bentley

Avatar_DavidBentleyDavid Bentley, M.Ed., is an avid observer of people, places and events. He uses his storytelling and questioning skills to help himself and others think outside the box in an ever-changing world.

Comments about his column can be sent to davidbentley@sanjuanislander.com

© 2014 David Bentley