I have sat down to write about my friend VERNON a couple of times. Nothing I have written seems right.
I am lucky enough to live on the seacoast of New Hampshire. We are still a town small enough where you get to know most everyone and everyone still stops to help. Vern is a character in this town. Everyone knows him. His bright smile. His happy, “hello!” and his generally cheerful disposition.
I first met Vern at the now closed BREAKING NEW GROUNDS. The cafe on Market Square frequented by locals and tourists alike. Vern and I would share a table with a few other regulars as I had my afternoon coffee. Sometimes we would talk, sometimes we would both be reading or writing. If you were lucky enough- you would make Vern’s CARD LIST. He would sit at the cafe and write cards to friends. Things to cheer them up, wish them a good day or just say “HI”. (I made the list by the way!) Vern has some medical issues that make walking and balance a challenge. Even though getting around for him is difficult, he is in town on most days. At our new coffee hang out, Cup of Joes, at The Gaslight for lunch or just walking through town and sitting outside on warmer days. Many locals know Vern from his days working at the bank or the art gallery.
As the year went on, Vern’s mobility challenges increased. He went from a cane to a walker. He regularly goes to PT and I have even brought him to my Portsmouth gym, Atlantic Gymnastics, to work on some strength.
My personal goal is to see him back on a cane this spring.
Vern and I were trying to meet up for a coffee today. I was running late because today was one of those days where I was just not having any luck. I plow my gyms and properties and today I needed to spread salt on our icy parking lots. In short, the salt spreader broke. I had to spread the salt by hand. Take the salt spreader apart. Try to fit it. In the process of trying to fix it break off two bolts skinning all the knuckles on one hand. I then ended up bleeding all over my jacket as I drive the truck to the mechanic who will now fix what I couldn’t.
I could have been in a really pissed off mood. I was late for meetings, behind with work that I needed to do. And I was going to miss my coffee with Vern. But you know what? I live in a great area. With a great family and great friends. I can get around with out any help. I do not need a cane or a walker and if I did I know that people in town would help me carry my coffee.
Vern- Thanks for helping me keep things in perspective and thanks for the cookie today!