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That Special Feeling
I hope I never start talking
about them as "the good old days," but lately I've thought a
lot about the early days of our marriage. Seventy-seven of us lived in
a small, 600 square-foot apartment--Susan, me and at least seventy-five
roaches. Susan worked full-time at a Nursery taking care of plants and
I served a church full-time and was a full-time student at a seminary 120
miles away from our home.
We were busy.
When I felt the walls closing
in on us, I'd reach for the phone a call Jim & Nell Blake. "Nell,
I need some pampering, can we come up and see you next week?" She
never said no.
Nell always kept a very nice
home, but she never let it get in the way of making us feel comfortable.
When we arrived, Nell greeted us at the door with a big hug and instructions
to take our suitcases to "our room." Usually, we'd sit at the
table for a while and "catch up" on what was going on in each
other's lives. When Jim got home from work, we'd have a fine home cooked
meal and retire to the living room. They always made me feel special.
Nell would spread a blanket
she got from Mexico over her immaculate sofa, and I'd lay on the sofa and
relax. The next morning, Jim and I usually left the girls to go get breakfast
at "Norm's," L. A.'s best diner.
As the years went by, the
Blake's home remained an oasis to us. They watched our children while we
took a cruise on our 10th anniversary. We attended their daughter's
wedding, shared many Thanksgiving turkeys and birthday steaks together.
The last time I visited Jim and Nell, Nell and I placed flowers on his
Every now and then, I wear
one of his Hong Kong silk shirts under my Sunday suit and head off to church.
Somehow it makes me feel special--like Jim and Nell always did.