Friday, March 17, 2017

“She would figure out how to get what she wanted, what she needed, even when her body was no longer young and beautiful. She'd be more than pretty—she'd be strong.” ― Kass Morgan

          Shaban drove Karen to Mwanza and back yesterday.  She wanted to get her hair done by a woman she really likes there and is willing to drive three hours each way to get her hair done once or twice a month.  She always comes back smiling and looking really good, so I encourage her trips.  When she got home yesterday, she did look good and, of course, Sissie went nuts when Karen came in the house.  Sissie always thinks Karen is gone for good and is so surprised and happy when she returns.  I went a little nuts, too, when they brought in the six-gallon hot water heater she had bought.  Seems our little gravity fed system makes the hot water for the kitchen travel too far, so Karen wanted a hot water heater just for the kitchen—and got a good one.  Now, this story is beginning to sound like the one where the man is sent by the wife to get eggs and comes home with no eggs but a hammer.  He tells her they didn’t have eggs, so he bought a hammer.  At this point, you laugh, but Karen had another box to open.  She started pulling pieces out of the box, and I thought she was making a small bicycle until it turned out to be a guitar stand.  Where she found a guitar stand in Mwanza, I don’t know, but I know my wife, and if she wanted a guitar stand, she would by golly find one—and she did.  She’s gone twelve years with a guitar and no stand, but when she finally decided she needed a stand, well, she got one.  I bought her her first guitar when we lived in Los Angeles and she took a guitar playing course at UCLA.  She’s been playing and singing for her students and her own children ever since (that was about 45 years ago).  That first guitar was a folk guitar with a wide neck and a full sound.  About twenty years ago, she told me she wanted a steel-string guitar with a narrower neck.  As I was in love with her at the time (well, always have been and still am), I bought her a C. F. Martin mahogany guitar from a great music store in Fayetteville, Arkansas.  It’s that guitar she’s been playing ever since and brought here from America.  It’s that guitar she’s playing in the picture, but she has had no place to put it except back in its case—till now.  Even the case has a story because when we knew we were moving to Africa, I tried to find her a hard case that we could use to protect her guitar while traveling.  I found a really good case but couldn’t afford it.  As I handed it back to the clerk in the store, a man standing nearby told me he couldn’t help overhearing that I wanted it so the guitar could get to Africa.  I didn’t know this man and had never seen him before, but he bought and paid for the case in which Karen’s guitar now lives.  The clerk was so impressed with the man’s generosity that he threw in a capo and some strings.  Kindness always wins.  Send my wife to get her hair done (and give her some money to spend) and you know she’ll come back beautiful and with surprises.  How can you not love someone who goes to get her hair done and comes back home with a hot water heater and a guitar stand?  Shaban loved the day, said he hadn’t had so much fun in a long time.  Karen can do that—make your day better than you thought it could be.  I’m a very lucky man, and I know it.  If there is someone in your life like my Karen, I’d give ‘em a hug if I were you.
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