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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Missing Car Keys or Helen

Elusive creatures, when you need them the most...

Yesterday, when preparing to leave the house for an appointment, ahead of scheduled I might add, the car keys seemed to be AWOL. I checked in all of the usual places, desk, husband's desk, son's desk, my dresser and the car itself. This key-less start on cars has not been my friend.

Nowhere to be seen. I then escalated the search with texts and phone calls to the obvious culprits.

No response. Sigh

This left me with only one avenue to take. Call my husband's office and speak to Helen.  The only woman in an office of men.

Not "our Saintly Mary(s)" but someone's
(Not to get off track, but God love those women willing to take on the task of civilizing men. My younger son went to an all boy's school for high school, even the teachers were all men. The only women in the whole school were in the front office, all named Mary. The parents always referred to these women as "the Saintly Mary(s)" and with out them, I am sure, nothing would have ever been accomplished.)

While this post was to be about Doug, (kindness itself, when assisting me) who was delegated to bring me the keys, really, it should be about Helen.

Helen, holds down the office where my husband toils everyday, she also holds down the world, so to speak, while her husband travels to remote places (Here is a link for one of his travel logs:), like Mongolia or Brunei or Afghanistan, with grace a resolve. She is from a semi-small town in Wisconsin, where she met her husband in grammar school, and together they set off to see the world.

She use to accompany him and assist with his work, but the world being what it is, she instead, accompanies, so to speak,  my husband with his work, in a small suburban town, of the not very exotic, Illinois.

She wears a hat every day. It frames her darling face with a rim of color that brings out her eyes, and accents her glasses, beautifully. She quietly accomplishes what everyone needs (case in point:  finding my husband, who did have BOTH sets of keys), reconciling the accounts, fielding calls from suppliers, and herding all of the rest of the cats, without even a whip or a chair.

See the satellite dish on the left, I am not making this stuff up.

I have never heard her complain; though I know she misses both the travel and her husband, who is often gone for long periods of time. Thank God for SKYPE.  She often shows me photos of yaks with satellite dishes or other peculiar images from worlds foreign to me, that her husband Steve sends her.

She diligently nurses the office plants, keeping the poinsettia from several Christmases ago alive and well, which is much more that I could ever do (my rule of thumb: if it is in the house: it will die. I am ONLY speaking of plants here.) She attends to every birthday of the staff with an appropriate birthday cake and procures the wine and cheese, which we sometimes partake of, on Friday evenings after work. Quietly and without fan fare.

I admire her greatly. She is the balm in Gilead, the oil on trouble waters and the breath of spring in a cold winter and best of all for me, she is my friend.

The world is a better place for Helen.  I hope you have a "Helen" in your life too.

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