Monday, October 27, 2008
The Stroke-Segment Four
I was not excited at the prospect of Christmas approaching. We didn't exactly have money coming out the ears. Mel's boss did pay him every week when he was ill but it was a small company and Mel was making a fair living from so much over time. He was of course not getting that now. I did want to do a small amount of Christmas shopping but it was hard to do as Mel wanted me to put the car in the garage at 5:00. He didn't want me to go anywhere alone. Slowly slowly Mel started to get better. His boss let him come back to work and just sweep the shop and empty trash and little jobs. What a come down for a top commercial refrigeration mechanic. Well known restaurants ask for him when they called for repairs. As time creeped on the boss started having two other men haul soda fountains, ice cream cabinets etc. into the shop for Mel to repair so he could take his time. In normal times he would have gone to the place of business to repair equipment. It wouldn't look well for the company to see a man working slow and a little unsure of himself. He would repair them sometime with help and the other men would take them back and reinstall. One of the men lived near us and would come take him to work and bring him home as they were allowed to bring company trucks home to be ready for emergency repair calls, to deliver carbonic gas and dry ice. He started wanting to try for his driver's licence which had come due during the time of his sickness. He had to go through a board of doctors to be able to get them back. They deemed it was safe but he was told to start out very slow. On Sundays he could go to a empty parking lot and practise and then he graduated to driving in our neighborhood only. No expressways. I might add he had been an excellant driver and made service calls all over south Texas and everywhere in San Antonio. One day we were driving home from the grocery store or somewhere and he headed for the expressway. My heart skipped several beats and he just ignored my screaming no no you aren't suppose to. He knew he was ready I guess because he drove everywhere after that and did fine. We had started walking as soon as he could. We took that slow too. We were afraid to get too far from the house. One bock, two etc. until we were walking 45 minutes every night no matter how hot or cold it was. On the coldest nights several times someone stopped to offer us a ride thinking we were walking because we had to. We finally bought ourselves one of those knit caps that pull down over your head where just your lips and eyes are showing. We even joked that we should not go in the convience store that we passed for fear they would think we were going to rob the place. I can tell you it wouldn't be safe to walk this neighborhood in San Antonio at night now. To be continued.