Written June 13:
We had a great surprise yesterday evening. Our former neighbor (of 5 ½ yrs) came through town on Army business. He made it in time to catch the baseball games, and we caught up a little while they played. Then he came over afterwards to visit. Let me tell you something about Mr. Tony. He is a great communicator. He spends a lot of his time listening, watching, and really observing situations. Then he analyzes things, possibly rationalizes some things, certainly tries to understand people and things, and then PRESTO he has a great story! But the best part is that he can tell stories very well. I’ve heard some of his former Iraq stories before, and was captivated at the time, but I don’t remember him frequently telling stories. So we were very blessed last night that he stopped by and that he was also in a story-telling mood. He certainly had an audience! With the boys, over rainbow sherbert, he told stories of his 3 children (including twins). He had them laughing so hard that sherbert was almost coming out of their noses! He told Will stories of Iraq at the kitchen table while I tended to the baby upstairs. Once she was sleeping, we stayed up almost until the midnight hour listening to great stories about these two Iraqi families that were just recently relocated to the U.S. Both of the men in each family were interpreters that assisted Tony in Iraq, and likely helped to spare his life on many occasions. Their own lives were threatened because of their willingness to assist the U.S., and so they were forced to leave their country and come here. Having only one relative here, they called Mr. Tony after awhile, and he helped to relocate and assist them. That just begins to tell you what kind of people he and his wife are. They are a pair of the kindest, most loving, and giving people we know! They share their lives, genuinely, with others! But back to the storytelling. At one moment during the stories, I thought back to episodes of Little House on the Prairie, when travelers passed through and stayed with families and the entertainment was storytelling back then. Or when Indians came back from hunting the buffalo, and shared their great stories around the campfire. There was no TV, no internet, no CNBC news! There were stories, told be great storytellers. Those who traveled much definitely had the better stories…and those whose homes they visited listened eagerly, being taken to new adventures, solely by human interaction. What an amazing thing they had going for them! Our family certainly enjoyed a bit of it last night! Thanks to Mr. Tony and his sweet wife (for encouraging our meet-up) we were able to share an evening together…the good old fashioned way.