February 23, 2011



I have to apologize for not having a column last week. I was on the road to Houston, and as I’ve claimed most of my life, it wasn’t my fault. You see, I checked into a motel on Sunday evening with plans to write my column as usual on Monday morning. I even asked, when checking in, to be sure there was a computer available. The Indian (not Sioux or Hidatsa, but a Super 8-Indian) assured me that there was.
Bright and early next morning, I went down to use the computer. It didn’t work. I went to the desk. I was informed that the guest computer had been down for a few days. I informed him in a soft voice that he could have told me that the night before!
It was a trip of incredible lows and incredible highs.
The lowest was when Dad called and informed me that a dear friend, Margie, had passed away the night before. She had been discovered unresponsive in her bed. Tears filled my eyes, and I couldn’t speak. I had to call and tell Shirley.
Shirley was on the floor of the Legislature when I called her. “Bad news…..Margie,” was all I could manage. Silence. Then Shirley, “She died?”
I nodded. Somehow, Shirley could see me a thousand miles away. She couldn’t speak. Will called. He offered to call Carm. Again I nodded. Again, my nod was heard a thousand miles away.
Phones were ringing across the land as the tragic news was passed from household to household. Kids and grandkids were crying and hugging each other. Airlines were being called and vacations cancelled. Tax appointments went by the wayside. Chaos spread across the land. I spent the next hour remembering the past 40-plus years with her as a neighbor.
I was as low as low could be.
Then my cell phone rang, and brought me back to reality. It was Dad. Margie was all right! It wasn’t her! Wrong address! Really! Wrong address!
Turns out her daughter-in-law was at work when the ambulance call came to a co-worker. Rondee heard the address. Margie’s! She quickly gathered her stuff up and went up to the hospital. She was informed that the patient had been deceased and was taken to the mortuary. The phone calls began.
Then Rondee picked up her daughter, Margie’s oldest granddaughter, and went over to Margie’s to see what needed done and find a list of people to contact.
Two more people nearly died when Margie came walking out and asked what they were doing!
Boy, you talk about a swing in moods in a short time.
I know Margie is going to be upset about my writing this, but relax, Margie, and have a happy life!