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05/14/2006 - 11:28 a.m.

BLESSED

I suppose I'll be responsible enough to set the record straight—grudgingly facing an "I told you so." Yesterday, as it turned out, I was not cursed. FogieKnight was right. I was blessed—although part of the blessing was that the stamp show was merely a coin and stamp show and we did not get there until an hour before closing. There were only two stamp dealers there by then and we only spent time with one of them. I'm not sure whether I had met him before but I rather liked him. So, while I dutifully looked at cancellations on post cards and a few covers, we chatted. It was actually---pleasant. (No, I did not say "interesting." It was boring but it was pleasantly and not oppressively boring. I am a wife, not a saint.)

Afterwards, we went and hung out at a coffee shop, called The Z-spot. It was a wonderful place. The hot chocolate was good and the oatmeal-peanut butter cookie was even better. A very nice young man played the keyboard very well and was delightful to chat with, as were his three girl groupies, of the giggly and cute persuasion. No one cared if you just sat forever or, as FogieKnight and I did, play Scrabble.

And what a Scrabble board it was. Deluxe does not begin to describe it. It swung around so that neither of us had to play upside-down (although I did because the table was small and I did not want to knock over my letters.) The board had ridges around each playing square so pieces did not slide. There was a drawer underneath that held the letter-holders, which were gorgeous dark wood. And the letters! The letters were some type of metal with gold-plating. The place also had a hard-backed Scrabble dictionary.

I just wish that my play had equaled the board. FogieKnight beat me by a considerable amount and I cannot claim (although I tried) that I was letting him win. True, the music and kids distracted me some and I had lots and lots and lots and lots of vowels but the truth is that I just did not play particularly well. Oh, well, the day was a blessing, not perfection.

After the Scrabble, we played rummy—and up until the last round I did considerably better at rummy. It was a warm place, a fun place, and great fun. It reminded me, in a way, of the camping that FogieKnight and I used to do early in our marriage. No, the place was not camp-like. It was more that we were there, together, removed from outside distractions like radios and telephones, and just completely there, in the moment, with each other.

Dinner was at an Italian restaurant with wonderful salads and decent pizza. The place had looked full when we came to it but our luck was holding and there was one table for two left. My cellphone rang (and I stepped outside) and Day told us that she and her boyfriend were back from their adventures but she was contented to wait until we were done with dinner to be picked up.

The day in Sheboygan ended with nice conversation with her boyfriend's mother in which we each got to tell stories of the kids when they were younger and embarrass them just the correct amount.

I have to give this one to FogieKnight. Yes, it was a wonderful day. Yes, we were blessed.

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