verge (vʉrj)
the edge, brink, or margin (of something): also used figuratively the verge of the forest, on the verge of hysteria

to tend or incline (to or toward)
to be in the process of change or transition into something else; pass gradually (into) dawn verging into daylight

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Birthday Bill

Bill: 1941
Bus: 1968
Dear Bill,

Impossible. Amazing. I can hardly believe you are 70 today.  Seems so ancient grown up.  I'm so impressed by this that I'm trying to think if I even own anything that's from the same era.  Most of the time you act like you're about 26 but then when we talk and you try so hard to impart all that wisdom on me, I remember your true age because you can't hear a thing I say.

You, in that wild bus of yours, have been traveling all over the country these past few months, retracing your steps of the past 70 years, across many thousands of miles and almost as many oil changes.  Your itinerary still hangs on the refrigerator door but your postcards and letters reveal that this has been as much a journey of the heart as it has been of highways. I can imagine the stories you have to tell, and the people you have seen again. They have their own funny stories about you, no doubt.  I think it must take some courage to travel back so far--to see all the places and people again, to stand before the memories and speak...or listen.  When I squint my eyes, the map of your trip looks like a variegated tapestry, the loose ends now woven in to place by each stop you've made.  You've sewn the patches all together and today with your children and grandchildren, you are wrapped in your most precious threads.  I know those are tears of joy, dear friend.

I brace myself look forward to your return so that we can sit at the counter for one of our meetings and eat my thin, runny yogurt and drink strong coffee.  It's my turn to set the agenda--you did it last time and the time before that.  I have so many questions to ask but for starters, I would like to know about the things you didn't expect, and about the things you had forgotten.  What was your funniest moment, and what made you cry?  How were you changed by each encounter and what landscape stirred you the most?  What tools were the most useful and how did you pace yourself? When did you seem to crawl along and when did time fly?  What mattered?  And what didn't?

And then after that Bill, I want to hear all about the trip.

Happy Birthday, Old Man Dear Bill.  
I am very glad we'll be your next stop.  

PS.  You can't teach an old dog new tricks.


  1. Wonderful and funny posting, Alice.

  2. i bow my head and heart to you, I am humbled by your loving words....a tear of connection. Thank you...but your spelling and crossouts-:)shame....and it is not your turn to set the agenda ....Yes, you get to make mushy yogurt. Do brace yourself. Lub, b

  3. love it... crossouts are perfect.

  4. To be honest I don't know the person you are writing this about but I enjoyed it as if I have known him all my life.