A quick introduction for those of you who don’t know. I have a contract with International Medical Corps to work with a local doctor in the Burlington, NC area as he assists with a specific grant that targets continuing medical education in Iraq.

My role is a balance between coordinating communications and organizing, creating and sending documentation. It will evolve into some online development as well.

A perfect opportunity that fell out of the sky and into my lap because of a great reference from an awesome friend and business connection in the area. (And I send my sincerest thanks for kind words that are uttered behind my back and whispered into the right ears.)

I meet with the good doctor on a weekly basis so that we can stay on top of the myriad of details that need to be corralled in order for events to progress as smoothly and efficiently as possible.

—-

I drove through the gravel slowly and onto the paved area of the driveway. I could tell that there hadn’t been much activity into and out of the house since the recent snow. I grabbed my mobile file box, and hauled it and myself up the front path. I admired the way the snow was unmarred except for the paw prints of animals that I could only guess at, and mourned that my size 10 footprints were making a mess of the natural art.

It was picturesque. The lake behind the house looked frozen, and though a lot of the snow was melting thanks to the sun, there was still plenty around to make the stately house look even more warm and inviting.

I rang the doorbell and stomped my feet on the porch rug. This was not the kind of house that welcomed snow trails from a young, thirty-something who didn’t take the time to clean her shoes. And I sighed to think of the immense Persian run in the foyer who would nevertheless be subject to my damp footing.

The good doctor opened the door and welcomed me inside.

“How about this weather? Come inside and get warm. I have fresh coffee ready.”

I smiled. He is always so considerate.

He continued, “I’ve really enjoyed it. I went skating on the lake. Made it about halfway across before I heard the ice groaning. And well, I don’t suppose I need to tell you that I backed up pretty quickly.”

I cocked my head to the side and slanted my eyes a bit. I was waiting for the punchline.

I didn’t get one.

“What’s even better,” he continued enthusiastically, “is running and then sliding on the ice. You know. On your bum. You get a good start and you can go pretty far.”

At this point, my eyes were probably the sizes of saucers. I can only imagine that my incredulous attitude was written all over my face. But he was busy pouring me a fresh cup of black coffee and I don’t think that he saw it, or noticed it.

“To be honest, that’s actually better than skating. My skates aren’t so good. Pretty old.”

He handed me the mug, and I buried my face into it for a moment of sanity and to compose my expression. I murmured thanks and breathed in the aroma, trying to clear my head.

I looked up at him and suddenly this man, who recently celebrated his 70th birthday, was transformed before my eyes into a young, happy boy regaling his exploits in the snow and ice.

I found the strength to respond.

“I have an 8 year old who would have loved to join you.”

—-

I can’t make this stuff up.

I am so happy to have the opportunity to be connected with someone who is so engaged in his life, who makes and takes every opportunity to enjoy it to the fullest, who slides on his bum on the ice of the unnamed lake (really, a big pond) in his backyard.

And please, please, please…I ask that I can grow up to be like him. That when I am 70 years old, I am still taking childish delight in the world around me.