Hi, CAMPBELLSWORLD VISITORS!!! I’m real glad yall have stopped by. Sometimes Saturday afternoons can get long. However, this afternoon, I want to finish telling you all about my big day on Tuesday of this past week. If you remember, last time I posted, Campbell and I had had a big day out. We’d ridden bus 5 and 2 and gone to Food City for breakfast and stuff from the store that we needed, in spite of the weather or my knee. We left you after having told you all about our morning, and promised to come back later in the day to tell the rest. Well, as is my way, I got totally sidetracked with another project and have just now gotten back to this tale. So, settle in with your favorite Saturday afternoon brew, or snack, and let me tell you about the rest of our day On what was an absolutely Terrific Tuesday to be sure!
Well, let me say Campbell and I were, as I wrote earlier worn out from our morning of ramblings, and had I known I’d end up with no ride for the evening’s events I’d have probably skipped the entire morning all together, but we did not and though tired we were, we had obligations to meet, and meet them we would.
I’d tried all throughout the day to find someone to give us a ride to the Food City that evening, and had no luck. We were to attend a meeting of the Altrusa Club, and I was the guest speaker so missing this event was not an option. So in spite of my throbbing knee, and the rain, Campbell and I made a plan. We would catch bus 5 at 4:30 and ride to Walmart where we would transfer to bus 2 and make our way to Food City and the meeting in the upstairs banquet room. I’d decided that if no ride could be found home, we’d just catch a cab and make our way on back after we were done.
Let me say that none of this was nearly as easy to do as it is to sit here and write of. First of all when it was time for us to go the wind was howling and rain was poring down. Thunder was crashing and lightning was flashing, and to say I was nervous about being out in such weather while walking with Claud the Quad and Campbell, on a bum knee was scary scary and did I mention scary to say the least. We somehow made it with no problem to the bus stop, and for a wonder I even had time to let Campbell relieve himself once more before the bus came. The next thing was once again getting on the bus, and again it had steps. Again the driver did not make the person in the seat across the way move, and once again my Campbell was forced to be moved every time someone needed on or off. (I have decided a talk with the bus company is in order yet again) Finally we were at the transfer point and safely aboard bus 2, and Blessid Be we had the ramp and correct place to sit. When we made it to Food City a little later the driver further assisted us by pulling up as close to the sidewalk and overhang as was possible, and this kept us out of much of the wet. The ramp was wet though and going down was a bit scary for sure, but Campbell, who is steady as always matched his pace to mine, and did not let me fall. Once down and inside I found the store was packed, but once again Campbell did not disappoint. He carefully guided me round people, and things, and pretty soon we were in line at the service desk, and just a few moments after we arrived, one of their extremely polite and helpful staff was standing there asking how he could help. I told him I needed to make a quick stop by the ATM and then would need to go upstairs. Now, this staff member was young, and he confided in me that he’d never used an ATM before. I said, “Well, sweetiepie I’m early and there’s a first time for everything. You read what it says, and I’ll show you how.” He had a smile in his voice when he said happily, “Yes ma’am, take my arm and we’ll take care of you.” We went to the ATM and in no time at all I had my money for a cab should I need it, and we were making our way to the elevator and the banquet room. As we went I told him about my book, blog, and newsletter, and before he left us in the banquet room to wait for the others to arrive, I gave him one of my magazines, and invited him to have a look at all we do. If he’s reading now, (HI HOW YOU DOING? You did a GREAT JOB!) All of the staff there does. I have never gotten what I considered bad service.
Once we were settled in the room where our dinner and speaking engagement would take place I spent a few moments straightening my hair, and settling Campbell. I hoped he would dry before folks arrived. I was very dismayed to see I’d neglected to put a new dog towel in my pack after removing the last one used to be washed. Fortunately for us we were early and he was dry before he was greeted by our audience.
Once I had us put back together and waiting I spent a few moments looking at the Altrusa Club’s website http://Altrusainternational.org
While reading I learned that Altrusa International would be celebrating its 100TH anniversary this April, and that they’d not always allowed men. I smiled to myself as I thought about a club that had started that long ago, and that at onetime it had been exclusive just for women. The reason this made me feel so good is that it seemed to me lots of places were just the opposite and that it was normally women trying to enter a man’s world. It felt somehow pretty awesome to learn that men had needed to be accepted for a change, but as I read I learned there was way lots to these most amazing people. To say they’re involved in community service would be quite an understatement. The work they’re doing is quite impressive, and I hope you will take the time to have a look at all they do.
As I read, I also took a couple of phone calls, and as I was talking to our good friend Bobby the first members began to arrive. I quickly finished up and soon I was introducing Campbell and myself and beginning what would be an awesome evening. We had a wonderful dinner provided by the Food City deli and as usual it did not disappoint. We had lasagna salad green beans, garlic bread, and for desert I had the best piece of Coconut cake I ever did eat ever. Makes me hungry now, just to think of it.
Once dinner was done, Campbell and I made our way to the podium, and began our tale. I told of The Seeing Eye http://TheSeeingEye.org
And how they got their start. I told of going to get Campbell, and of how that inspired me to write and publish my first book, Campbell’s Rambles: How a Seeing Eye Dog Retrieved My Life http://dvorkin.com/pattyfletcher/
I told of how I used to write for an Online magazine, and of how the editor and I started having troubles with one another and that one day she got huffy with me and wrote, “Well, if you don’t like how I do things, start your own magazine. As if you could.” And that shortly after I dumped that hateful so and so and did just that, and that as a result The Neighborhood News was born. After a bit they began to ask questions, and after only a couple one woman finally asked, “Can we pet Campbell now?” I had to smile. They’d lasted lots longer than I’d expected. I led Campbell away from the podium so we would not turn it over, as he had nearly done earlier by leaning on it, and declared, “Let the petting begin!” O! My! Goodness! Campbell had himself a high old time. He even found one lady who had a Goldadoodle (Golden Retriever and poodle mix, and he loved her so that he put his mouth around her arm and gave her a labby hug. “WOW!” I exclaimed! He doesn’t do this to everyone he meets. His entire body was wagging and wiggling, and I believe he might have traded me in right then and there. (Not) but it seemed like it for a minute there.
Soon I decided my knee had simply been through enough and once the petting had stopped, we made our way back to our seat, and I finished up with them from there.
When I was done, and they began their meeting I sat listening, and Oh! How good it was to hear about all that was going on in the community, and hearing familiar names was a true joy. I realized how very much I missed that type of work, and have decided that first of the week, I’ll be contacting them yet again. Only this time I want to join. I want very much to get involved with my community again. While I know there’s no going back to Contact Concern, (I would volunteer if they’d have me) I know there is work in this community needing done, and I am more than ready to see how I can help. I love fundraising. I love volunteering, and I believe my Peer Support Center Leader is right when she says, “Patty you’re meant to help others, and your not having something to do makes you much like a fart in a whirlwind.” Well, I’m ready to fly again, and so hopefully they’ll make a place for me.
When their meeting ended we all chatted for a few minutes, and then one of the members asked how I’d gotten there. I briefly shared my story and ended with, “I’m just going to get a cab home.” Another spoke up and said, “You’ll do no such thing. I live close to you and will be glad to take you home.” To say I was glad, well, that would have most assuredly have been an understatement. I was simply exhausted, in the most pain I’d been in since my fall in the mud a few weeks back, and I was ready for my bath tub, and a large glass of wine which a good friend had bought me earlier in the day. I wonder if he has any idea how very right he’d been when he said, “You’re gonna need this when this day is done.” I got to say he was more than correct.
As I sit here now and think of that hard day, I have to smile. We lived through it, managed to get all we needed to done, and here I am writing this all down for you.
Let me just say to anyone reading, there are times when I get scared. There are times when it is hard hard and did I mention hard to do what Campbell and I do, but if a person puts their mind to it they can do any darn thing they want. It might not be easy. There may be days when you think you absolutely cannot put one more food in front of the other, but i say to you… Yes! You! Can! You can do it! Try Try and Try!
As my very Wise and Ancient Trainer Drew said to me many times during training, “Take a chance there is a 50 percent chance you’ll be right” and he was and is right. You simply just don’t know what you are capable of until you get up off your butt and give it a go.
For now, I must go. I have to check in on a Facebook Author event, and do some other writing work.
Until next time this is King Campbell AKA Bubba, who never gives up, and Patty saying…
May harmony find you, and blessid be.
This message was brought to you by the words…
Try and Can Do!