i am amazed at the stories i hear of incredible courage, endurance, determination–and it’s always from people who look from the outside like they just coast through life. robin ladybird strong-robinson (f2fb #68) and alyce kingsley (f2fb #70) work at the zengeler dry cleaners in winnetka. phyllis vega used to work at zengeler but, in order to get out of a bad relationship, she moved to mendota recently (excuse me, facebook friends, no moving without my written permission! warner sills, i mean, taiwan?????)
we had lunch today, including hector who doesn’t have a facebook account and after we exchanged stories about facebook, i think he considers himself lucky. robin told me an inspiring story. she is sober since 2000, having overcome everything with the help of God as she knows him and the twelve step program. robin even had trouble describing the transition, more than ten years ago, from a woman addicted to alcohol and drugs and certain she was headed for Hell to that of a woman who is sure of the love of her God. i was awed. not just by her story but by the way her face, her smile, her eyes brighten with the story. she is a brave woman.
it is a story her coworkers are well aware of. while robin has worked at zengeler’s for eleven years, alyce has worked there for thirty two years. it is a good place to work because people stay. alyce, by the way, is the “oldest” child and she is the “cool” aunt in her family, as she is to the zengeler family. she is very generous with the gum and candy that she lets me have whenever i stop in. and she watches out for her coworkers, as she does here when robin starts talking hair which is what all women do eventually when they get together. notice how hector reacts. . .
f2fb friend #12 andrew has put together a grid that makes it possible to visit all my facebook friends outside of the united states in one blow out 21 day trip. i find his proposal intimidating. and intriguing. exciting and scary. i think maybe i should break up the trips a little bit. but under his plan i would actually travel around the world. . . with time to stop in japan. and time to swing into brazil late in the year. on the other hand, the risks are enormous. don’t you think people in india will be completely freaked out by my panic attacks???