I drove Clark and Phil to bowling this morning (Cherlyn usually does) so I could watch them and then go to the pizza and pop Christmas party at 11:45 in the bowling alley. They were on lanes next to each other so I could sit without moving and watch them both. I also worked on some Sudoku, read an essay or two out of This I Believe 2, and visited with bowlers I know whom I have not seen in a while. Howard wanted to talk. He was bowling with Clark and would come to me as soon as he had taken his turn. I have known Howard for many years but I spent more time this morning finding out about him. He is 53, does not work anymore, is going to have oral surgery on Monday, his parents have died and he does not have contact with siblings and he is going to spend Christmas Day with a friend. I learned a lot of other things but he also learned about me when he asked questions--where was I born, where were my kids born, where did I work, what was my husband's name. They were good questions. Soon they had bowled three games, visited Santa and received a gift and then it was time for the party. There is a wide variety and range of disabilities and ages but all have some form of mental retardation. There were some in wheelchairs, some who could not talk, some who could not feed themselves but most were mobile and vocal. Also at the party were the volunteers, some caretakers and a few parents. As I ate I watched the girl across from me who could not feed herself very well and was there with a caregiver and I tried hard to understand the young man sitting next to Clark and I could hear excited conversation and laughter coming from the tables around me. As we left the party many wished us a Merry Christmas.
Phil always has a good time as is evident by the smile and clapping.
Howard is in the blue coat and was very happy to have me take his picture.