Framing the Dialogue

Thoughtful Cookie

IMG_1835As I awaited my change I opened the fortune cookie and was pleased to find one that actually had a fortune in it. They all have the little slips of paper, but very few have fortunes. This one, however, told me that I would have luck when I got home. Maybe it was my full belly or the MSG, but I started to think about what my luck might be; about what I’d actually want my luck to be. I didn’t find myself hoping for large sums of cash or Kate Upton handing me my slippers, pipe, and the daily paper. I would just like a quiet evening, maybe a walk around the neighborhood, a good meal, maybe a short nap and a Penguins win.

Again the MSG may have been talking, but I thought about how my wishes would have changed over the years. As an infant I would have had no cognitive idea what a “wish” was so I would have been happy to be fed, dry, and having someone fawn all over me or essentially pain free. My toddler years were probably not much different though the acquisition of toys would be on the list now. As I reached school age good luck might have been finding some pop bottles (soda bottles for the world outside of Pittsburgh) that I could return for the deposit and spend it on penny candy. Yes some candy only cost a penny back when. A couple of bottles could get you a decent bag of sugar.

At upper elementary age I would have considered it luck to not have much homework and lots of daylight to go out with friends and play…also to not lose our baseball in the woods. High school basically sucked so my luck would have been some good books and maybe the nerve to talk to a girl that I was interested in. I settled for the books.

Rocket into college and early twenties and there were generally two things on my mind that I would consider lucky. Beer came fairly easily the other not so much. Later in my twenties I met someone and was lucky to marry her and luck was any time with her. Early thirties were the kids years and luck was any time we all could be together not in a car driving somewhere. A peaceful family dinner was one of the luckiest things…still is. Children who drive and go out with other kids who drive transformed luck into seeing them home safe…still is.

My forties brought the first real feelings of getting older. Aches, pains, and hair growing in places not attractive to others. I can still remember the first time my barber asked me if I wanted my ears shaved…BRRR. My luck is that I still have hair where it’s supposed to be!

As I look ahead to my sixties, though still many years away, luck would be some reasonable heath and a retirement not messed with by my employer or absorbed by the federal government behemoth. Bad luck would be to work forty years and die 9 months after retirement. That would really suck though the cookie never said what kind of luck waited.

It’s hard to look much beyond that, but my 84 year old mother just had one of her knees replaced. She is still in the hospital (hence the reduction in the number of posts) and is dealing with the fact that one knee feels okay now, but she still has the other bad one. Her luck, as I expect many of her age, is that there is simply no more pain. Luck seems to be both a good night’s sleep and waking up the next day. That is essentially where we started as an infant.


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