Friday, December 17, 2010

Joseph Of Rockaway

The phone rang at 7:58 this morning.
"Sears here. I'm just pulling up to your house."
I stepped outside to greet our garage door-fixer.
"Ah! A man after my own heart," I said, "coming before the stroke of eight like this. You're an angel."
"Well, at least somebody thinks so,"he said.
"Well, good morning!" I said, "I'm Betsy."
"I'm Joseph,"he said, cracking a smile.

"It's your drive gear,"Joseph said, after listening to the gears stall. 
"Hmmm, can it be fixed?" I asked.
"Sure,"he said.
"Are you from Cape Cod?"I asked.
"Nope, Rockaway,"Joseph said, "but everyone thinks I'm from New England.

Joseph has three girls, triplets, five and a half years old.
"Heather, Hope, and Courtney," he said, sliding a photo out from the visor in his truck. He moved back to the Poconos four years ago to be closer to his parents. 
"It's better this way,"he said, "the drive was getting too much, you know."
"I know, my Dad lives with us now,"I said.
"Hey, we need to lend a hand, right. My grandmother moved in with my parents, well, she passed. But now, my folks are getting older and, you know. It's fine being here. I like to ski,"he said.

Tonight the triplets are in a Christmas pageant at school.
"They're sweet girls,"he said,"the pageant will be sweet." 

"Here's my card if you need more help,"Joseph said, reaching out to shake my hand.
"Merry Christmas,"I said.
"Merry Christmas to you too," he said.

It was another fine day of This Being Alive; sharing tiny stories & a warm handshake with Joseph of Rockaway. 

Let's keep passing the peace.


  1. I could write a long list of my favorite repairmen who have bailed us out around the place. Jim the plumber tops the list: cute, smart, musician, antique restorer, gardener, hunter, father;
    Mike the cable guy (yes cable guy!) antique collector, gardener - especially cultivates an old wisteria vine up the side of the house; Mike the carpenter: cute, Masters Degree in History, former teacher in the ghettos of Newark, musician, basketball player, Giants fan; Tim, the landscaper, rodeo competitor, fisherman, musician; Richard,the water softener guy, cute, single father of two disabled children; Dave the tire guy, cute, musician, school board member, father of artists. Love these guys!

  2. Sometimes I think life - or what we remember from life - is just a compilation of these kinds of small moments, interactions, human connections, or moments of clarity when we're alone.

  3. LOVE the long list of repairmen. What a talented group (cultivates old wisteria up the side of the house, rodeo competitor, former teacher in the ghettos of Newark?)...what a great list with beautiful details! Thanks. I may just lift this for today's follow-up blog!) Notice a thread: cute.

    and, yes. small moments, human connections. this is it.