A Ken-Do Weekend
After dinner on Friday night, I decided to indulge myself with a sundae from Margie’s Candies, an old timey ice cream shop is a few blocks away. All their treats and ice creams are homemade, super decadent and delicious. I hadn’t been there in years. I walked down a less-traveled side street to get there. It’s the same little street Ken and I used to take to walk to the little neighborhood bar where we first met and used to go to on occasion. I couldn’t remember the last time I’d taken this street and it was chock full of really lovely memories. We used to find a rock and take turns kicking it the entire way there–and sometimes on the way back, too.
We also saw a rabbit pretty much every time. This time was no exception. The walk was filled with thoughts of Ken, our walks and our life together. Then I came across a one-legged pigeon, standing on the sidewalk. Like Ken, it had no left leg. It was odd. But in a lovely way.
On my way back home with my turtle sundae, I cut through the alley behind my building–something I often do when coming from that direction. I couldn’t wait to get inside into my cool air-conditioned apartment and eat my melting indulgence. But as I hurried down the alley I noticed a couple of tables that had been discarded, sitting by someone’s garbage cans. Three things to know 1) I have long considered getting rid of my huge coffee table in favor of something smaller/simpler 2) thanks to Kallie’s surgery the idea of spending money on furniture didn’t thrill me and 3) Ken was DIY dumpster diver of the highest caliber.
My apartment is dotted with DIY projects where he transformed someone’s trash in our treasures. It was much more his area of interest than mine. I usually let him undertake them on his own, but there were a few times I was involved. He always welcomed my input or collaboration, but understood it wasn’t my thing.
Ken had so many traits I admired–intrinsic ones that were just baked into him. Kind, curious, creative don’t even begin to scratch the surface. I think it’s natural–at least for me–to want to keep some of those traits in my life. The easiest way I can think to do that is by doing some of the activities he used to do: cooking, gardening and some DIY projects are a few–none of which do I claim to do as well, mind you. But he always appreciated effort over result. So after I devoured my sundae I crept back out to the alley and put the tables into my back yard to “consider” doing something with them.
After breakfast this morning I decided “something” was gonna happen–without really know exactly what. I went to Ace Hardware in my hood and picked out some paint, a brush and some supplies. Not a big deal for most people, I’m sure, but I’ve never initiated such a project–except for maybe dying some curtains for the bedroom and doing my best to maintain the garden. This was a little more exciting than either, and–something that not only would Ken heartily approved of–but something that felt surprisingly natural to me.
I zenned out for about three hours, working on this little project. And to be sure, there are plenty of mistakes and many flaws but, I’ve noted some “lessons learned” for next time. I have an old dresser (that Ken “rescued” from the very same alley several years ago) that is really just asking for it.