Raoul’s Two Cents: July 28, 2023
The Season of Friends
I am super pumped up. I organized a neighborhood “People and Pets Potluck Picnic” this Saturday and I’m expecting a lot of people. We’re having games (volleyball, badminton, bocce balls) and a Pack Walk (dog walk) around the block. It’s the first time we’re doing this. A million things can go wrong — exciting! We have a lot of kids and dogs so it’s gonna be chaos … fun chaos I hope. The neighbors will finally get to talk to one another. Our dogs will finally bark and smell each other.
Hoping for perfect weather. The gardeners have already cleaned up the place but I’m sure we’ll still have to do the same a few hours before the event because the trees are shedding their leaves. The rest of the “To Do List” is daunting so I’m thankful I’ve got a few volunteers signed up. Need to buy spoons, forks, plates, napkins, table covers, balloons, drinks and ice. Need to set up the badminton net and sound system. I will be cooking a pot of my killer adobo.
Is it obvious that I love to entertain? I was an introvert when I was younger and I couldn’t understand why some grown ups open their homes to share their time, food and money with visitors until I started doing the same. Now it makes perfect sense. We extroverts love to connect people and start beautiful friendships. It brings us joy.
I remember Dionisio, a church mate from Guatemala, who had difficulty finding a job after he got his degree. Two years he waited. Within those years he was very active in church. Every once in a while he would get temporary jobs requiring long drives but, no matter the distance, he would still attend our local events. When he finally got his dream job some 200 miles away I was surprised to see him one Sunday. He said he would still try to make it on weekends. I wondered what was going on. Then it hit me — nobody had given him permission to cut the strings and start a new life away from the church.
I had to explain the seasons of friendship. “It’s not the end of our friendship. God gives us temporary and forever friends. We are fortunate that technology (email, chat and social media) has allowed so many more forever friends. Don’t force yourself to keep coming back,” I suggested. “We were here for just a season of your life. God has opened the door to the season of the next phase of your life. Maybe the new season is where you will find your wife. Then you two will start another season with new friends. We just keep expanding our circle of friends.”
From his eyes, I knew he understood everything I said. That was the last I heard from him. A few months ago I sent him a text just to see how he was doing. He never responded. And that’s alright. I still pray for God to bless him. I like to think he’s too busy enjoying his new season.
I long for the day when we will be done with all our seasons. In a blink of an eye we will be sharing stories of how we overcame the trials and joys of this earthly life with our combined circle of friends. Oh what a picnic that will be.
“There’s nothing better than a friend … unless it’s a friend with chocolate.” — Anonymous
Blessings to you my TGIF friends!
JOKE OF THE WEEK
Thanks to Garie of Paranaque, Philippines
Original art by Raoul Pascual.
Thanks to Maling of New Manila, Philippines.
Thanks to Tom of Pasadena. CA for these two interesting Trivia.
Click on the pictures to read the background stories.
It is interesting that American ingenuity saved the world from both global health crises of Polio and Covid.
Thanks to Art of Sierra Madre. CA
I found these
The Traveling Boy
My good friend (and jokester) Terry and I came up with these.