If you haven't read part one of the story, feel free to read it HERE.
Just before Rocky decided it was time to move on, a lady sat down at my right on the bench I had claimed as my own. She listened to the latter portion of my conversation with Rocky, which was mostly about various Democratic candidates from the past, but also included a mention of Hillary. Rocky suddenly realized people were going in and out of the old depot that was creating our shade, and turns out his wife had asked him to keep watch over it and make sure no vandalism was done while she took a break from her station at the door. I'm sure at least two dozen folks had entered and left the place during our conversation, but he hadn't noticed them during the preceding forty-five minutes.
The lady, whose name I never asked, mentioned how nice it felt in the shade with the breeze and all, and of course I agreed. Then she said, "I'm just beginning to feel better again. I've been under the weather for the longest time. I have congestive heart failure."
"That's too bad," I said. "I know there isn't any cure for that; all you can do is treat it as best you can."
She went on to explain that she had really been feeling low, but was sent to a different cardiologist who felt she was on too many conflicting medications and had taken her off several of them, at which time her condition began to improve. I asked her the doctor's name, and it happened to be Cliff's cardiologist. Anyhow, he seemed to have done her a world of good, and she considers him a very good doctor.
Here we were having a chat in Lathrop, sixty miles from where I live, and I found out she lives in Odessa, just eight miles south of my home; she has a couple of nephews who will be at the Adrian tractor show next weekend. That's when she told me her last name, so I could watch for the guys at the show. It was an unusual name, and I really wish I had written it down. But I didn't.
Then we got on the subject of Medicare insurance. She asked what insurance I have, and I told her it's Humana this year, but we usually change every January, trying to keep our costs down.
Without sounding like a prophet of doom, she said she didn't care for Humana: "I'm a nurse," she said, "and I feel like they killed my mother." She proceeded to tell me a little about her mother's final days.
"They've done OK for us so far this year," I told her.
"Well, you're younger, and don't have anything major wrong with you."
Because of her soft-spoken, mild manner, something rang true in what she said, and I may indeed change insurance next year.
We discussed gardens, and she said she really misses hers. I asked her if she knows about Harvesters, and she did. Her brother helps with the Harvester's distribution. "So much of the food they have is bad, though," she said.
That's true. It's food that stores can't sell because it's past the expiration date, or vegetables and fruit that are past their prime. Still, a lot of the stuff is usable and good. I know this because Cliff's brother helps hand out the stuff at his church.
So this was a totally different type of conversation than the one I had with Rocky, much more laid-back and with a lot more input from me. The reason I wish I had paid attention to her last name is that I would have been glad to take tomatoes and other excess garden stuff (if there is any) to share with her. She isn't far away, and Cliff and I are occasionally in Odessa.
As it is, we were no more than ships passing in the night. But I like to think she may have been an angel, sent to tell me to get on another insurance plan or to assure me that Cliff's cardiologist is a decent doctor.
And who knows? Rocky may have been an angel too. Angels come in all shapes, sizes, and persuasions, and maybe I needed to be reminded that building Cliff's shop was one of our best decisions; otherwise Cliff would be in Rocky's shoes, wishing he had a shop but being afraid to go in debt to build it.