After reading my blog so far, a friend asked to know more about Gary. I'm happy to oblige.
The first thing you would notice about him is he is tall - 6' 6". He is strong, and his hands are strong, which I really appreciate when I want a shoulder rub. As I said earlier, in high school he bucked hay with my brother in law, who introduced him to me. He is one year older than me. Here he is in his easy chair:
Here he is on his property:
Gary served in Viet Nam. We have similar political points of view, detesting those who promote their own agendas with hate and falsehoods.
He majored in business at Oregon State. He worked up to management in a plywood mill, then got tired of making money for other people, so bought a bowling alley and made money for himself. He is proud of the bowling alley - and part of that is good food. Employees are all required to be willing to fill in with cooking. He says they serve "the best burger in town". He knows many people in Corvallis, from many walks of life, who are bowlers. The conversation and especially teasing of co-workers and customers was what made it fun for him. He is now retired, but still "volunteers" working there every Tuesday and Wednesday. This is mostly because he enjoys it, but also because he mentors the new owner to make sure it continues to be successful. He runs into people he knows just about everywhere he goes in Corvallis.
Since retiring he puts a lot of energy into growing his produce. He likes to grow a lot to eat himself, but also to give away. He is successful - organic methods that make bumper crops of delicious items. He also does a lot of food preservation - freezing, drying, canning. He roasts his own coffee beans. His blackberry preserves are divine.
He is growing red wiggler worms with a neighbor, thinking they will grow enough to sell. He set up a habitat for bees on his property. Also feeds birds. He is happiest when he is working out of doors. He loves riding his tractor mower around.
And he cooks! He can throw great meals together that look effortless. For just about any number of people. And then cleans up after himself.
He has a strong sense of what is right and how things should work. He does not mind a confrontation when he perceives something wrong. He also, as he puts it, does not mince words. I won't repeat here some of the things he has told me that he has told others - I'll just say it is pretty rude but at the same time effective, and makes me laugh.
Here is what I think is the best part about Gary - he is one of the kindest and most generous people I have ever known. He has a large heart and has no problem expressing love. He would do anything for a friend. He calls his mother every day. He loves and admires his daughter and son in law, and enjoys his two grandsons. He has many friends, many of whom date back to high school and college.
Things seem to be going well between us, enjoying each other's company. We are both used to being fairly independent, and are comfortable with time and interests together as well as some apart.
How did I do - any questions?