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Waiting for a good thing - Gerry Yandel

A friend of mine did the most strange and interesting thing to me the other day.

Richard is a retired homegrown Georgia man who lives in Atlanta, but he seems to think his destiny lies in Jackson. Consequently, he spends as much time as possible fishing at Lake Jackson and trying to sort out the vagaries of life.

He's one of a small but diverse group of friends I sometimes get together with early in the morning before the day begins to talk about the important things in our lives. It's a group of strange and wonderful characters capable of great love and random acts of kindness, and I have learned to rely on these friends in many ways.

I am not sure if it is due to long hours waiting for fish to bite, but Richard sometimes says the deepest things in the simplest of terms. So, when he said what he said, as I was leaving to head out into my day, I took it to heart.

"Gerry," he said, grabbing my elbow and looking me straight in the eyes, "something good is going to happen to you today."

I looked at him, trying to decipher if he was shining me on. All in an instant, I tried to figure out if he was just talking to hear himself, trying out a new version of "Have a nice day," acting as a vessel delivering a God-o-gram, or maybe just trying to give me a pick-up because I looked blue. (I wasn't.)

"Thanks," I said. "I hope so."

I headed out into my day off, wondering what "good" thing was going to befall me. Of course, I like to be grandiose just like anyone, so I was thinking something monumental might happen. Perhaps I'd fall in love and start to enjoy the rosy glow romance adds to life. Or, maybe I'd reap a financial windfall to live out my dream of selling hats on the beach. Maybe Eddy Vedder would call and invite me to join Pearl Jam's next tour.

It was odd, but for some reason I never questioned Richard's authority to make such a pronouncement. Instead, I put myself into anticipation mode for whatever "good" thing lay ahead.

Periodically throughout the day, I would remember the interesting thing Richard said, but I couldn't reconcile it with any particular "good" thing that took place.

The best thing was probably finally getting through the line at the Social Security office after waiting 60 minutes to complete a 45-second procedure for a replacement card. But that was more of a "good" thing for Helen in Accounting than for me.

As I was reviewing my day later that night in bed, I tried to find the "good" thing Richard had forecast. I had paid my bills, resolved some nagging problems with BellSouth, cleaned up the house a little, finally beat the addictive computer game "Zuma," ran around town fixing computers for friends, and had a great and fun time with my ex-wife and our kids at dinner.

Nothing really jumped out as far as being the aforementioned "good" thing.

And then I remembered the eagerness with which I had approached my day, positively, anticipating something good in my life. Like a kid waiting for Christmas.

And, as I fell asleep, happy, I realized it had been a very good day indeed.

Gerry Yandel is the city editor for the Daily Herald. He can be reached at (770) 957-9161 or gyandel@henryherald.com .