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It's always something...

Phillips County News of Malta, Montana

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The past week was a little more challenging than 1 anticipated... Curtis was down with an ailment that required him to keep his legs elevated and Jerry Depute had heart surgery.

Now, I can count my real friends on one hand and threatening ailments affected two-fifths of them in one seven-day period.

It really makes me happy I'm a praying man... because I've done a lot of it over the past week.

Happily, both situations turned out well.

Curtis is back at work refereeing his employees and Jerry is expected to come home this Wednesday or Thursday, if all goes well.

The only real concern I had about Curtis' problem was the fear he might enjoy the down time so much he'd play it to the limit... leaving me alone in an office with four women — which, no matter if they're friendly, or unfriendly — is an uncomfortable situation for a confirmed celibate.

Curtis has always been there for me and, despite the circumstances, I was happy to have a chance to be there for him.

Jerry, on the other hand, is a whole different brand of cereal.

He was the first friend I made in Malta. He renewed my interest in the Knights of Columbus and, more importantly, taught me to play Cribbage.

He has helped me with house and car maintenance problems and has always been there when I've needed help.

He is more of an uncle or grandfather to me in many ways and I know my life would change entirely without him in it.

I try to have him over at least two or three times a month for supper (and Cribbage) and talk with him at least once a week on the phone — if I don't see him at the coffee klatch at the Hitchin' Post.

In fact, he was over for deer steaks and Cribbage only a few days before he went to Billings for a checkup.

He'd been complaining about feeling tired and... knowing his family's health history, he was a little concerned.

I'm glad he had the checkup — he'll be with us for a while longer — a long, long while, I hope.

I'm eagerly looking forward to our next dinner/Cribbage evening and I might even let him win all three games, instead of just two (like I can control the outcome...).

Needless to say, I spent a little extra time on my knees last week, and this week, besieging Heavenly Father on behalf of both men.

I really should have prayed more for them, their families and friends, who are also concerned about them, but in all honesty I was worried about me.

Aren't we all in situations like that?

We worry about how it's going to affect us, without really reflecting on how that person's relationships with others would be affected.

So, there will be a little more time on my knees as I offer up a few words on their behalf as well.

Both situations impressed me to cherish the friends I have and to make sure I strengthen those bonds however I can.

It should also coerce me to make new friends because, although I'm very verbal (mouthy is the word most of my coworkers would use) I am also somewhat of a recluse and find it difficult to let people into my life.

Which could eventually leave me all alone... on the street.

Copyright 2009 Phillips County News, Malta, Montana. All Rights Reserved. This content, including derivations, may not be stored or distributed in any manner, disseminated, published, broadcast, rewritten or reproduced without express, written consent from SmallTownPapers, Inc.

Original Publication Date: February 4, 2009

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