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Living Life the “Freecell ” Way

January 22, 2014

FreeCellI met Carol for the first time a little over a year ago. I didn’t notice at the time that she was a small woman, so large was her interest in me and all that was going on in my world. I admired, immediately, her ability to know her own mind and state it clearly. It made being with her a breeze. No second guessing. No accommodating. She seems to have worked out all the kinks about herself in the little areas of life that can take up so much of us, like what to order at Starbucks when we go for coffee…  “I’ll have a Venti Extra Hot 2 Pump Peppermint Cafe Mocha please,” and she’ll turn to me for me to order, and…I’m not so clear. Never have been. So, I follow her lead and order the same, only I request a Tall instead of a Venti. She knows I’m counting my pennies and turns back to the counter and says, “She’ll have the Venti” and turns back to me and says, “My treat.” It’s taken some time, but I’ve learned not to argue with her.

She’s a single woman about my age, with beautiful, long, full, silver-gray locks that she sweeps up in a scrunchy at the back of her head with great ease…another thing I will ask her to teach me one day when I can afford to buy a scrunchy. I know it can’t be as easy as it looks.

Carol came into my life on a wing and prayer. Right after she moved into our neighborhood, she nabbed my husband in the driveway on her way home from work. She wanted his expertise on some home renovations she had undertaken. The house was a foreclosure and in desperate need of work. A week later she invited us out for pizza for our feedback on her paint color choices for the exterior of her house. It wasn’t long before we started connecting by text at the end of the day, and over dinner at one or the other’s home.

Carol is a survivor. Uprooted when a job change was forced upon her, she left behind a beautiful old home, one she had renovated with her own two hands. It ultimately went into foreclosure when it would not sell (compliments of the miss-steps of the banking industry), and carrying two mortgages no longer made sense to her. In the process, she lost her credit worthiness, and a significant amount of money that she had invested in the restoration.

Carol doesn’t let life get her down. “It’s all about Freecell” she told me not long ago. “Freecell?”, I asked. “Yeah, the game. Have you ever played it.” Sure I have. I became a master at it before I realized needlepoint was more productive and just as much fun.

“Life is like Freecell. You just have to look for the next move. There’s always another move.”

She’s so right! I immediately took her “Freecell” concept, because it is so visual and visual works for me, and applied it to my own “problems”. It’s so freeing. It’s so hope-full. It’s so life affirming, and my problems are no longer problems. They are secondary. It’s the “next move” that is my focus now. Thank you, Carol.

Dorothy Sander © 2014

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. January 22, 2014 12:54 pm

    I loved this post. I also play freecell and yes, it mirrors life in many ways, but most games do when you get into them. Freecell keeps me going in many ways. When I first tried it, I was a “traditional” solitaire player and freecell seemed way beyond my abilities. Guess what?? I got good at it and am getting better all the time. Teaches me not to give up too!

  2. January 22, 2014 1:21 pm

    I had the same experience when I started playing years ago. Bored with Solitaire, I moved on to one of the only other games available at the time. I hate reading directions, so I just fumbled my way through until I got the hang of it. I agree, it taught me the value of practice, patience and the learning curve, all the while having fun!

  3. January 22, 2014 1:28 pm

    I love your story about Carol and the imagery it suggests about positivity.

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