Thursday, October 18, 2007

Living with Linda

On July 18 she stepped off the plane in Dallas-Fort Worth airport. It was the first time I had seen Linda Henson in the flesh. Until then I had to make do with the picture on Live Messenger that we used to communicate while playing bridge online.

We first met in March ‘07 on the MSN Zone Bridge site and became regular partners about a month later. Her nickname is ShortyKS1, Shorty reflecting her stature, KS her Kansas home and 1 because she is the tops in my book. The Zone tournaments are long and there is plenty of time to chat and get to know your partners. Linda and I eventually shared that we were both in long-term, unhappy marriages,.. and before long we were in love. The July Zone convention in Tyler Texas was our first chance to meet. Within a week after returning to our homes we each filed for divorce. On August 1, we moved into our rental home in the lovely Malaga Cove area of Palos Verdes Estates. The ten weeks we have lived together have been among the happiest in my life.

Linda came to me as a package deal with her Westie (West Highland Terrier) Sammy: “Love me, love my dog.” He is a dynamo who follows me all over the house. What a great friend! Linda says that someday Sammy and I will bond… I think it has already happened. When Linda goes to Kansas City in December to party with her Birthday Group, Sammy will keep the bed warm and me from being too lonely. My Starbucks friends wonder why I am so frequently absent from our morning meetings. It’s simple: I have discovered the joy of quantum entanglement (aka snuggling) in the morning.

Shorty is a phenomenon, a force of nature. She is a constant wonderment to my simple mind – an enigma, wrapped in a riddle – and funny to boot! Linda is full of life and instantly befriends strangers. The first time we toured the new house she met our neighbor, now dear friend, Betty Hutchinson, who called her “little girl”; Betty is 87. They have become fast friends and an enduring picture is of Linda and Betty walking hand-in-hand down Via Pinale.

Linda left a flock of great friends back in Salina, Kansas. On my trip there I got to know her Birthday Group, some of her P.E.O. sisters, and other golfing buddies; wonderful women, all. Many worried about Linda – would she miss her friends too much and have a hard time making new ones in LA? Dear Sharon Hauser even visited our home to check us out. Well, they were right about Linda missing them, but wrong about her ability to make new friends. Everyone she meets loves her: she has already been invited to join the Palos Verdes Woman’s Club; two local P.E.O. chapters have invited her to meetings; she and Sammy were asked to visit children at the Torrance Memorial Hospital; she is joining the Peninsula Friends of the Library; we play bridge in two groups and work out together at Equinox; etc, etc.

Last weekend we hosted a dinner party for a few friends. The guest of honor was Lt. Col. Dave McCarthy and his wife Carrie. Dave is recently returned from Iraq and newly honored with the Bronze Star for heroism in battle. Typical of a Marine, Dave would not talk about the battle. Linda cooked a fabulous meal that we enjoyed with the McCarthy’s, Dr. Dave Young and Lizzie and my son John. We plan to invite all my old friends over to visit our little Spanish-style house, built around a courtyard. This weekend we will attend the Starbucks Group bash organized by Glen Terry. I hope the entire posse shows up.


Blogger dondirindy said...

Somtimes fairy tales do come true! Here's to yours going on forever!!

3:00 PM  
Blogger rahul said...

Hey Mr. Lama,

My name's Rahul Sidhu and I live in Rancho Palos Verdes. I recently joined the USMC D.E.P. (I'm just a poolee waiting to go to boot). It's really great to see Marines coming Palos Verdes. I wanted to send you an email but I couldn't find your email address. If you do see this, could you email me at


PS: Great blog by the way. I'm sorry if this comment is out of place but I felt I'd have the best luck if I commented on your most recent blog post.

10:40 PM  
Anonymous lani said...

Please send our greetings and best wishes to Linda, from former residents of Salina, Mike and Lani Brown. It seems you both have found the happiness that has seems to elude many... Peace be with you both.
Lani Brown

8:47 AM  

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