It started out as a kind of bummer Saturday morning. I’m moping around my condo about the fact I got my back bumper and tail light smacked the day before in West Seattle. But hey, it’s my brother’s birthday so me myself and I have a little private pep rally. “Like get over it dude, stuff happens!”, then I’m out the door for Graham to spend the day.
Terry bought a beautiful place in the country about a year ago. His home is at the end of a private road in a neighborhood of 5+ acre properties and it’s 'oh so much' more quiet than what I’m use to in my hood, Renton. No sirens, no traffic, no hovering choppers over the freeway at rush hour. Just the sounds of nature, leaves rustling lightly in the breeze, a few birds chirping here and there, and the occasional outburst from the rooster next door.
We’re out walking the property to see various updates to his projects when we spot a few tell tale signs of bear, deer, and elk in the grass... I’m full of pride about him this day. It’s been a little over two years now since Kathy, his wife and the love of his life passed away after a grueling five year battle with cancer. Then six months ago a stupid kid looking at his cell phone instead of the road pulls out in front of him on Kapowsin Highway and he totals his Suburban and shatters his left leg.
I’m in awe of his positive attitude and the sheer fortitude he has to get back in the game! His leg now packs another long titanium rod (the same one that has a total hip replacement) and a couple of large plates with lots of screws and several cable rings to hold it all together. He’s been in physical therapy for about six months now. Yet, through all of this, he’s determined to fully recover and get back to work at Boeing. He’s a lead at the Fredrickson plant where they assemble 737 wings. Terry’s now 73 years old! He has a bit of a gimp now, but amazingly, no more walker or cane and he’s on the mend. His surgeon says he should be able to return to work in about a month.
Perhaps it’s kind of an unusual way to celebrate a birthday, working on my truck, but we had a great time and I’m in luck. Though my bumper split and there’s a big dent in the right side, and the back right tail lights are out and missing some plastic, we got them working again and with some superior scientific application of duct tape I’m good to go until I can get it all replaced.
Afterwards we head out for something to eat. We’re driving up Meridian to Puyallup and I’m asking for suggestions. Terry mentions a Japanese restaurant he’s been meaning to try, the Happy Bento. It’s close and I’m totally all in for that!
As we enter the restaurant the entire staff, including the sushi chef, turn towards us and give a warm welcome! The service here is wonderful. I looked over the menu and decided on the Teriyaki Chicken Bento and it was a great choice. It came with a salad, rice, vegetable tempura, and a spring roll. It was a delightful feast!
About half way through our delicious meal the chef comes over to our table. Terry lights up and as we’re all chatting he tells a few stories about his days as a Navy Hospital Corpsman. He served in Vietnam during the war and did a two year stint in Yokosuka, Japan. As it turns out the chef grew up not far from there and he gets a big smile on his face when my brother complements him in Japanese that the food is fabulous, authentic, and brings back many fond memories of his days in Japan.
All and all a wonderful day I say.... Love ya Man! Happy Birthday Bro!