by irene bean

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A Solid Foundation



Not Trying to be Corny

This Little Light of Mine

We Were Once Young

Veni, Vedi, Vinca

U Tube Has a New Star

Packing a 3-Iron

Getting Personal

Welcome Again

Well... Come on in

Christmas Shopping

There's no Substitute

Dressed for Success

Cancun Can-Can

Holy Guacamole

Life can be Crazy

The New Dog

Hurricane Reenie

He Delivers

No Spilt Milk

Naked Fingers


Have Ya Heard the One About?

The Great Caper


Barney's P***S

My New Security System

He Delivers

The other night we had pizza delivered. Our small town Domino's folk know us by name and our quirky preferences: Thin slice with Canadian bacon, well-done. It's the well-done part that's quirky, and a reaffirmation that Brian and I were destined for each other.

A couple of years ago, this same pizzeria mistakenly charred our pizza and delivered it anyway. We didn't discover the blackened contents until the driver, tip in hand, was nothing but dim taillights zooming in the distance. Well, we dug in anyway and discovered we liked the added crispiness. We've ordered our pizzas well-done ever since.

The past few times our delivery person has been a Nate Holdberg. He hails from someplace in Michigan and is currently stationed at Pendleton Marine Base, which is nearby. Technically, Fallbrook should be considered a military town because of its proximity to the base, but it isn't. I don't think the military can afford Fallbrook. Shoot (no pun intended), we hardly can!

The first time Nate delivered our pizza, Brian and I had a cat-spittin' fight. I rued the fact that the young man had to moonlight with pizza deliveries. "For the love of God," I hissed, "he's about to leave for Iraq, very maybe die for you and me, and the government can't pay him enough and he has to deliver our flippin' well-done pizzas!" Brian's mind is tightly wired to the tenet that an abundance of work is good no matter who you are. "But he's going to Iraq!" I continued to yowl. (I am always the loud one in our fights.) After a long row, we finally silenced ourselves with no resolution, and ate our cold pizza.

Nate is preparing to leave for Iraq in a few days. When he lands he will be working in a division that tends to telephones and switchboards. After 14 months he is re-upping to join the EOD (Explosive Ordnance Disposal). His choice is beyond my comprehension. He's so young. His big toothy smile never left his face. It was the first time I've been addressed "Ma'am" and wasn't offended. He's clearly so proud to be a Marine and to be serving his country. I weep this very moment to remember his enthusiasm. I hate the war. I love all the Nate Holdbergs.

This time Brian and I didn't fight - who needs another war? Besides, we were filled with so much goodwill for Nate, pumping his hand with good wishes, safekeeping. I regret restraining the urge to throw my arms around him with a hug.

After he left, we were quieted by our own thoughts for this young man - the peril he is embracing with pride. We ate our perfectly charred pizza in silence. He delivered much more than pizza.

He leaves Pendleton on 2/8. He lands in Iraq on 2/11. To whomever you pray, keep Nate Holdberg close. Keep all the Nate Holdbergs close.

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