I had a horrendous day at school as part of the thesis defense committee for twelve defenses. Finally at 3:30 I was able to get my worn out mind home to strip beds and throw linens in the wash.
As I was unlocking our door, I could not help but notice that our neighbor across the way had his doors open as well as the windows on the doors. He had been busy working on stripping his windows and doors for the last couple of weeks, so the thought that he was still working on them occurred to me.
I keep the window on our door open in clement weather, so each time I passed could see his doors were still open, but no sign of him. By 7pm, I started to get concerned. When 8pm came and the doors were still open, it struck me as more than unusual for him. By 9:30, I was convinced he was on the floor somewhere in his apartment after a heart attack or stroke. He is a bit too old to be my father, but a bit too young to be my grandfather; one of those in-between ages.
Using Google Translator, I typed out “I was concerned about your health because I noticed your door has been open since I arrived home at 3pm”. I copied it and pasted it in Word to print out. Just to save time, I modified it for the neighbor alerting her to the fact that he was MIA. I has a plan and a contingency plan.
Printed out, note in hand, I went to his door reluctantly. If he were alive and well, I did not know what the reception would be like. He came to the door after a few moments. I handed him the note. After he read it, he thanked me a dozen times, and then with body language and Hungarian, I realized he had varnished the doors. He was keeping them open to dry. Clearly he was overwhelmed by my concern. He kept putting his hand to his heart as he thanked me with a huge smile.