Case II: Passion, Physical Therapy and Profit
Case II: Chapter 1: An Offer He Couldn’t Refuse
If Dudley were being honest with himself, he knew that living alone was not the best for him. There were too many memories of happier times in that home and it was important for him to move on with his life. His wife, Margarita, would have wanted that way. He knew that becoming actively involved with Isabella Duncan in the operation and future planning for La Vida Aureo was the mental stimulation he needed. He also had to admit that he really enjoyed helping Garcia solve the murder of the Maintenance Man. He prided himself in his problem solving abilities and he found that mystery exciting.
As he was nearing retirement with the state, he thought about starting a second career but never was able to settle on an alternative that appealed to him. This situation at La Vida Aureo might just be what he had been searching for and being in Albuquerque did have some advantages. Despite the fact that that they probably were curmudgeons, he did have some longtime friends in town and he would enjoy being able to be with them more often.
He wanted to think this situation through more thoroughly and had always found that being outdoors helped to clear his mind. He believed that he made better decisions than if he were sitting at a desk trying to think. Another advantage of being in Albuquerque was the proximity to the Sandia Mountains and the many trails that were readily available.
But first, Dudley needed to go to the kitchen to seek advice of Paloma Angostura. He found her busily preparing lunch for the main dining room. “Señora Angostura, I have an important decision to make and would like to discuss it with you.”
“Señor Dudley, I am honored and would be happy to talk with you but right now I am preparing lunch. Please come back at 2:00 o’clock and we can spend the afternoon talking.”
Dudley would have preferred to go for a long walk to think, but had to settle for sitting on a bench in the shade of a large Navajo willow tree in the far eastern section of the extensive grounds.
When Dudley returned to the kitchen, Paloma suggested he sit at a small table in the corner where they could talk in quiet. He was only mildly surprised when she placed in large plate of carne adovada in front of him. The young girl Maria came to his table with a large smile on her face and a stack of fresh tortillas in her hand.
“Gracias, muchas gracias, Maria” Dudley said in his halting, poorly pronounced Spanish. “You are too kind. And Señora Angostura, I cannot decide whether this is flattery or bribery. It was a situation almost identical to this that got me to move to New Mexico permanently, but that is the story for another time. Today I seek your advice about accepting Señora Duncan’s offer to live here permanently and become the Maintenance Man for the entire La Vida Aureo complex.”
“Ah, Señora Isabella mentioned this to me and asked me to encourage you to accept her most gracious offer. I believe you could be of great service to this place as well as to her. For my part, I believe you and I have many things to talk about and it would be much easier if you were here.”
The next morning, Dudley made an appointment to call Isabella Duncan and accept her offer. He knew it was the right decision. There were so many positive aspects of living here and he felt he could make a positive contribution. “Ms. Duncan, I’ve considered your offer to work as Handyman and am looking forward to working with you in the future planning of this facility. But first, I need to settle my affairs in Cerrillos. And my doctor has insisted I complete my physical therapy program.”
“Mr. Dudley, or Doc, I am thrilled that you made that decision and look forward to a long and mutually beneficial relationship with you. I will work with you to expedite resolving your affairs in Cerrillos. I know a real estate agent who specializes in that area and she should be able to help you sell your home quickly.”
“If you think you’re up to it, there are a number of small repair jobs that need attention at your earliest convenience. They are mostly minor plumbing issues, such as leaky faucets in some of the individual independent living units on the west side of the property. I can give you more details when you’re ready to start.”