Sunday. Daylight comes bright and sunny, but at 45°F it is still too cold for sitting out on the porch and irritating the cardinals. So, I content myself with coffee at the PC and watch the day unfold outside the window as I sip my coffee.
The press ghouls flock to New Zealand and ignore even worse tragedies in Africa and the Middle East. Killings continue apace in Chicago unheralded. But I guess it gives them a welcome break from President bashing. Onward to the next bright bauble of horror.
Snooks is happily dashing about getting the house ready for guests, even making a pass thru my cluttered studio with her dusting rag. She normally gives the studio a wide berth, other than to tend to the angry budgie each morning.
So many jobs await me … get at least one mower running. Put house numbers on mailbox. New battery for Bucephalus. The time flies by, but I resist doing something. First the coffee. Then the chores …
My last goodbye … maybe
I was reading a post by my online friend, Mz T, as I refer to her. She has gone into a nursing home as the insults of aging have caught up with her and it became increasingly difficult for her to tend to herself. That reality isn’t far from me, though no one gets to choose the time or circumstances of their enfeebleness and death. I have been reading the patriarchs in the Bible who would call their children in to bless them before they died and thought to myself how cool that would be. When it is time, do your housecleaning, lay down and fold your hands over your chest and go to sleep.
But I’ll most likely make my grand exit from a low budget nursing home with indifferent caregivers and no family. Not that I deserve or plan on having my family around when that happens. My path in life wasn’t so family oriented. Snooks may be around if she is still mobile, but who knows? Her plan is to beat me to the door, but I am not so sure I will let her.
Mz T got me to thinking that I had better prepare myself for that time of abandonment. Once those doors close, Lethe vapors chill of forgetfulness begin to seep through the cracks in the floors and I’ll be forgotten by family and friends. I am not resentful that in time I’ll be another footnote in someone’s genealogy. My time came, and it went. At least all this sounds good on paper, but the proof is in the living and dying. I hope I can prepare myself for that time.
I have always felt that everyone essentially dies alone, even when surrounded by family and friends. It is a solitary path and there are no visible markers. Will I sleep? Will I wake in paradise? If there is an afterlife, will those whom I have terribly wronged forgive me? It will not matter. I cannot command death to stop.
I have had a rich and full life, though there were moments that I am not very proud of. I think the loneliness is the hard part. In spite of my crust, I am not a total isolationist. I need some interaction even if it is only online. Y’all aren’t going to be there, even those of you who have good intentions. And I’ll wonder about you, and I’ll wonder about Snookums. And I’ll wonder about the mutts. And what happened to my car. And my home. To you, it just vanishes. To me, I wonder, then draw that final breath.
When I sat down to write this, I was intending to work out in my mind how I was going to discipline myself when that time came, but perhaps there isn’t a discipline for that. One turns their head to the far horizon, and the voices nearby fade. Perhaps that is why the day begin to flit by when you age, and by the time that the Master calls you home, the time is shortened and you don’t notice the long passage.
But I assure you, I am not sad. I do not need to be comforted …
… save that for my anger at the mechanic that did a crappy job repairing my lawn mower …
Wispy fingers of ground fog laces its way through the trees and bushes this morning. The warming trend continues, and we will reach 70° today, but with more rain. But the morning lows are still in the mid 40’s, so no porch sitting yet. Not wanting to curse the rain, we just sigh. We go from dreadful floods to depressing droughts at the drop of a Stetson hat here. A dry day or two would be welcome relief, however.
Trump is in Viet Nam today and has been wildly successful in bringing North Korea into the world community. This doesn’t please his detractors at all, and the news is full of ominous warnings from the same people who said we had to accept Kim sailing nuclear capable missiles over Japan.
House Democrats pass a ton of legislation that has no chance of passing both houses in a cynical attempt to show how relevant they are. Relevant would be to find out those areas that both sides could agree are good for the citizenry, and pass those. But no. It aint gonna happen.
And locally, some developers want to change the law that prevents developers from sitting on the water board. Of course, they are concerned about the water, and not their developments. Yep …
So now that I am informed, I can enjoy a second filling of coffee …
There she was, in the gloom forlornly standing on the rainy street corner looking like Lee Remick in the closing scenes of the movie Days of Wine and Roses. Well, maybe not exactly like Lee Remick. But you get the idea.
“I didn’t think I would ever see you again.”
I could almost see the tears in the darkness. Sometimes she is quite good at emotions. A regular Meryl Streep she is.
I shrugged, “I just didn’t feel like writing.”
“You don’t have to protect me. I know when I have been ghosted.” She replied passionately.
I was a bit surprised at the term. “Ghosted? Oh, you mean the post-millennial term to just disappear from a relationship without any explanations! I didn’t do that. I was just busy.”
“Busy is just the blow off excuse when a ghoster gets busted.” She snapped back.
“I have been distracted. I just haven’t had the desire to write until now.” I mumbled.
She laughed dryly and sneered, “You just got to the end of the YouTube sawmill videos.”
“Well, you can only watch so many sawmill videos before you know all you want to know about them. Besides, I am watching carpentry and cooking videos now.” I said, lamely trying to cover the obvious score.
Sensing she was on a roll, she pressed on. “You cook three meals a week, and never cook anything that takes more than fifteen minutes to prepare.”
“Hey! It is still cooking!” I shot back, still smarting.
“Yeah, and you’ve earned Snookums undying gratitude for sharing the chore. When are you going to start cleaning up afterwards too, hero?”
She was really going now, but it was time to stop this attack and I brought out the heavy artillery. Job descriptions.
“When did you become Snooks voice? I need a muse, not a guilty conscience!” I demanded.
She backed off slightly, changed her tone and replied, “All you needed to use me is go to work.”
“I haven’t us…” I said, beginning my counter attack.
“… watch it, buster, this is going on the family pages.”
She had me there. Refilling my coffee cup and composing myself, I started again.
“Writing shouldn’t be work!”
“Can you name one writer who believed that?” She asked.
“Well, no. But that doesn’t mean it should be work.” I answered, but I knew she made the final score …
Jenna and ‘Becca, the Rat Killers
Shabbat morning arrives with misty rains and grey skies. Interesting night last night. Went to bed before Snookums and woke to her yell of disgust from the bathroom … apparently a young roof-rat found its way into the bathroom.
As the official pest control department in this household, it was my duty to drag my sleepy body out of bed and deal with a healthy young rat. I called for Tic to come and help me, but he was confused by my invitation and sat on the bed looking at me quizzically.
But it was Jenna, the bathroom escort, that came to my aid. She cornered the rat, then expertly backed off a small amount to give it an escape route, and when he took it, she had him. *chomp! *shake! Then she released him to see if he was still alive … he was, so another comp and shake finished the job.
About that time, ‘Becca da Beagle arrived, and picked him up and carried him out. Good thing, because once he was dispatched, Jenna had no further interest in him. ‘Becca took him out to the living room, and poked and prodded him to make sure he was lifeless, but I really didn’t want to watch a Beagle dine on a rat, so into the dustpan, out the back door, and a long pitch over the fence where the wildlife could enjoy a meal.
I am sure glad for the dogs … if I didn’t have them, my 12 gauge would have been the chosen method of dispatching a rat. It’s real hard on the house, though.
This morning, Jenna kept trying to kiss my face, and was confused when I drew back. I knew where that mouth had been … *shudder!
Things return to normal quickly, however. I forgot to buy potatoes, so I made poached eggs on toast and turkey link sausage this morning. Canned pears for the juice. My culinary friends probably quiver in horror over using ersatz ingredients, but I just wasn’t up to growing my own pears and slaughtering my own turkeys.
Later this week will entail a close inspection of the bathroom to see how a rat got in …
So it is back to the studio. Praise music is on the puck for the day, and to keep the bird happy.
Wisps of ground fog threads its way between the trees this Shabbat morning. The nights are beginning to warm and the days will soon flow into springtime. Still, it is a chilly dawn that seeps in past the curtains and pulls warmth from the skin. Sips of hot coffee pushes back the chilly fingers as we await the sun to push aside the mists and light up the land.
One internet friend recovers in the hospital, and another recovers from a double whammy at home. Yet another recovers by cooking. And another chronicles her entry into a retirement community. Chicago boasts that it only had twenty murders in January. And a chef and restaurant owner apologizes for excluding people because of the color of their hat.
But in my world, all the news is like reading about a foreign land. I no longer recognize my old homeland. A generation has arisen that has no memory of what it used to be like. It is truly a cursed generation that will be the vanguard of woes to come. But like Neville Chamberlain and King Hezekiah, it is enough that there is peace in my time though fierce men wait in the wings.