JULY BLUES AND SUNRISE ON THE VERNAL EQUINOX – Marilyn Armstrong

July Blues and the Sky at Dawn – Vernal Equinox 

It was dawn on the day of the Vernal Equinox and I had not closed the shades. I usually do, but I forgot. When I woke up, it looked as if the room was on fire. The blue sky turned deep red and violet before finally, the sun came up. It was the most amazing sunrise I’ve ever seen. My friend called me to ask: “Did you see that sunrise this morning? It was amazing!”

Dawn – Vernal Equinox

And I keep a camera in the bedroom, just for this kind of event. I can only get these amazing sunrises before the leaves come out. After that, the trees hide the sky.

JULY AND THE BLUES AGAIN … Marilyn Armstrong

Clapboard Steeple against a summer blue sky

This color sky is a summertime only sky. In the winter, we get more of a marine blue that has a hint of green. Almost turquoise. This deep, almost navy blue is from June through August. When it doesn’t rain, of course.

In September, it changes slightly and the sun has a more amber tone to it and the sky is just a tiny bit golden — the perfect time to take portraits. Everyone looks wonderful in the golden light of Autumn.

But this is full summer and the gold waits in the wings of the future.

Square steeple against a deep blue sky

And yes, in case you are wondering, I am constantly watching for the colors of the sun and sky. If you change where you live, the colors change again. In Israel, the sun was a brilliant yellow in a turquoise sky. Almost blinding it was so bright.

SOMETHING TO GO WITH YOUR COFFEE? – Marilyn Armstrong

Doughnuts are not good for me. Or you. We know that. No matter how you slice and dice it, those yummy fresh-from-the-oven treats are nothing but fat, carbohydrates, and sugar, probably with a dollop of artificial flavoring. But gee golly whiz, there’s nothing like a couple of warm crullers and a freshly brewed cuppa joe on a frosty morning. Or, if you’re me, any morning.

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I love my morning coffee. Much as I complain about the problems of getting old and being poor, retirement has a few perks. The biggest and most obvious is not having to go to work, not having to put up with the idiocies of bosses who know less about the job than the newest intern and base their impossible demands on a spreadsheet.

The other big perk is time. You don’t have to gulp your coffee in the car on the way to the office. Or drink horrible machine coffee in the office. You can brew your own, sit in a comfortable chair with the morning paper, a book, laptop or tablet and savor the experience.

Doughnuts are an extension of this top of the morning experience. As tasty as ever, you can enjoy them with your own or boughten coffee. Locally, the coffee and donuts emporium of choice has always been Dunkin Donuts. Unlike Starbucks whose “dark roasted beans” is a code for “burned coffee,” and whose donuts are clearly not fresh, Dunkin Donuts coffee is mm-mm good and the doughnuts are just out of the oven — at least until 3 in the afternoon.

A couple of times over the past year, in a fit of gustatory nostalgia, Garry picked up a small box of donuts from Dunkin’s to ramp up the quality of our morning coffee experience.

The first time I could barely contain my excitement. As I reached for a second forbidden but delicious doughnut, I discovered it was guarded by a militant-looking cockroach of considerable heft. One of the big ones who is obviously daring you to “bring it on.”

I took the whole box of donuts, roach and all, and dumped them in the trash. As far as I know, we don’t have roaches here. We have ants in season (like now, for example). Mosquitoes the size of sparrows and hungrier than sharks. Slugs and beetles of all kinds in the gardens and who knows what in the woods … but no cockroaches. So I fondly hoped this was an aberration. Surely our local Dunkin Donuts was not packaging cockroaches with the doughnuts? Tell me it ain’t so!

 

When Garry asked what happened to the donuts, I made some lame excuse like having knocked them off the counter and the dogs getting to them. Garry is a brave man, but he has two phobias: snakes and cockroaches. Both knock the Semper Fi right out of him. I chose to spare him the trauma.

Operating under the optimistic assumption that Dunkin Donuts wouldn’t, couldn’t, shouldn’t include cockroaches with their mouth-watering confections, I encouraged him to pick up a second batch a few weeks later.

I ate a couple of doughnuts. Garry ate a couple of doughnuts. And standing in the box guarding the remaining Boston Creme and Honey Raised, was General Cockroach. I think he had an anti-aircraft weapon strapped to his carapace.

I carried the box and its occupant to the trash. This time, though, I told Garry. He needed to know lest he spontaneously purchases a box of fresh donuts on his way home.

After Garry stopped shivering and muttering “I hate those things,” we agreed we’d take a pass on future purchases from our local emporium. There are plenty of other doughnut shops in town.  In fact, the only shops of which our town has more than enough are hairdressers and doughnut shops.

For some reason, we’ve lost our taste for doughnuts. I don’t think either of us has eaten one since.

Odd, isn’t it?

FORGIVE ME LEST I NEVER SLEEP AGAIN – Marilyn Armstrong

FOWC with Fandango — Forgive

I didn’t sleep at all last night. I don’t mean I slept restlessly. I mean I was awake the entire night. It was a variety of physical issues. As soon as I got one problem settled down, another popped up.

There are nights like this. Fortunately, not often.

Back in the day, it didn’t bother me very much unless I had a particularly difficult day at work. I’m getting too old to go a whole night without sleep. I’ve got stuff to do. Maybe I can send Garry can pick up a few things and we can defer this for one more day? Pick up a pizza for dinner?

It’s a sunny day! Not a bird was in the sky!

It started when I got to bed very late. Why? Because I was trying to read and respond to blogs — at least to the blogs for the people I consider online friends. I didn’t get to everyone, but at least I managed to get a bunch of them done. Everything else? Deleted. It’s in the Reader. Maybe I’ll find a free hour. Maybe.

My body has shifted all its daytime stuff to the middle of the night. Lots of trips to the bathroom make it hard to settle down — and that’s not the only thing. Everyone else does that stuff during the day. Me? Middle of the night which sometimes makes deep sleep treacherous. I had a reminder list rolling through my head, too. Call the Senior Center to make an appointment to get taxes done. Their times fill up quickly because it’s a free service from the AARP, something I appreciate with all my heart. I have never been any good at doing taxes, not in my entire tax-paying life.

The bright window

And then my legs cramped. I wrapped them in heating pads and after an hour or so, they stopped trying to curl up in weird knots. It’s strange to watch them when they do that. The tendons stand out and the feet curl upwards. It means I’m not drinking enough stuff with electrolytes in it.

Whenever I felt sleepy, my body did something inconvenient and occasionally, painful. My chest, which is still loose and crunches when I move, was particularly crunchy last night. My acid reflux was refluxing like mad because I’ve been trying to take fewer antacids, but my gut doesn’t agree. I think it is never going to get on that bandwagon.

Flowering Christmas Cactus

That I didn’t get into bed until well after 2 in the morning probably didn’t help. If I stay up late enough, I wake up. I am most sleepy around 2 in the afternoon. After I overcome that drowsiness, I get more and more wakeful, so by midnight when Garry is toddling off to bed, I’m ready to party. Well, you know. Not really party hearty, but my version of partying which mostly involves computers and writing and processing photographs. At least after night falls, I stop taking pictures.

So day rolled around again and it’s a beautiful one. Relatively warm with sunshine and blue skies.  The coffee is brewing. I know in an hour, I’ll be ready to crash.

Somehow, night and day have flipped around and that circadian rhythm has gone totally askew. My body thinks night is for doing stuff and except for the 2pm sleepy time, I never seem quite ready for sleep. This didn’t bother me much when I was young. I slept very little and it was okay. I could handle a day’s work on three or four hours of sleep, but as the years have advanced, I need sleep or I’m a train wreck.

At least I figure I’ll sleep tonight. In the recliner and in bed. I think I have a solid 12 hours of sleep waiting for me. I sure hope so. Time to call the Senior Center. Well, not quite yet. in another half hour. Meanwhile, coffee anyone?

A QUINTESSENTIAL NIGHT – Marilyn Armstrong

A quintessential night and I’m too tired to hold my eyes open.

The quintessential night. My back hurt when I got into bed. I hurt slightly less when I turned on my left side but a few hours later the dull, throbbing ache had moved from quintessential to OWWWWW.

Photo: Garry Armstrong

Only one thing helps and that’s moving the bed into an almost sitting position, taking much more aspirin than I should, a couple of tranquilizers (to get the muscles to calm down) and passing out for a couple of hours. I was really counting on NO phone calls and NO visitors. Lucky me. None showed up and Garry, one of the rare moments in our lives, got up before me.

Parked cars

By the time I got up, other than being zonked from an OD of over-the-counter medications, I was not screaming in pain. I wonder how much longer I can go like this?

Quick trip to the grocery. Frozen pizza for dinner. I was in no mood for cooking.

And it’s probably time for a new mattress. It has been 15 years and even a latex foam mattress grows weary.

The problem is, I’m weary. Trying to avoid getting whiny about it, as a life, this sort of sucks. Between the fibromyalgia, arthritis, heart, and a general sense of decrepitude, this is the quintessential stage when all the things that are wrong with me gang up and say “GOTCHA!”

I’m sure by this afternoon, I’ll be in a better place. Or maybe tomorrow. But right now, on a day that is the first cool and comfortable one in weeks, I HURT.

Just saying. And I really need to spend an hour in the grocery store, too. That will probably help. I may not want to do it, but going out and doing something helps. I hate the process, but the results are usually (overall) pretty good.

FLUMMOXED AGAIN – Marilyn Armstrong

Flummoxed by Life, Rain, and Dawgz

It’s a great literary word and I love what it means. To be completely (pardon the expression) bamboozled. Stunned. Lost in the complexity. Wandering mentally aimless. Made mentally woolly by the ghosts of the past.


”Naked and alone we came into exile,” Thomas Wolfe wrote. ”In her dark womb we did not know our mother’s face; from the prison of her flesh have we come into the unspeakable and incommunicable prison of this earth. . . . Which of us has not remained forever prison-pent? Which of us is not forever a stranger and alone?”


And then he said … and he repeated it throughout the book: “Lost, o lost. Ghost, come back again.” By which he was remembering his dead brother.

I read this book– all of his books, actually — when I was 14 and 15. Those were my serious reading years.  Wolfe really spoke to me. “Look Homeward, Angel” was nearly 1000 pages of poetry. I don’t think I’d get through the first chapter today. My taste for poetry has withered on its vine. Even so, a really good poem grabs me by the heart.

A beautiful poem isn’t just words. It’s a cry to your soul and all of “Look Homeward, Angel” was a soul’s cry.

Duke on a rainy day

The thing that makes me bring up a book I haven’t read for nearly 60 years was that the main character in all of Wolfe’s books — especially his three early ones — was permanently flummoxed. The world meant little to him. He was never clear on where the boundaries between real and ghostly began or ended.

Gibbs

That’s how I felt then and sometimes today. It’s not dementia. That’s when I can’t remember a perfectly simple word because it has flown my mental coop and I have to find it on Google (how could I survive without Google?) … or just write around it until later when the word just shows up. Like a lost kitten who was hiding under the bed, the word looks at me and says: “What’s your problem? I was just under the bed. Didn’t you look there?”

This morning it was raining so hard I thought there was a strong wind blowing. I looked outside and realized the trees were shaking from the weight of water falling on them.

Gibbs was never housebroken. He got here, doped out where shit went and proceeded to become housebroken. Unless it rains. None of our three dogs likes rain, but Gibbs truly loathes it.

Snow? Not a problem. Cold? No worries. Light rain? Can handle that.


“HEAVY RAIN?
You want ME to go out THERE?
You go out. I’m home until it stops.”


Gibbs had already left a load for me in the kitchen, right next to the trash can. He’s very neat that way and never goes for a rug or anything soft. I threw the dogs out. Gibbs lay down in front of the doggy door and went limp. I had to lift his front end, push it out the door, then lift his butt (which seems to be growing) and pushed it out, too. Then I locked the door while I cleaned the kitchen and gave them fresh water.

They stood in front of the house. Dripping. Looking at me. Daggers to my heart. I let them back in, went to the bathroom and came back. Gibbs had saved a pile to remind me he is a proud, stubborn terrier. Amazingly, he also looked guilty and has spent the rest of the morning giving me his best “sad-eyed” look.  He knows he has done wrong, but if it rains like this again, guilt will not change him. At 11-years-old, this is not a dog with a lot of “give” in his nature. Much love, but little flexibility.

I could have gotten up earlier and tossed them out. I was tired. The bed was warm. Excuses, excuses.

I wasn’t flummoxed. I was tired, warm, and cozy — the lethal “stay in bed” potion. Pushing reluctant dogs out a dog door wasn’t on my list of “things I wanted to do.”

Life keeps getting livelier and I don’t understand how two long-since retired people could get so godawful busy this late in life. Life never seems to go where we want it to do, though sometimes —  maybe even often — it does something more strange, but better.

TRACES OF THE PAST YEAR 4 – MAY 2018 – Marilyn Armstrong

THURSDAY’S SPECIAL: TRACES OF THE PAST Y4-05

This time, it’s something old, in color.

Lacking cathedrals and mansions, we’ll have to settle for just old things. Like me?

Okay, not me.

Something else, but what? How about the old mansions along the dock in Rockport, Massachusetts. This picture was taken at sunrise on July 4th, at five in the morning.

Old houses along the dock in Rockport, Massachusetts

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INERTIA – IT’S HOW WE START THE DAY – Marilyn Armstrong

Inertia – For which the counterpoint are Dogs

I had a really bizarre dream about dogs and being somewhere else with one of them and realizing I had a cat at home and had not arranged for anyone to take care of him. I called my son and he seemed unsure about that other cat, probably because we don’t currently have any cats but actually have three dogs. Eventually, I woke up because the aforementioned three dogs were throwing themselves at the bedroom door.

Inertia will keep me right where I am. In bed. I don’t really need to get up today. Garry needs to get up, but I don’t have anything urgent to do, not counting what I’m doing right now (writing), starting the coffee up … and giving treats to the dogs.

If I don’t get up and give a cookie to the dogs, they will break through the door and Duke will be standing on Garry’s chest, slobbering on his face. Remarkably, Garry has less sense of humor about this than he did 25 years ago. Back then it was pretty funny.

It was only 8:30 when I woke up screaming. It wasn’t screaming because the dream was so bad. I was screaming because I’d twisted one leg and it really hurt and both my arms were asleep. I had to go to the bathroom which was complicated by two arms that wouldn’t work — dead to the world — and one twisted leg.

Yet I managed to go back to sleep for one more hour. Because 8:30 is too early for me to get up unless someone gives me a good reason. That is no doubt why the phone range promptly at 9:30. Dentist. Monday. Reminder.

I knew there was something on Monday. I thought it was getting Bonnie clipped, but it turned out that’s on Friday and Monday really IS the dentist.

Should I get up? Inertia was mumbling in my ear. “Don’t do it. It’s a cruel trap. You can get at least another hour in bed.”

Between the single bad dream, my twisted body, I’d turned off the A/C and really needed to turn it back on … and anyway, I have a computer next to the bed … I decided to just take a peak at the computer. It’s the secondary part of the morning inertia thing.

At this point, it is already 10:30. Garry showed no signs of stirring. This is not unusual. He used to get up every morning at one or two. For everyone else, that’s the middle of the night. For him, it was the beginning of the day because he was on The Earliest Show and he needed to be curried, combed, and dressed for television. Now, he wears stretchy pants and something on top, depending on weather and if he has plans to do anything beyond petting dogs.

I shouted in his better ear that he had a thing at CVS. He needs to get a meningitis vaccination so he can have his cochlear implant. Apparently when they cut holes in your head, meningitis is a bad thing to get. I have had viral meningitis and I can tell you that it gives you a headache that is like every other headache you have ever had and all the rest you will ever have in the future in a single headache so horrendous that your eyes roll around in your head and can’t focus. Blinking hurts. Did I mention the nausea and the rash?

Anyway, what with the nature of this surgery, he gets vaccinated. I’ve had the disease so I don’t need no stinking vaccination. I’ve got antibodies. Also, no one is cutting holes in my head. At least, no one told me about it.

By now, the door is straining. Bowing. They aren’t huge dogs, but you add them together and they amount to more than 100 pounds of power pup.

“I’m COMING,” I said. “I’m on my way. Calm your paws, you little furry monsters.” All that did was get them more excited.

“She spoke!” they barked. “She’s ALIVE. She’s coming!”

In retribution for my slow appearance this morning, one of them ate the instructions for the new router. Good I already installed and registered it, eh?

And so our prompt free week begins with a new prompt from Fandango. The word of the day is inertia. It isn’t only a word. It is a lifestyle

Why do only humans feel getting up is so urgent? Unless you have to report to work, one hour is as good as any other hour, right? The dogs have even less to do than me, unless getting me into the kitchen is their version of a job.


Since this is new, here are instructions and they are pretty simple:

Welcome to June 1, 2018 and the inauguration of Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (aka, FOWC). It’s designed for those of us who are suffering from withdrawal after WordPress bailed on its daily one-word prompt.

I will be posting each day’s word just after midnight Pacific Time (US).

Today’s word is “inertia.” Write a post using that word. It can be prose, poetry, fiction, non-fiction. It can be any length. It can be just a picture or a drawing if you want. No holds barred, so to speak.

Once you are done, tag your post with #FOWC and click on the Mister Linky thingie below and then visit others who have participated. (This is my first time trying Mister Linky and I hope it works. If it doesn’t, let me know in the comments.)

I will be writing my own response to this prompt in a separate post, so be sure to look for that.

RUINED BY RETIREMENT – Marilyn Armstrong

Not all bad dreams are nightmares. I have dreams which are bad because they’re too close to reality for psychic comfort.

First up in last night’s doubleheader, I dreamed I urgently needed a shower. Okay, fine, soon as I get up, I promised my unconscious. Sheesh. It’s not that bad … is it?

The next round of REM sleep informed me I couldn’t fit into my jeans. That got me so upset I vowed if it turned out to be true, I would end it all by jumping head first into the bathtub off my shower chair. If that didn’t work, I’d have to get a new pair of jeans.

I tried waking up, then going back to sleep. Maybe it would shake off the dreams … but it didn’t work.

Photo: Garry Armstrong

Leaving me feeling grubby with unbearably tight blue jeans. Was worse yet to come?

I decided not to lie around waiting for an answer I might not like. Dragging my reluctant body from the comfortable bed, I went straight for the dresser and pulled out my jeans. Shucking my nightgown, I stepped into them and discovered — oh joy! — they fit perfectly.

I would have done a victory dance, but I first needed to give cookies to starving puppies, start the coffee, and hit the shower. Today, I’m going to wear those jeans until I remember if I’m just going to sit around the house, I might as well go for something loose and stretchy.

Photo: Garry Armstrong

Vanity and fashion have lost their power over me. Instead, it’s easy-to-launder, resistant to dog hair, and comfortable. Every time. I still think about putting on make-up, just to prove I can make myself look nice if I try …  can’t think of a reason. Garry genuinely doesn’t care. Unless someone is taking pictures and I don’t have a camera in front of it, it seems pointless and anyway, I’d only have to wash it off later.

Retirement has ruined me. Yet somehow, I love it. Retirement is good that way.

A RAINY DAY WITH DOGS

It’s pouring. Again. Cold, too. Like yesterday and so many other days this spring. 

Our dogs do not like rain. They are fine in snow and a drizzly rain is not an issue. The downpours, though? They don’t like them, not one little bit. Normally, they are solidly housebroken, but when the rain is coming down in torrents, they will look for a place to go. They prefer hardwood or linoleum, for which I thank them. No rugs or furniture. They mess up, but they are tidy about it.

Figuring out when they will need to do their business is our business. Being Senior Citizens, we have a fairly frequent early morning bathroom schedule of our own, so it’s not like we are deep in sleep and can’t make it to the other part of the house.

I woke up at 4:30, but that’s too early. No point in sending them out. I may be awake, but they are sound asleep. They won’t be awake until the light comes up. I do my thing and go back to sleep, awakening an hour later.

Five thirty. It’s light. Morning again. Pouring rain out there. I can see it running down the back stairs from the deck like little rivers. I go out to the living room. “Good morning, kids,” I say, looking pretty perky for that early in the day. “How do we feel about going out?”

The look at me. Dead eyes. Not even an ear twitch and certainly not a wag in sight. “You have to go out.” Bonnie — in slow motion — gets off the sofa and stands in the middle of the living room staring me down. She isn’t going anywhere until I give her appropriately firm (and loud) instruction to do it. Gibbs, on the other hand, has dug himself between the cushions on the loveseat and he is using his super-power to become a fifty pound Scottish Terrier.

“Gibbs,” I say, “I mean it. Go out.” He digs in further.

Over at the couch, without a lot of sympathy (too early for sympathy), I grab the collar, give it a tug. Now they are both on the floor. At the top of the stairs. Awaiting further orders.

“OUT!” I say. Down they go. Bonnie, just a few steps. Gibbs, to the entry hall at the bottom. Then they stare at me. We’ve got a doggy door and they are in and out of it hundreds of times every day. They know what I want. They KNOW. No one can tell me they are unaware of the process in motion,.

“OUT!!” I say, but louder this time. Gibbs makes a graceful exit, but Bonnie is still staring at me, mutiny clearly on her mind.

“Bonnie … ” I say. There’s the warning note that all children and dogs recognize. A mom is getting pissed off. She backs up towards the flap.

“BONNIE, DAMN YOU, GO OUT!” and very slowly, she turns around and finally lets herself out. I wait.

Ten minutes, two soggy dogs return. My first thought would be to dry them off, but I realize that they don’t care how wet they are. They expect payment and they get it. At which point I make a u-turn and go back to bed. I have a couple of hours of sleep awaiting me. Garry is on the next watch.

A couple of hours later, maybe around eightish? Garry is up and the process is repeated. Treats are given, Garry’s back in bed, digging in for a solid couple of hours. There’s no reason to get up. It’s cold and wet and in theory, the sun is up, but you couldn’t tell by looking out the windows.

Big, fat drops are drooling out of the solid gray sky. The dogs are probably back to sleeping too.

About an hour later, I hear growling and a pair of woofs. Bonnie has the deeper woof. The growl is Gibbs. They have gotten bored waiting for us and are destroying some toys. I listen to make sure they aren’t warning me of a delivery, but all I hear are more play sounds. By now, though, I’m pretty much awake and although I don’t want to do it, I might as well get up. I could use some hot coffee. And an English muffin. With ginger curd. It’s just like lemon curd, but derived from ginger. Don’t sneer at it unless you’ve tried it. Chivers is good but I favor MacKay, probably because I can buy it in the supermarket.

It’s still pouring while I brush my teeth. I hear the horn of a truck honk twice and wonder if it’s a delivery, so I hustle to look, but if there was a delivery, they’ve left by now. It’s a bit early for that. We are at the end of everybody’s run, so typically, we don’t see packages or mail until well after lunchtime. But the dogs are waiting for me.

I go to clean up Bonnie’s eye (she has a condition of unknown origin that requires daily cleaning and eye drops), but it looks perfect and shiny and clean. I wonder if maybe Garry took care of it when he was up (no, he didn’t). I give them Greenies, then a brown crunchy thing. Yum.  No idea why they like them … they are dry and tasteless. Finally one of those small stuff crunchies from Milk Bone.

Now, Garry’s up too, so they snag an additional cookie from him. That’s a big morning for cookies. Very big.

They are looking adorable, natty, and peppy. Time for a little play with toys, a bit of snuffling, growling, barking, huffing, puffing. Followed by a good solid sleep. Nothing much to do until the going out thing comes again.

Maybe the rain will slacken. The sky seems a bit lighter. Garry says has to drive into town, too. We’re running low on dog biscuits.

ANY MORNING

WordPress Daily Post Photo Challenge | ANY MORNING


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Our house is set with the bedroom side of the house — which also includes the kitchen and dining room — facing (mostly) east with a nice piece of north.

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It’s why we catch the sunrise all through the winter and spring, but later, when the leaf canopy covers the woods and our house, only the shafts of sunlight show as they sneak their way through the branches.

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This was a strange year, when the gypsy moth caterpillars defoliated every hardwood tree in our woods. The leaves are back, but a much lighter green than normal this late in the summer.

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I love my house in morning light. The brightness of the kitchen. The way sun filters to the deck, casting shadows from the rails.

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I participate in WordPress' Weekly Photo Challenge 2016

I participate in WordPress’ Weekly Photo Challenge 2016

SLOWLY IN THE MORNING

Morning. Too early. It doesn’t matter what time it is, it is always too early. Lying in bed, I do a quick overall checkup to see what hurts. If any part of me doesn’t hurt, will it start to hurt when I move? Can I move? Can I stand?

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Various parts of me wake up at different times. The brain more or less engages first, cranking at half-speed. Getting up to speed involves caffeine. Meanwhile, I get ready for “the big push,” also known as “getting up.”

Eventually, I do it. Sometimes, I delay awhile by flipping open the Kindle and checking my email. I hope there’ll be a note from my doctor ordering me to stay in bed. Sadly, there’s no official memo, so I pivot into legs-off-the-bed position and ponder. This particular morning, Garry has an appointment at noon which means we actually have to get up. Because Bonnie also has an ear infection that needs tending and I need another pair of hands to get it done … and I am not going anywhere without coffee.

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Arising is a slow-motion event. Like watching a tree sloth making his or her way through the low hanging branches of the rain forest. These days, I do most everything slowly. All our friends move equally slowly. Oddly, we still talk fast. Type fast. Laugh frequently, though right now (and I’m referring to Real Politics, not our personal lives), life isn’t quite as funny as it was.

No more warp drive. If I can get there, it’s good. Getting there slowly is still getting there. The end not only justifies the means, it’s the part of the voyage that matters.

THE DAILY POST | SLOWLY

COMPANIONS

Should I talk about the dogs? They are our companions day in, day out. Better friends than most friends, and always right there for us. Or do I talk about Garry, who is my husband, my best friend, the only person who will always put up with me. The proof of this is that he has not yet thrown me from a window or pushed me out of the moving car.

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I got up this morning after a long near-nightmare in which we were buying a house. But the house didn’t have a proper bathroom and there were cockroaches seething in what had been a tub which had, somehow, moved into the living room. The living room was big, but completely covered with mirrors– like a dance studio. We had bought it, but I wanted desperately be get rid of it. We’d signed papers, so it wasn’t simple.

I shook off the dream, waking up cranky and headachy. Outside, all I could see are naked oak trees, the leaves having been consumed by our plague of Gypsy Moth caterpillars. I wonder if leaves will grow back. I’m told they will, but it doesn’t look like it right now. It’s a winter view of a summer woods.


“A fiery horse with the speed of light, a cloud of dust and a hearty Hi-Yo Silver! The Lone Ranger rides again! … With his faithful Indian companion Tonto, the daring and resourceful masked rider of the plains led the fight for law and order in the early west! ”

Come back, and leave me a silver bullet!


Garry wasn’t up yet, but the dogs were glad to see me. Talk about faithful companions. They were thrilled, jumping up and down with delight. Even though we repeat this same pattern every morning of their lives, minus the few days here and there when we are away from home, they never get tired of it and I never tire of them. I gave them each a greenie. Washed the water bowls. Refilled them. Noticed that somehow, there was peanut butter on the cabinet doors … and washed them, too.

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Coffee was brewing. I toasted a muffin, observing that there are no more muffins after this. We will have to go shopping. Thus when Garry showed up in the kitchen, I nearly snarled at him. Because I was snarly and he was there.

He didn’t say anything. He looked puzzled, but moved on.

Now that is a truly faithful companion. Even when you have no idea what’s going on, you just let it go because a snarly start does not define the relationship. Personally, I think it’s all about the coffee.

DAILY POST | COMPANION