Dear Diary – I was comfortably settled on the couch Friday morning, happy that I didn’t have to go anywhere, when I heard my cell phone ringing. Upstairs! I thought my phone was in my purse. I didn’t hustle because I figured it was just a telemarketer. But it wasn’t. It was the grocery store about my order…which I was supposed to be picking up in the next 2 minutes. I had ordered groceries online the day before, but I thought I had reserved a 9 a.m. slot for Monday because I was heading to my folks on Monday and I thought I should feed my family.
As I pulled on my sneakers, listening to my voicemail, I also noticed I had 5 text messages, including one from a friend looking for a ride home from the hospital! I got my groceries; she still hasn’t gotten out. As the shadows of the day grew, so did her list of things I needed to bring her. The bigger problem was the only person with a key to her apartment wouldn’t be back in town until after 8.
By the time 8 arrived, I was exhausted. It was dark, cold, and drizzling outside (as well as inside my heart) when I walked into her building. I almost didn’t make. One of the senior residents who felt he deserved the entire empty parking lot to circle his wagon before pulling into his parking space, nearly ran me over. I was okay with visiting my friend, but I didn’t relish being her roommate!
Hospital parking is never straightforward nor the rates low. There were no covid checklists to tick off or hoops to jump through, even though I started an overflowing Emergency Room. After delivering my friend’s bag, pillow and hot coffee, I trudged behind the porter taking her to her room, on the far side of the building.
It was almost 10 before I headed out into the drizzle again. The ticket machine refused to take my ticket, instead sticking it back at me like it was sticking out its tongue. I stuck my tongue back at it. Then I maneuvered my car to try the other exit, and after several attempts (and a few punctuated threats), my ticket was accepted and I was permitted to
However, the exit didn’t allow a left turn, forcing me to drive west, away from home. I pulled into the first street 2 blocks away, and began a tiring suburban drive in a warren of streets that serpentined endlessly. I was beginning to despair that I would be crawling under the covers after sunrise when I passed a park and finally knew where I was!
By the time I
escaped got home, I wanted a drink…of cranberry gingerale. I vowed that I would not leave the house on Saturday.
It was a naïve statement and certainly not meant to be. My friend had another wish list, but this time, I didn’t drive. I asked Hubby to drop me off and spare me another neighbourhood tour. 😉
Dear Diary – Recent stats said my post was shared to 441 email subscribers and 161 social followers. If this is happening, why do I only get, on average, one comment a week? 🙂
Dear Diary – Someone reminded me that I have a beautiful life. And they’re right.
This week the father of Eldest Son’s best friend, S. passed away after a short battle with cancer. He lived longer than expected which meant they had one more Easter, one more Thanksgiving, and many more beautiful days. I’m sure they weren’t all weren’t easy. Eldest Son, L. and S. have been like a family since high school, and together these 2 girls have been caring for Dad while Mom is at work. L. lost her father just over a year ago. I admire these brave young women who have already known such deep sorrow and they are on my heart.
The path I’ve taken may not have been the one I dreamed about when I played with Barbie (I still haven’t walked a Red Carpet). Sure, instead of a castle, I live in a semi-detached house. Prince Charming is an engineer who doesn’t ride a white horse. I am blessed with princes instead of princesses (which is probably a good thing!) I have woken up on Christmas morning under my parents’ roof for almost 50 years (with the exception of 2020 when we celebrated in a service center parking lot), and I will celebrate with them this year too. At my house. But all of these things, and so much more, have given me a life filled with love and laughter (a lot of it with me and at me), and that is what makes it so beautiful.
I sustain myself with the love of my family.Maya Angelou
Dear Diary – The last two days have been crazy. I headed to my folks where I baked
a crunchy mess cookies, stole borrowed a Christmas tree from church, and saved a life. I’m glad I had my best friends and partners in crime along for the ride!
I arrived Monday afternoon to an empty house. The guy installing my parents’ new carpet got sick and the work’s been postponed, so everything in the living room and hall had shuffled. Except 3 chairs lined up in front of the t.v. Papa Bear’s chair is in the middle. The couch and dining table shared space in the dining half of the kitcehn; the table covered in Mom’s good china from the china cabinet. The sideboard and the t.v. stand are in my bedroom, but I was left a crooked maze almost as wide as me to get to the bed.
And a flashlight.
I lost the flashlight by the second night.
That evening I attended a birthday party with my Mom for a lovely lady I have never met. I was promised cake.
If I lived closer, I think we’d become good friends
On Tuesday, Mom and I muttered in our separate corners of the kitchen while we baked our own cookies. The couch made an excellent surface for spreading out baking utensils and cookie cutters, and when you got tired, it was a soft place to rest. My sugar cookies kept flaking as I rolled them out and they baked crunchy. It wasn’t until the middle of the night that I realized I had forgotten the milk.
As we worked, Mom suddenly gasped and covered her hand with her mouth: “There’s a squirrel drowning in the pool”.
Normally, this would be a “Dad” job, but Dad wasn’t home, so I sprang into action.
In advance of the new carpet going down, Dad had been pulling up the old carpet and adding screws to the floor to fix the squeaks. There was an assortment of tools in the living room. I was hoping for a bucket, but with none in sight, I grabbed the white plastic bowl on the couch and crawled over the back because the couch was blocking the patio door. I ran to the gate, shoved the bbq out of the way like a football player, and scrabbled with the sticky lock. I couldn’t see any movement in the water, not even ripples on the surface.
I grabbed the ladder from the side fence and shoved it into the black and murky water, praying it wasn’t too late. Finally, a little black squirrel popped up, but on the far side of the pool. It was obvious he was exhausted and we didn’t have much time. I ran up the stairs and across the deck, with the bowl still in my hand. I also grabbed a step stool off the porch and hopped down the stairs.
There had been no time for super hero capes or shoes. My feet were soaking wet by the time I got to the pool. “Where is he?” I called to Mom watching from above. I dropped the stool and climbed up. He was just coming up for air and when I reached the bowl out to him and he turned to me, and we locked eyes. “Come here sweetie”, I crooned as I reached in to scooped him up and he paddled furiously to get to safety. He was still panicking when I went to set the bowl on the ground and he sloshed out. Unhurt but still terrified, he started to crawl under the deck into a pile of baskets and boxes. Mom threw down a dry towel and I did my best to wrap it around him, but I couldn’t pick him up. I talked to him gently. Once I knew he was safe, I stepped away so he could calm down. He didn’t know I wasn’t going to hurt him.
I returned a few minutes later to see how he was, and I tucked the towel around his little body again. He purred and closed his eyes to sleep. I had saved a life and my heart was overflowing.
Sadly, when I went back later, he had died in his sleep, and it was crushed again. At least I can take some comfort in knowing he died peacefully, warm, cozy and cared for. Every life matters.
On Wednesday morning, we went shopping in some local shops. It felt good to support small businesses. I know how much love and attention to detail I put into each of my creations for my Etsy shop. I could certainly see that love in the candles, soaps, pickles and jams I admired. And the smells were divine.
After lunch, I went with Mom to her church to
steal borrow a Christmas tree for their Christmas party. Strangely, Operation Christmas Tree went smoothly.
With my Christmas shopping nearly complete, I turned my attention to cookies again. This time I added the milk. This time, they worked. All they need now is some sparkle and buttons.
Last night, like the 3 bears, we shared a bag of chips and watched a James Bond movie in our 3 little chairs. Except I was in Mama’s leather chair because I could have both laptops plugged in and lying at my feet. I’ve started the incredibly boring task of transferring files to my new laptop. We sampled some saskatoon berry jam on Dad’s homemade raisin ‘n spice sourdough muffins before toddling off to bed.
Once again, dear diary, I am left alone in the house, with my assortment of belongings waiting to be packed. My parental units are go-go seniors, and it’s time for me to go-go too. With the Arrogant Worms. While this Santa song may not be the most “appropriate”, it’s a great song for singing at the top of your lungs.
Because the greatest part of a road trip isn’t arriving at your destination. It’s all the wild stuff that happens on the way.familyoffduty.com