payback

29 05 2010

I awoke at the bewitching hour of 2:30 a.m., headed down to the couch for the second half of my night, only to wake with a start four hours later and within ten minutes was in the car headed out of town.  See, I’d been AWOL from the Mrs.’ place for almost seventeen days.  Seventeen days!!  I had gladly volunteered to be the Nanny in Nashville while Shop Girl got some important work done on her forthcoming EP a few days prior to the GAGAGorgeous wedding of one of my nieces.

The Mrs. had had a chunk of her calf surgically removed along with the erring basal cell carcinoma a few days prior to Shop Girl, Donny Diva and I heading for the open highway headed due South.  So today was stitch removal day…and a few other chores that had piled up.

As I drove up to her house, I noticed that she was headed into the garage with an empty bird feeder in hand.  We got that filled and re-hung and added the hummingbird feeder to the weekly chore chart. While she finished getting ready, I filled her pill boxes for the week, sorted through the huge stack of mail, and did a quick clean out of the sour milk from the fridge.  We left the house an hour or so before the appointment with her Devine Doctor (his name is Dr. Devine) in order to stop at Ace Hardware for a few things:  a flag to decorate Billy’s grave, various and sundry red, white and “blue” planty things for her container gardens, and two very important signs to post at her front door and back door…”No Solicitors”.  (She had been recently rattled by some “suspicious” people showing up at her door trying to sell things).

From there we quickly drove out to the cemetery to say “hey” to Billy and give him a hearty salute for Memorial Day.  That left us just the right amount of time to get to the Dr.’s office so that we could sit and wait for 40 minutes until he came in to clip the stitches.  Next was the weekly trek to Culver’s for her deluxe Butterburger value basket with onion rings substituted for fries.  She had been concerned with her diet and had just asked the Dr.’s advice. He asked, “What diet are you on?”  She answered, “The diet that I eat all my favorite things.”  He laughed and said that at her age – that was an appropriate diet.

Next we headed to the other cemetery to check out the other part of the fam leaving us just enough time to get back to the house for an appointment.  As soon as that was squared away, I sent her for a time out in her chair while I went back to other stores for other stuff.  She wanted her kitchen door window a little less exposed.  Those “visitors” really shook her – so I found a great little look thanks to Jaclyn Smith’s hip new designs for KMart (tell me you get the sarcasm…).  Another stop in the card aisle for a graduation card, two thank you cards and a bridal shower card.  A quick run through the ATM before stopping by the hearing aid dr.’s office to pick up more supplies she uses each week then back to the house for her to do her writing therapy filling out a two birthday cards, an anniversary card, a check for six month’s of auto insurance, the aforementioned thank you cards and the graduation card.

We filled out the calendar for the next important social gatherings of the summer.  Next it was time to deal with the two plus weeks of accounting I had to catch up with while she decided to play with some of her jewelry.  Being the total stoop that I am, I asked about one particular necklace that she’d gotten for Christmas…she had NO IDEA WHAT I WAS TALKING ABOUT!  So the search began…I put the calculator aside and had to go look.  Like a magpie, she had things stashed in a gazillion little boxes, satiny pouches, coin purses and every other little kind of container that catches her fancy.  Finally, I struck gold – not literally though and I figured that finding that necklace was more important to me than the fact that the check book was balanced give or take $60…it was getting late.

One quick check on the salt level of the water softener and I was getting closer and closer to being done. She usually starts a two-hour countdown clock when I leave expecting a call saying that I’m back home…but I told her to delay her start time since I had to run back into town before leaving.  Another stop at the post office to mail all those cards and bills, then a stop to fill my car up with gas and a much needed bath to wash off the dust and dirt from the last 1278 miles rolled in the last days.

A mere 14 hours after I’d left the house in the morning, I was back in my driveway.  Another week.  That’s what I get for taking so much time away…payback.  No, seriously – sometimes when more than a week goes by – things pile up but that is true for all of our lives.  I stand amazed that here we are coming up on the second anniversary of Billy’s leaving us high and dry and she is doing more than just surviving.

This is the stuff of life:  weddings, babies, chores and cemeteries.  There are days when I think I don’t have another ounce of energy to fit another thing in.  But there are also seasons.  Seasons when we do nothing but spin in circles running from one life event to the next – and eventually there will be a season of silence.

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