Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Familiar Stirrings

And the rains came.
According to the latest weather report, we can expect rain every day next week except Monday. And since Monday happens to be the first day of October, that works out fine for me.
Is it really here – my favorite month? Is it time, once again, to enjoy thirty-one days of splendid color, clear blue, cloudless skies and cool sunny afternoons? Time for those familiar stirrings inside?
I’ve had those stirrings in October since I was very young. I once attempted to describe them to my grandmother and got back an interesting explanation.
“Wanderlust!” she said, in a rather disgruntled tone.
Bear in mind, I was only about eight to 10 years old.
“What’s wunderlust?” I ask.
“Itchy feet,” she said. “It’s what your great-grandpa Morgan had. You don’t want to give in to it. My daddy went to the store for Mama one October day and never came back! I was only six and my brother, Dan, was three.”
“Where’d Grandpa Morgan go?”
“Who knows? We haven’t seen nor heard from him since. He was a dreamer, like you. Sat around daydreamin’ all the time, talkin’ about seeing the world. Sure couldn’t get no work outta him! Mama was better off without him, if you ask me.”
“What about Grandpa Hester?” I asked her.
“Well, he’s better than nothin’, I guess. Married Mama and helped her raise us kids, he did, but she never got over John Morgan. When his name’s mentioned, her eyes soften like those of an old beer drinker and she tries to hide the smile that turns up the corners of her mouth.”
“Wonder what happened to him?” I persisted.
“Just never you mind, child! If he wanted to be here with Mama and his kids, that’s where he’d be. He was no good and you don’t want to be like him. When you feel those so-called stirrings you talk about, you just get them right outta your head and get busy. There’s nuthin’ like work to make you feel better.You hear me?”
“Yes ma’am.”
“Now, go on outside and find something to do. I’ve got to get back to work.”
My stirrings were never mentioned again and I’m sure my grandmother thought she’d nipped that problem in the bud, but I’ve always had them. And it’s not about seeing the world. Truth is, I don’t even like to travel, and I’ve seen enough of the world to satisfy that yearning, if there ever was one. Still, it’s something that happens only in October and nobody seems to understand it, so, although I don’t agree with my grandmother’s assessment, I just “go with it.” It’s easier that way.
Once, a few years ago, at the beginning of October, I told a friend I had stirrings inside and she replied, “Are you pregnant?”
I giggled as the words of my grandmother spilled out: “No, it’s wanderlust.”
We both laughed and it was over for her. But not for me.
Never for me!

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Will They Remember Me?

It was a beautiful afternoon. I’d been sitting at my computer for days. But this day, it was hard to concentrate. I kept looking toward the window – daydreaming the way I did when I was a young girl in school. 
The weather will change soon, I thought, and I’ll wish I’d taken advantage of days like this to soak up some sun and get a little exercise.
It finally got the best of me. I wasn’t writing anything worthwhile anyway, so I told Mr. H. I’d save him a trip by doing the banking he had intended to do and then I'd go over to Ridenour Lake and walk around for a while. He said, “Okay.”
So, I grabbed my sunglasses and car keys and off I went – to do something totally out of character.
I went through the drive-through at the bank, saving time and, about five minutes later, I was pulling into the main drive at the lake. The place seemed to be unusually deserted for such a beautiful day. I saw only two people fishing. Otherwise, it looked like I’d have the place all to myself.
I pulled over to the side of the road and parked and was ready to get out of the car when I noticed about five ducks right in front of my car apparently taking a midday siesta. Hmmmm... I thought. Do I dare get out? The noise of the car door will surely wake them and they’ll come after me. I can’t take a chance. So I sat there in my car trying to decide what to do.
You see, ducks have feathers and wings and beaks just like any other kind of bird – and everyone knows I’m terrified of birds! Ducks bite, too! My daughter was at this same lake once and a duck mistook her toe for food. He grabbed it and she thought he’d never let go. Her toe was sore for a long time.
Looking around, I saw – just down over the hill closer to the lake – a gazebo. There were chairs and benches beside the water and it looked so peaceful.  “I’ll go down there,” I said aloud. “I don’t see any ducks.” So I started the car and drove the short distance to the parking lot in front of the gazebo. Just to be safe, I looked out both sides of the car and toward the back before opening the door. No ducks! Great! I’ll go sit on one of those benches by the water for a while and soak up a little sun.
I opened the car door, got out, closed and locked it and, I swear, I didn’t take more than three steps toward the back of the car before I heard them. And then, I saw them... at least six ducks... coming toward me as fast as they could.  
I unlocked the car door and jumped in so fast my head was swimming and I hoped those silly ducks would go back to their swimming, too.
There I was – confined to the hot car again. Might as well go home, I thought. But decided to text my daughter who lives only a few minutes away from Ridenour and see what she was doing.
Me: Sitting in the car at Ridenour. Wanted to take a walk but the ducks won’t let me outta the car.
Daughter: “Lol. I’m on my way.”
She was there in a few minutes. The ducks were back in the water. So, I got out of the car and we took a short walk together laughingly recalling the last time we spent a beautiful fall afternoon at Ridenour. If you’d like to read about it, click here.
It was pretty hot so we didn’t stay long, but we decided we’d come back for a longer walk as soon as the weather cools off a bit.
Some people believe ducks remember certain people. I sure hope they're wrong!

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

X - Rated

The day didn’t start well!
When I first got up, I was deceived by the fact that there were no negative messages on my phone. Normally, I have at least one message that requires my attention or some news I don’t particularly like.
“I can’t believe I have no bad-news messages this morning,” I said to Mr. H.
But, by the time I walked through the house to the kitchen, the phone was ringing, I answered and learned of a mix-up about an insurance policy that I needed to take care of – right now – and it wasn’t a good time because I had an appointment at 2:30 and still had things to do before getting ready. However, after checking records and making three phone calls, the pressure was lessened to the point that it would keep until after my appointment although it wasn’t completely fixed.
That wasn’t all. There were more phone calls and interruptions until I began to think perhaps I should postpone my appointment. It was for a mammogram. Who wants to do that anyway? It certainly could wait another week or so, but my conscience kept nagging me until, with only a half-hour left to get ready (it usually takes me at least an hour), I told Mr, H. I was going to try it. “I’ll have to rush,” I said.
And rush, I did! When we walked out the door at 2:10, my shirt had only two buttons buttoned and my earrings were in my hand (I never go anywhere with naked ears!). I finished getting ready in the car. We had less than 20 minutes to get from Cross Lanes to Kanawha City – approximately 10 miles. Of course we couldn’t make it.
“So, I’ll be a little late,” I said. “I always have to wait anyway.” But we were lucky. It was a nice, sunny day, not much traffic and no road construction! We pulled onto the parking lot at 2:40. I was 10 minutes late.
There was no one in the Breast Center except the workers. It was as quiet as a tomb. I was taken right in and the whole procedure, paper work and all – took only about 25 minutes.
Mr. H. smiled when I came out of the procedure room and said, “That didn’t take long.”
We strolled to the car feeling pretty good about getting this yearly thing done so smoothly since it has, in the past, taken a whole afternoon and worn us out. Actually, I was feeling a little silly and impish, like I sometimes do when things are going well.
We got into the car and I said, “I have something to show you.”
“Okay,” said Mr. H.
(The next paragraph is for women only!
MEN, don’t read this! You won’t understand it anyway.)
I pulled the top of my shirt down just enough to expose what I wanted him to see and said, “Look at these cute little Band-Aids they put on me.”
“Uh-huh,” said Mr. H., and then quite seriously, he added, “I guess everyone has seen them now. There’s a camera on that pole in front of us.”
“What?” I squealed, pulling my shirt up so fast I almost tore it.
Mr. H. broke into laughter and laughed so hard that he shook – and I knew I’d been had!
I owe him one!