Early morning and already there were signs that it was going to be a down day. The salt and pepper shakers were in the butter compartment of the fridge, mustard, in the silverware drawer, and we were nearly out of bread. Nothing gets my day off to a worse start than having to do without toast. Lately, Peter has been eating almost a loaf a day — two pieces of toast, three sandwiches for lunch, and at least three slices with jam at various times during the evening.
But I eked out two slices from the end of the loaf.
When Peter came downstairs, he turned the television on first thing, as usual, but the growling that followed was not on “Today.” I ignored him for a few minutes hoping he’d figure out that if he stopped pushing all the buttons the remote would “catch up” to his impatient demands.
But I gave in. He looked up with a silly smile and continued jabbing buttons. “Um, were you actually going to call somebody? That’s the phone!”
He shook his head and laughed and so did I. Might as well.
Later I asked if he wanted to go shopping. He was waiting by the door before I changed into my best jeans. My husband is always ready to “go to the shops.” No sooner did I back out the drive than he started asking, “Any news from upstate?” Even though I’d said no, he continued, “Do they have snow?” The same questions six times in seven miles. I counted.
I parked midway between TJMaxx and Barnes & Noble. A way to get in my morning walk and finish Christmas shopping in one. I found what I wanted quickly and checked out. We headed in the general direction of the car to stow my purchases. Ah, but where had I parked? Peter really enjoyed that laugh — up — as we sloshed and searched — down.
At the bookstore, I found what I wanted so fast that Peter was disappointed. He loves to wander at Barnes & Noble. “How about a coffee?” I asked to make up for my quick trip. I ordered a java chip frappacino — up — and asked if he wanted his usual cappuccino? “Yes, whatever that is,” he said. For the twenty minutes we sat over coffee he asked, four more times, “Any news from upstate?”
When we got home, Peter looked at the clock and yelped, “It’s gone one! Have I had lunch?”
“No, just coffee, nothing to eat. Make a sandwich.” He liked that idea. I went to the basement to wrap Christmas presents. When I came up, he had his Santa hat on and was working on a 500-piece puzzle. He’d marked out its one-by-three foot dimensions carefully, correctly.
2016 National Society of Newspaper Columnists’ contest finalist.
One of your best posts yet, Mom.
One of my most favorite….felt like I was right there with you!!
Well. That story just made MY day. 😃
You’d be a star with this puzzle…lots of white and lots of birds at the feeder.
You capture your experience so well, with wit and warmth. Thank you for sharing it with us.
Vicki, thank you. Sharing is what gets me through the days.
Vicki, thank you. Sharing is what gets me through these days.
I agree with L&C!! And did I count more ups than downs???
Thanks, Joanne. You know me and anything to do with numbers, but I counted seven ‘downs’ to five ‘ups.’ No matter what the day scored an UP in my book.
But we’ll take all the ups we can get!!!!!
This is one of my favorites….. and Merry Christmas to you and Peter.
Thanks, Robin. Happy Christmas and New Year to you, too.
As someone once said, life if full of these. For most of us, probably not as many as you see on a daily basis. Reminds me of the Zen story of the old farmer…http://truecenterpublishing.com/zenstory/maybe.html
Thanks for the great story, Mike. Life is, indeed, full of these.