I wish I had been more organized this week, so I could have written a post.
This week just kind of slipped away from me, and every night I would remind myself that I needed to at least start on this week’s blog post. But something always came up…a Zoom meeting, a frantic trip to get Valentines (No! It can’t be February 10 already!!!), a phone call…Each night I would say, Well, TOMORROW then.
Then last night—which was Thursday night—I did have a Zoom meeting at 7:00, but I said to myself I would take the hour before and just sit down and write, already. I was thinking of writing about the snowfall and the kitchen project…somehow trying to connect how the covering of snow transformed the world outside (in good and bad ways) and how the layering of paint Jim the painter applied transformed the kitchen (in all good ways, as far as I can see.)
I was playing with those metaphoric analogies in my mind when Mark came and found me.
“If we leave RIGHT NOW,” he said, excited, “we can get the leftover vaccines from today’s clinic.”
I’ll write later, I thought. I ran upstairs and threw on a short-sleeved shirt for easy shot access, and when I got downstairs, Mark had the car warmed and ready. I hopped in, and we drove to the Health Department, about seven minutes away, and those blessed heroes were waiting for us. Kathy and Tara gave us our shots, and then they kept us company for the 15 minutes we had to wait. I felt awful that we were keeping them late. (“No worries,” said Tara. “I’m just going to sleep in tomorrow!” I think that meant she’d stroll into work at the ripe old hour of 8:30 a.m. What a sluggard she is not!)
But I was so happy we’d signed up for the ‘call us at the last minute if there’s leftover vaccine that day’ list; so happy there WAS leftover vaccine that Thursday; and so happy to be vaccinated—at least to have gotten the first dose. I have never been so delighted to have a needle stuck in my shoulder, and believe me, I know how lucky we are to have the opportunity.
Kathy told us our arms would be sore today and we might have mild, flu-like symptoms.
“Take Tylenol,” she advised, because the other painkillers, anti-inflammatories, can mess with the whole immune process. We gathered all their good advice, learned when we’d be called for the booster shot, and hurried off home, where I was ten minutes late logging in to my meeting.
So it was too late then to write, and the meeting ran a bit later than usual and I said to myself that I would get up early and write in the morning.
I had forgotten, though, that Jim the painter was coming in the morning to finish up. The painting process had gotten delayed on Tuesday; we had a Level Two snow emergency, and our street wasn’t plowed until mid-afternoon. The driveway was pretty much a mess, too. We called Jim early to tell him it might not be a good idea to try painting that day, and he had already come to that conclusion himself. (Nice guy that he is, he spent the unexpected day off blowing the snow out of his neighbors’ driveways. We are surrounded by energetic, unselfish people.)
So Jim came in early this morning and we talked. By the time he got all set up and I quit bothering him, it was time for me to head upstairs. I had a work call coming in at 9, and then a meeting via Microsoft Teams at 9:30. Normally, I don’t work on Fridays, but the people who host this meeting were nice enough to include me, and the information was rich and necessary. And I figured since I was going to be in the meeting, I might just as well take the call, too, and not have to wait till next week, when Monday is, after all, a United States national holiday; the earliest we could talk was Tuesday. I hate to make people wait all weekend and then some, when issues are uppermost.
So, anyway, with the call and the meeting, I didn’t write in the morning. And then, when I went downstairs, Jim the painter was finishing up, and I saw the kitchen with the upper cupboards painted creamy white for the very first time, and oh my goodness, what a transformation.
There were a few tiny things for us to take care of on our end—a magnet, some tape to pull, a potential knob,—and while Jim and I were talking about those, Mark came home for lunch, and we all admired the kitchen. Then Jim the painter packed up all his stuff, offered to sweep the floor one more time (No, no, no, we said), and came back in for his jacket.
We had a little kerfuffle when I tried to give Jim a little gift card so he and his wife could go out for, or get a take-out, lunch, and he insisted he didn’t want anything, and we went round and round. But finally I won by pulling my very, very sad face, and Jim took the envelope and left us to admire the changes he’d wrought.
Jim the son came down from studying upstairs, and we all three put some lunch together and talked about how much we like the newly painted kitchen.
So there was no time then to write, either.
After lunch, we had to take a package and Jim’s Valentines for some very special people to the post office, and, as long as we were out, we figured we might as well go to Riesbecks Supermarket and get some of the end of the week specials. Since we hadn’t gotten out for a walk, we parked as far away as we could at both places, and then we took the longest way possible around the supermarket, and we zigged and zagged among the aisles, trying to add as many steps as we could. So that took a little while.
When we got home, we lugged the bags into the house and put all the groceries away. Jim headed upstairs to do some writing, and I wielded our biggest, sharpest knife and whacked the whole pork loin we just bought into meal-sized chucks, and then debated the best ways of freezer-packing them. When I got that all squared away and the meat in the freezer and the counters wiped down, I finally decided it was time to sit down and write.
So that’s what I did. I typed in a title. “Snowfall and Cabinets,” I wrote, and then I realized that I had left a load of clothes in the dryer before we left, and if I didn’t get them on hangers, they would be crumpled little clothes-balls…little pips to iron, they would be, and I would rue the day. So I ran downstairs and hung those shirts and tops and pants and such on hangers—luckily, they were still warm and fell neatly into unwrinkled simplicity. I switched the sheets and towels from the washer to the dryer and ran a load of casual pants and shirts through the washer.
Then I went back upstairs to write. But, as I walked through the dining room, I thought I would just arrange the red pots and the red and cream and green plaid ceramics on top of the pristine new cabinets. I simply needed to see how they looked.
I realized the pots needed a little lift, so I experimented with making some cookbook bases for them, and it took about half an hour to get everything situated so it looked warm but uncluttered, but eventually I was happy with the result.
So then it was after 4:00, but I thought, “I’ll just drill down and get this written!”
And I would have been fine except that the upper part of the kitchen looked so good and the floor looked so awful. We had decided, early in the week, we’d sweep the floor once a day but not worry about it otherwise during the painting process. So all week we had tracked in salty snow slush, kicking our shoes off as close to the door as possible, but somehow the gray pasty residue spread itself over all the tiles.
It really looked truly terrible, and I figured I could attack it with scrubbing bubbles first and then use my trusty Bona cleaner, and I’d just about have time to get the floor done before Mark came home.
That turned out to be just exactly true.
When Mark arrived, Jim was excited to begin cooking dinner: fresh burgers and fries. And he asked my advice, and I started to help…and you know. One thing and another, and the next thing I realize, we’re clearing up the after dinner dishes, and I never did get a chance to sit down and write.
And on Friday nights, we watch the latest episode of Wandavision, which is something Jim really, really looks forward to us doing as a family. There was no time left to thoughtfully ponder, to try to put words together, to sit down at the computer and write out a post.
So I apologize. Next week, I’ll write something. But I just wanted to let you know why I didn’t write a post this week.
Have a wonderful week. I wish you health and vaccine-access and that the next few days, till we connect again, bring you unexpected joys.