Friday, January 27, 2012


As often happens, I woke up at 4:30 this morning. This always annoys me. I like sleep better than just about anything. It's my major chill-out time and I want every drop of it I can get.

But, as often happens when this happens, I was still awake at 5:30, no point trying any longer; I got my Nook and went to the living room. I was reading Oswald Chambers' "The Pilgrim's Song Book" (commentary on Psalms  120-128), highlighting many passages that apply to my current bad attitude (not lifting mine eyes enough, no wonder not much help has been forthcoming.) Heard a distant thump and thought either the dog had let himself out the dog door or the stiff wind had knocked something down.

Then I heard my mother call me. Uh-oh. She was lying on the floor between her bathroom and bedroom, said, "I'm sick," which was evident in a variety of ways. ~Sigh~ My mother is one of the issues I've been letting myself have a bad attitude about, feeling mentally and emotional bled dry. The nurse I used to be came back and I started assessing and cleaning up a patient, enough to cover her with a blanket and get my husband to help me get her off the floor. She was able to walk to bed with help. Finished the cleanup, checked her vital signs, left her to rest. She's obviously got a bug, the exiting-both-directions kind. She's 90; I'll need to watch her for dehydration and/or deterioration.

My husband and I are planning an Appalachian Trail summer, with him driving and me hiking, meeting every few days for a day hike, a night, a re-supply. The last couple hours I've kept thinking, "If we hadn't been here..." but she's got a Life Alert bracelet, and I'm arranging for a variety of people to check in on her daily, so it's not like I'm planning on abandonment.

If I'd been asleep I might not have heard her call. She has a bell but it was on her nightstand out of reach. Thank you, Lord, for waking me up early and sending me out to the living room.

Monday, January 16, 2012


I did a lot of cleaning today. My mother has lived in this house for 20 years and.... well, she's never been big on housekeeping. I got on a ladder and got way up high. I worked for a couple of hours on high shelves, decorative fixtures, the fake ceiling rafters. There was a lot of old pet hair accumulated up there. I washed 2 walls also, and a couple of doorframes that she grabs onto when she walks through; over time that adds up to a lot of grime. I washed it all off.

Nothing looks any different. Things looked dirty when I started but now that they're clean it's not noticeable to anyone but me.

Sunday, January 15, 2012


I'm like the trees.... they look dead, but they will live again. Well, I probably seem alive to the naked eye.... I feel dead, I just haven't hit the ground yet.

I played the hymns in church, laughed and talked with the congregation, gave a 12-yr-old girl my old Nancy Drew books (she about went through the roof!), got lists from the people telling me hymns they'd like to have, went through the hymnbook looking at them all, watched "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" with my mother, packed up my chicken from the dehydrator, and have dinner in the oven. 

I did not hike. I looked out the window and at the thermometer (high 20*F) and said, forget it.

My brain is covered in snow like Cordova, even though we hardly have any. 

Saturday, January 14, 2012


 Ostensibly, I got a lot done today.

I went to the post office to return a pair of rubber shoe covers that didn't fit (when I was a kid we called them "rubbers" but that's another innocent word that means something else nowadays.) That in itself is an accomplishment because the return is no longer hanging over my head and the box is no longer underfoot.

I went to the grocery store, the Dollar Store, and the hardware store.

I put 12 cans of chicken (5oz. each, $1 each at the Dollar Store) in the dehydrator. That's chicken once a week on the Appalachian Trail this summer.

I took down the Christmas tree. I watched the Olympic Trials Marathon and Purina Super Dog competition with my mother (or something like that... Incredible Dog?)

I cleaned out a laundry basket full of stuff that's been sitting here for a year or so, stuff from our camper that we sold. A whole year and I've never sorted out the stuff. Now I have. My IronMan Florida Finisher license tag frame was in there. It hasn't been on a vehicle because it's broken. It's plastic, not easy to fix. I held it and looked at it for a long time, then threw it away. I have an IronMan Florida Finisher shirt, hat, and jacket. Throwing away the tag frame doesn't take away my finish. I was 54 at the time.

Made dinner, then we (husband, mother, and I) went to our son's to watch the football games. Played a lot of rough-and-tumble with the granddaughters. Abbie, the oldest, got to stay up late, and she and I talked about assassinations (MLK Day) and she asked me why Abigail Adams was famous, and how she died. I didn't know how she died. We googled it and learned that Abigail Adams died of typhoid. Abbie wanted to know what that was; I told her people get it from drinking dirty water but in our part of the world in modern days we have clean water (because she would worry about drinking water after learning that.) Abbie will be 9 in a couple weeks.
Now we're home. But I'm still in my snow cave. All those activities were acts, fronts, maybe illusions. There's evidence that I did them but inside my mind everything is still dim, blue, and frozen.

I think I need exercise. I hiked 7 miles with my hiking pal Chrissie on Thursday but that was the last time I saw myself move. Maybe tomorrow I will go for a hike. Outdoors is not dim and blue.... it's white. Frozen, but alive.


In my mind. Outside, it's cold but only about 4 inches of snow are mildly obscuring the earth.

But my mind.... I'm in a snow cave. It's hard to make the effort to keep an air hole open. It's stifling in here, cold, still, and stifling.

I need to go to the store and the post office. I guess there is still a store and a post office to go to. In my snow cave all is still and isolated.

It's hard to imagine emerging, putting on a backpack, and starting up the Appalachian Trail in four months. If I keep eating as I have been, I won't have to carry food.... I'll have enough stored in my body to get me to Maine.

Guess I'll go warm up the car and change out of my pajamas (I hear that the governor of Louisiana is pushing a move to ban the wearing of pajamas in public places.)

Maybe I need to go make snow angels.