Monday, January 31, 2011

Ready or Not, January Is Over and February Is Here

The lake is green-tinted blackish now and completely thawed after the previous few days of melting swirls of silver ice still lingering there. A flock of wild ducks came in on Sunday and a few were still swimming there when I looked out our bedroom window this morning. There are no longer any small spots of snow left over in shady places; all is brown. We had an absolutely beautiful warm final January weekend here in Southern Illinois.

But like much of the nation, we are threatened with the possibility of blizzard-like conditions tomorrow. So the landscape may turn white again. Gerald has an appointment with his truck early in the morning. I’m supposed to take Sam to the orthodontist before lunch, and Katherine has an appointment for a Tysabri infusion in the afternoon. We’ll see whether the weather permits us to keep our appointments.

Although we had seen several cardinals, a blue jay, and a woodpecker back when the snow was on, I was again seeing only the small birds at the feeder that Gerald keeps on the deck. Today, however, I saw one bright red cardinal, the blue jay, and another big black and brown bird I did not recognize. I had to wonder if they knew they better fill up in case the blizzard comes. When they left, the six little sparrows, who had been waiting, had their breakfast. The prettiest sight was when I went downstairs to the computer and saw a pair of doves on the lawn enjoying the grain that had dropped down from the deck above them.

On Saturday mid-morning, Gerald came in from his shop that he has been busy reorganizing. He had worked too many hours on the concrete the day before, and was ready to let that project go for awhile. I had started several things—bed stripped, laundry going, meat thawing for lunch, but I was still relaxing at the breakfast table in my pajamas slowly reading the morning’s paper. He needed to go to Carbondale to an office supply store and to Lowe’s to get some dowel rods he can only get there and asked if I’d want to go, and if so, how soon could I be ready?

With that challenge, I quickly stuck the thawing meat in the fridge for Sunday, jumped into some clothes, and collected the Christmas gift card for the J.C. Penney card that I needed to spend and I was ready in record time. Never mind that I’d have to finish the bed with clean sheets and fold the laundry when I got back. I had left my purse at Katherine’s accidently on Thursday, so we met up there, and I climbed into the truck.

We took the long way to Carbondale so he could show me where Erin is living in Cambria even though we thought she would already be at softball practice. In my rush to the truck, I forgot my coat in the car, but was glad I did since I really did not need it. We saw children playing outside in shirt sleeves as we drove through Cambria. We took some unfamiliar back roads to reach Carbondale where we stopped for lunch before Gerald dropped me off to shop while he did his errands.

I couldn’t resist the sale racks, but I can’t stand anything with a high neckline and so all the turtle neck stuff was passed over, some colors were wrong for me, and some of the other garments had much too low necklines when I tried them on after I finally was able to find a dressing room. It has been years since I had been to that particular store, and I was totally surprised at how I kept finding new rooms with these sales going on. I think I was going in a circle. I felt confused and disoriented and even though I was not buying jewelry, I tried to keep aware of where the jewelry department was just so I felt a little less lost.

I had my arms full of a second batch of clothes to try on if I could only find a dressing room again, when Gerald phoned to say he was done and how was I doing. I was relieved when he said he would come on inside and visit the men’s department. So I finished before he did and sat resting in the mall lounge outside the store. By then I really needed that rest.

Gerald came out a few minutes later with two new pair of trousers that were on sale. I had bought three items during all his errand completion at other stores. Obviously he is a more efficient shopper than I am. I really had intended to go to the household/kitchen department but hadn’t found it until I wandered there by mistake with the last load of clothes over my arm looking for that dressing room. All three garments that I bought were on sale for $4.98, so I still have most of my gift card left to spend later! That was fun. Next time maybe I will find the right department to begin with.

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