Standing on the deck with feisty tiny hummingbirds buzzing near me, I looked across the lake where the wild geese rest in water near the edge of the island shaded by leafy trees overhead. The hot summer air in front of me is filled with young martins gliding in circles while their shadows on the grass below create a duet of grace. I enjoy a moment of calm and peace and hope it stays that way for awhile.
I had thought that once our anniversary celebration was over that the summer would suddenly be lazily unencumbered with plans or conflicting duties. Not so. The first two weeks of July flew by with needs, responsibilities, and appointments bumping into each other.
My wristwatch that I felt so smug about quickly replacing with a new battery quit again after two weeks. I really like my inexpensive watch because I can clearly see the time easily, but I guess I need to go back and replace it with more than a battery. I avoid that huge store because I have to park so far away that I once got lost trying to find my car. And once inside the store, there is much more walking to find anything.
Since my watch quit working, I tried to carry my cell phone more to be able to check the time. When I had pockets that was not a problem; but once when I didn't, I carelessly dropped it and it fell into two pieces. Yes, it was one of the old ones with a little cover. I resisted everyone's suggestion I might need to replace it with a more modern cell phone because I knew how to answer it, make calls, and text. There were some uses I never had bothered to learn, but I sure did not want to figure out a new phone.
That breakage, however, required another trip to the mall at the other side of town, where the phone store has limited parking and a long wait. There I found out the clerk had to call Gerald for his permission for me to replace my phone. I listened as she explained there was a $40 upgrade fee but became somewhat embarrassed as she incorrectly told him I'd said he had wanted me to get one of the 99 cent phones. I explained to her afterwards that he had not said I was to get the 99 cent phone, but that was my desire. I had two choices and chose the one with a pull out screen that I hope makes texting a mite quicker.
However, the store was out of that one, so I am waiting for it to be delivered and then I will need to either follow directions to set it up or go back to the store and they will kindly and gladly do it for me. Since I am a poor at understanding directions, I suspect I will need to make another trip back to the other side of town once my new cell arrives. I had no trouble parking the other day, but I had a scare when a big truck almost backed into me as I exited. I took comfort that at least it would have been his fault if he had not seen me in time.
On yet another day, I had finally made the needed appointment to get my eyes checked—at the same mall on the other side of town. I found out the reason I kept thinking my left lens was dirty was that a cataract on my left eye needed to be corrected. Now I've made that appointment for August—the earliest they can take me. There have been a couple of appointments to keep current on my INR level, which I am conscientious about after two hospitalizations in past years for pulmonary embolisms. Now I need to make a check-up visit with the dermatologist since I found out it had been three years when I checked my files.
The worst summer busyness, however, resulted from serious health threats to loved ones. All three of our brothers had serious problems. Gerald couldn't go see Keith while he was in the hospital because Gerald was fighting an infection himself. The other two brothers both received good enough reports that they did not have to be hospitalized, and Gerald is feeling good again. Katherine, however, had to spend ten days in the hospital at Carbondale to take care of two serious infections and other issues. By the time she returned home, her already short staff was decreased by one, so I needed to go to her home each evening. After many phone calls, texts, and interviews, she thinks she again has a full staff. So today I am not leaving the farm.
I am using all this busyness as my excuse and not blaming (or admitting) my age caused me to get mixed up on the time for a dentist appointment in Carbondale. Gerald kindly took me for the appointment and dropped me off saying he would complete our recycling job. I had filled the trunk because we like the center in Carbondale where you can recycle all items at once from paper to cans, glass, etc. Our plan after the appointment was to drive down to Keith and Barbara's in rural Union County since Keith had gotten home from the hospital the day before. Imagine my embarrassment when I found out my appointment had been that morning not that afternoon.
Yes, the office had called me and reminded me, but I either misheard or just got mixed up. I phoned Gerald to come back for me as soon as he was through recycling, and I have to brag on him for not being the least unpleasant about my mental failure. In fact, as we left in the direction of Keith's, he pointed out we were on the same street our friends Rich and Ann Lipe live on. He commented that I'd been wanting to see them, so why not stop and see if they were home! We had a wonderful long neglected visit with the Lipes before going on down and having another good visit with Keith and Barbara. We stopped in Marion for supper and took a bite by Katherine's to feed her supper and give her night pills.
These time-consuming irritants and obligations and worry for ourselves and family members are small in comparison to the heart-rending news we have heard on television this month. The gun violence and the resulting weeping fill the screen. Once again someone with serious mental problems, increased by his association with hate groups, went on a shooting spree and took five of our finest police, who had just stood with peaceful protesters. We hold our breath to see how things go with Britain out of European Union. And now we hear about the uprising in Turkey, and we feel concern as to how that will affect our fight against ISIS. We worry about the slaughter in Syria. We experience the need to turn the television back on to find out the latest development and at the same time a reluctance to possibly hear of yet another tragedy.
I am grateful to be able to look out occasionally and watch three bright yellow finches who have finally found the net holding seeds for them there. I am grateful for all the flowers piled in sympathy on the police cars in Dallas. I am grateful for the ten-year-old who wants to become a policeman someday because his mother who shielded him was shielded by a policeman. I am grateful for the wisdom-filled words of grief-stricken15-year-old son whose father was shot by police. I am grateful for those who risk criticism and danger to remind us that black lives matter. And for those who include black lives when they say all lives matter. I am grateful for Chief David Brown and his good thinking and quiet leadership under duress and for his faith that he so naturally shared with the nation. I am grateful for President Bush and President Obama who stood in unity condemning gun violence and encouraging us to become a better nation.