A Great Big Time Out

I’m feeling like this whole stay-at-home, social-distancing, is a great big time out for our world. Have you seen the stories about the reduction in air pollution? About the canals running clear in Venice? Our world is healing. This morning, I went outside at 6:00 AM, because my body still thinks I need to wake up early. The birds were chirping. The sun was starting to come up. I stood out there and I listened to the birds call to one another. I took a deep breath and filled my lungs with air and just let myself be. How long has it been since I just stopped and listened to nature? We are so busy every day. We don’t take the time to do the things that really matter. This is a time to reflect, to just be, to live and love, and to recuperate from the hectic lives we have all been living. A time of healing for nature and for us as a people.

Today, after the sun came up I enjoyed my coffee and a book. Then I went for a 1 mile run and a 1.8 mile walk with the dogs. I came home just as the first fat drop of rain fell. Hubby asked how my walk was and offered to make brunch. Then I put on a dress and attended church…online. Reverend Frazer reminded me that we can use this opportunity to think about mortality and the existence of mortality in life. And also to just be there for one another. Leave notes in each others mailboxes. Be there for your family. Navigate and commiserate. We will get through this.

Cold Heart, Cold Mind

I wrote for Finish That Thought today.  I’ve been taking too many breaks lately, letting the urge to write slip away form me. This week, I’m trying to get back on the wagon (so to speak).  I have editing of my next book to do, and I keep putting it off.  I’m going to try to set some goals over the weekend, and I’ll post them here next week.  I’m goal oriented, and when I track I do so much better.  Plus, blogging! I haven’t been doing it after the A to Z Challenge nearly as much as I want to. I’m hoping with summer quickly descending on us and the absence of afternoon activities for the kids that I’ll be more productive.  We shall see!

Cold Heart, Cold Mind
@laurenegreene
495 words

I had not felt this way for a long time, but then again it had been a while since I’d been back. Dad had cut the topiaries into animal shapes, and covered with snow, they reminded me of the scene from “The Shining,” so I kept a safe distance, hugging the side of the hedge as I walked to the door. My heart pounded in my chest like a million drummers in a band. The snow fell around me, and I shivered as I stood there trying to build up my nerve. I felt like a little kid again, lost and alone, not to mention freezing—Florida was so nice this time of year, I wish I’d never left.

If I stood there one more second, I might turn into an icicle, or worse yet I might freeze in one position snow-covered like the topiaries dotting Dad’s yard. I knew he needed me. My comfort. My presence, but the truth was I didn’t care about him anymore. Ever since he’d left Mom, I’d told myself he didn’t matter.

But then Janie had called six months ago and said Grace had died. Dad had dementia. She would arrange a nurse. Even nurses needed vacations, and Janie was out of pocket this week, in Disney World with her husband and three kids. I guess she deserved a vacation too.

I rubbed my hands together, they seemed frozen solid, and I wasn’t sure if the fist would form so I could knock on the door. The topiaries were so well trimmed. Was that part of Hanna’s job description or had Dad kept up with them, even in his confusion? Finally, I knocked.

Hanna came to the door, wearing a white nurse’s cap, like someone out of an old-timey movie. From behind, Dad wrapped his arms around her and squeezed.

“She’s a hottie, isn’t she?” Dad asked, as Hanna pushed his arm from her waist.

“Bill, I’ve told you a thousand times, I’m your nurse not your wife.”

“Where’d Grace get off to?”

I stood in the doorway, my eyelashes nearly frozen. Winter in Michigan was hell.

“You must be Christina. Thank God you’re here.”

Dad scooted around Hanna and screwed up his eyeballs as his mind whirled like a hamster on a wheel, trying to locate me in a sea of frothy memories.

“Tell my friends to come in too, Grace. They’re covered in snow,” he said, waving to the topiaries.

“They’re better off outside, Dad,” I said as Hanna scooted out of the way, and I stepped into the warmth of the house.

“Dad?” he asked.

“It’s Christina, your youngest daughter,” I said.

“I don’t have any children. Just ask Grace,” Dad said.

“She’s dead, Dad,” I said.

“It’s so nice to finally meet you Christina. I’m leaving in ten minutes. Let me show you where your dad’s meds are,” Hanna said.

Dad stared at the topiaries. The only friends he had, left out in the cold.