Home Stretch

✿⊱╮A very long weekend is coming up, and one of her sons will be out to stay with her those few days, and she has plans. She’s on the home stretch with the sailor’s memoir and hopes to have it completely read for a second time before Easter morning. Then each chapter must be printed out — everything is different when sentences are on paper instead of the computer screen — and sorted into collections or sections covering particular aspects of the sailor’s life: his parents, his adventures, his career, and so on.

And so she keeps busy, trying not to be too busy to enjoy life.

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Evening Ritual

✿⊱╮ Two cups of freshly steeped tea from India and two triangles of homemade apple pie.
Blondi and Beau set these out on the coffee table upstairs after supper, and sit side by side, amiably, leaning forward, looking out over the lake.
This is their evening ritual when they are at her place. Sometimes there is no pie; sometimes there is only tea.
But together they drink it.

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Sorry

She has an apology to make.

There’s no excuse for taking a round out of Ginny late in the day, and Blondi knows it. If only she’d known it at the time. It took an hour of rest and relaxation after closing the front door to see that she herself had been out of line. Sure it may have been due to exhaustion from a long day of discomfort while working — her back is still giving her a lot of grief and she is not only in pain but a little frightened — it’s not getting better, she doesn’t know its cause, her imagination is getting the best of her — but none of that is Ginny’s fault.

Blondi is ashamed of herself this morning, and looking forward to another hour passing so it will be late enough to call Ginny and tell her she’s sorry she was a cow.

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The Wake

✿⊱╮There is a wake this afternoon for a man born and raised at Sandy Lake but long removed. Still, his family’s roots are here and, like many, he requested his bones (ashes in his case) be buried here too. He wanted a wake, not a funeral, and left instructions to his relatives to stay clear of churches and preachers and prayers. And a friggin’ service, he’s said to have said.

“Or I’ll h’ant ya,” he is said to have told them.

Blondi is in the kitchen refilling trays with sandwiches and squares, and the man’s friends and loved ones are visiting with each other out front.

“Something for you,” she hears, turning. It’s the man’s grandson with a paper bag in his hand. “It’s in the will.”

It’s a bottle of whisky, she sees, as he slides it out of the bag.

Huh! That’s not necessary at all, she tells him.

“Granddad was a recovered alcoholic, you know,” says the lad, “so maybe this is his idea of a joke, I don’t know. He said it in his will — the wake’s at your place, so you get the booze. Even though we aren’t drinking at the do.”

“I’ll think of him as I’m sipping on it,” Blondi says, and tucks it beneath the counter.

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Forty-five Years Ago

✿⊱╮
When Julie posts something from a 1978 journal, Blondi pulls out one of hers to see if she can reply.

She finds 1979, copies out a few recipes, and this:

“Turkey with the gall to tell me how I would be a better, nicer person if I were only more true to him than to myself.”

And

“I’m not just a shit factory.”

Goodness, she grins, amused. She was no dummy back then.

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Lions and Tigers Oh My

✿⊱╮What she hears is people being kind to each other, at least to their faces.

No one wants to hurt someone’s feelings.
No one likes facing the anger of another.
It’s easier to let things slide than to display your real thoughts to someone who might disapprove.

Do people say you’re a fine singer? They didn’t know you could sing like that? Not for a million dollars will they mention your embarrassing flat notes. To you.

Have they been saying they love your stories? They will. They do. Some of them. The stories that sucked? Were sloppy, or trite, or vague or lazy or cliché? Those won’t be mentioned. (To you.) You’re a talent beyond measure.

No one wants to hurt your feelings. That’s too uncomfortable. They’d rather let you make a fool of yourself.

In the café she overhears exclamations of gushing support all the time, and is shocked to discover they aren’t genuine. What is said to someone else … not the same at all … behind your back, to others … that’s when the whole truth comes out. The negatives are held up for another to acknowledge and the two-faced speaker strikes Blondi as cowardly.

And yet, to your face … gentle kindness.

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The Call

Why oh why do some people think it’s okay to phone at 6:42 in the morning?
She is gritting her teeth as she tries to be pleasant to the caller, who probably thinks it’s best to catch her early, before the day “begins.”
But the ringing of the phone during her normally quiet first hour has jangled her nerves, and now she is owly.
She knows she shouldn’t let such a small thing influence one more moment. She knows that she is probably angry about something else entirely. She touches her spasming back and wonders if that particular suffering and her instant reaction to the phone call are related.
She shouldabin a psychologist, she chuckles to herself.
Maybe it’s as simple as she pulled a muscle, and someone had a perfectly good reason for disturbing her peace so early in the day, and there is no connection or meaning between the two or anything else.
It just is what it is.

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