Why are you wearing outside clothes inside? he asked on Friday night. It was only a down-filled vest over a bunnyhug over a shirt, and I had Grandpa Benson’s fedora on my head, and there were two pairs of big thick socks on my feet, but I didn’t think I’d gone over the top. We were watching TV and a quilt was spread across my lap.
“I’m trying to get accustomed to 68 degrees,” I said, “to reduce pollution and save money. I have to dress this way to keep warm unless I’m moving.” When I’m hustling around the kitchen, layers of clothing often need to be divested.
I was doing pretty well, too, but yesterday morning when I got up he had already turned the thermostat to 70F. He said it was because Ducky Doodle was shivering.
If you have a cold and are within a foot of me, I can taste a mucousy thickness in the air. I suppose I’ve mentioned this before. Did I ask: Does this happen to anyone else?
I notice from looking into old journals that I’ve repeated the same concerns many times over the years, in slightly different ways. It’s as if I’m trying to find the most articulate manner of writing something down, as if eventually I’ll say it so as to receive a final satisfying insight. The same conflicts and disappointments exist now as 30 years ago, dressed up differently, as if I haven’t improved at life.
On the bright side, maybe it’s been therapy all along:
“Original research showed that writing for as little as twenty minutes about troubling topics may boost your immune system and lead to numerous health benefits reversing the ravages of stress. Research has repeatedly shown enhanced cardio-vascular function, lower blood pressure, reduced asthma and arthritis symptoms, decreased need for pain medication in many instances, and more. Emotional health benefits such as relief from depression, better sleep, and enhanced sense of well-being are also common.” ~ Somewhere on the Internet
The forecast for the coming week is for cold and snow, so today Scott and his brother are hauling bales home from a field a few miles north and will be getting some cattle ready to sell. Yesterday, though, was one of those perfect-weather days. There was no wind, the sky was blue with only wisps of cloud, and the snow was sparkling. I walked to the corner, a 15-minute jaunt to get there, with my winter jacket open and my mitts off.
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