This morning I found a card by my bed.
Is he really saying I shouldn’t get a whole month?
It’s the eve of my big day and I got up at 5:30 ready to roll! After a rather pensive and (way too) quiet couple of days, I felt like my old self this morning. With all the morning chores done, I’m fixin’ to get ready for swimming. (We say that thing, “fixin’ to”, in these parts.) I’m going to rock Day 7.
After the swimming…
The water felt wonderful this morning! Our instructor, Dennis, was already in the water. I think he was giving a swimming lesson. I grabbed my phone and snapped the first picture of him talking with a classmate. Then I called to him, “Dennis, turn around. I want to take your picture.”
“Are you in the witness protection program or something?” I asked.
He wasn’t joking. He repeated, “I don’t do photos.”
“Okay,” I said, and rounded the pool to take my place in the water.
Dennis is good. We love him. He gives the Senior Water Aerobics class a good workout. I promise, the old girls in that class can outdo a whole lot of younger women.
Today, Dennis worked our legs harder than he has ever done. The moves were all different. It was fun and exciting. About five minutes into the class, he yelled at me. “Why do you want to take my picture?”
I hollered back. “I’m making a birthday book. I wanted you to be in the book.”
“Well, I’m careful about pictures. All I need is for a husband to call me up to ask me why his wife has a picture of me on her phone.” He grinned.
I laughed out loud and said to my nearest buddy, “He obviously does not know Dave.”
“No, really,” he said, “it’s not exactly that. Well, it is, but, see, I stay in enough trouble with my lady already.” And when the class hooted, he grinned even bigger. He’s a showman, in addition to being a wonderful physical trainer. “You can take my picture. Just try to get my good side. After class. It’s a date.”
Mom found out today that she is not the oldest participant in the class. Hessie told her that she’s got her beat by six years, making her eighty-eight years old. I think Mom was disappointed. They work out holding on to the same end of the pool and they check up on each other when one is absent.
Dennis came to us as we pulled on our cover-ups and Mom collected her walker. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to insult you. Where do you want me?”
“Over by the pool,” I said.
He mugged and I snapped several times. When I thanked him, he took a handle on Mom’s walker. “I hope you have a happy birthday. Mind if I ask how old you are?”
“Nope. This is a big one. I’m sixty-five.”
“Nah-h-h-h-h. You’re not sixty-five.”
“Oh yes, she is,” Mom said. “I’m eighty-two.”
“Ain’t no way you’re eighty-two.” He pointed to me. “She might convince me that she’s sixty-five, but you are not eighty-two years old.”
Mom beamed and prissed behind her walker to the locker room across the pool deck in her red swimsuit.
I keep cracker snacks and granola bars in the van’s console for Mom. She has to have something to eat on the way home from the pool. Today she chose a Roasted Almond Bar.
“Oooooo, that’s good,” she said. “That Dennis is cute as a bug’s ear.”
“Yep,” I answered. “Hey, I’m going to stir-fry some bok choy and ground meat for lunch today. Want some?”
Dave and I took Murphy to the surgery center at 2:00 P.M. for a follow-up. When we took her in for her two-week post-op visit, he was not pleased with her progress. Today, his whole young face lit up.
“Murphy’s condition today is like night and day different from the last time she was here.”
Dave answered, “We think she’s progressing well.”
“She certainly is.” He told us his findings of her exam and of the biopsy sent in week before last. She’s arthritic, nothing pathological, not much even identifiable except the typical deterioration. We’re to carry on as we’re doing now, physical therapy for at least another four weeks, no stairs, no jumping or romping or running.
While we talked, Murphy charmed. She flopped on her belly and stretched out like a bullfrog. She rolled. She smiled. She scratched one ear in a slow, lazy flop of her left leg. And, of course, everyone who saw her told her, and us, how cute she is, the little wench. None of them have seen her when she doesn’t want a PT session.
We got home with plenty of time left in the afternoon. I wondered if Mom and Dad might want to do some of the shopping we’d planned for tomorrow. Actually, it was a pedicure for Dad and a glasses adjustment for Mom–and both of those things occur at WalMart.
Tomorrow is Friday. Sure, it’s my birthday, too, but it’s grocery shopping day. And this week, Kroger advertised pineapples for $.99 each, pork loin for $1.99 a pound, and three selections of cheeses for $5.00. What caught my eye was not only that pineapple, but bone-in chicken breasts for $1.19 a pound and ten boxes of pasta for $10.00.
Mom and I planned our agenda yesterday and it included Kroger. The schedule was like this: To Virtue Nails for mani/pedis at 10:00 A.M. To WalMart Neighborhood Store at Nippers Corner for groceries. Home to pick up Dad to go to the Super WalMart for his pedicure and Mom’s glasses adjustment. I didn’t discuss small stops I need to make at Lowe’s and Sherwin-Williams.
So our trip today reduced the crowded plan for tomorrow.
By the time we loaded up with pineapples, pork, chicken, and cheese, Mom was tired and Dad was hurting. Shingles isn’t over with when the lesions heal. There’s nerve pain that follows, and it’s anybody’s guess how long it might take to leave a specific individual.
Mom reminded me. “You wanted to stop at Sherwin-Williams.” The store is in a strip center on the back of Kroger. We cut through the parking lot to take a back route to our house.
“I don’t know, Mom, I think Dad’s ready to go home.”
Sometimes I think Dad’s hearing problem is selective. He popped up, from the back seat, “Sis, go ahead and stop at the paint store. You won’t be in there that long.”
I quickly settled on three paint cards of green. I thought I was going to paint the kitchen a steel blue–or blue-gray–until my daughter-in-law Vicky convinced me that green was the way to go. She’s right–so right! The paint cards are taped to the kitchen cabinets. I think I see the possibilities.
Was that thunder? Yes, it was. Murphy hates storms but she has to go out one more time before bed. Dave just stuck his head inside from the porch to say it’s raining already.