My dilemma: to drive home [twenty minutes], putz around with beds and dishes and laundry for an hour or so, then drive back, or park the car and wait. Not being sure, I had armed myself with a book, the newspaper and a scribble pad, and thrown my sneakers in the back. However, it was 9 a.m. Fields and trees still shrouded in fog. I'll stay, I thought, and hope the fog burns off. The campus is several miles out of town, set among fields and huge oak trees, which provide a haven from the heat, in summer, for the cattle always grazing there.
I parked overlooking the fields and opened the newspaper to the most important section: Sudoku and the crossword puzzle. While my brain did its morning work-out, my eyes kept tabs on the fog. The sun was slowly burning through; it was going to be a nice day. I set off walking towards a line of trees that stretched away, invitingly, toward the horizon.
The pine needles felt so nice underfoot, carpet-soft and springy from the recent rain. A fence paralleled the line of trees, separating me from a field of grazing cattle.The quiet of the morning was broken only by the distant hum of traffic and the twittering of birds. The cattle munched serenely, looking at me with only the mildest of curiosity. How now brown cow? Bet you don't lose sleep at night worrying about your calves. Didn't think so. Animals have so much more sense than we do.....Not much into fretting about things they cannot change.
The path narrowed to squeeze between the fence and the woods. It's a sorry reflection on modern times that my footsteps faltered for a moment. The raucous cawing of a blackbird mocked me for a Fraidy Cat, so I pressed onward, glancing apprehensively now and again into the trees on my left, hoping that none of the unsavory characters from Grimms' Fairy Tales, or their modern manifestations, would choose this increasingly sunny morning to visit Central Florida.
To my surprise, a bend in the path brought me to a familiar park. One where we'd spent many a summer evening, watching soccer games, back in the Bean's high school days. I had it completely to myself. I passed the soccer field, the kiddie playground, and several baseball diamonds, and found a bench, and sat and scribbled, and mentally chewed my pencil and wondered......I thought by now I'd be off this particular exercise wheel, moving placidly into my dotage, but the universe, apparently, has other plans. Thanks to what could be called, depending on your point of view, [and your gender] my worry gene, my naivete/ignorance, or my dumbass quotient, here I am, still stuck on the same old wheel, still going 'round and 'round, wondering when and where it will end. I've gone over and over it in my head and I still think I was right to be alarmed, but probably wrong to let bureaucratic pen pushers get involved. Who knew they could, with a few strokes of their uncaring, unconcerned pens, wreck such havoc with our lives?
What's that saying----No good deed goes unpunished? Ha!
Time to retrace my steps. The cattle have retreated to the farthest reaches of the field. The blackbird raucously taunts me. Caw! Caw! Caw! The fog is gone and the sun is high in a blue, blue sky.......