The OC is away, out west, visiting our youngest son. I was too, for a while, but I'm back now. I left them to do all the things for which testosterone is a prerequisite. Chicken coop demolition for instance. Son tried, but the racoons, savage beasts that they are, won. It wasn't worth the aggravation, and the chicken murders, especially as eggs are cheap. And chopping logs for firewood? I wouldn't be able to lift the axe, never mind swing it. And if by some miracle I did I'd probably chop off my foot and a trip to the ER would be so inconvenient!
I arrived back home at two in the morning, piddled around, in spite of being exhausted, 'til five when I finally went to sleep. And so, the stage was set for getting up late and indulging my night-owl tendencies which I try to keep in check when the OC is home.
And now, when I do, finally, go to bed and lie in the dark, waiting for sleep, I've been hearing some scritch-scratching overhead and I wonder uneasily if we have lodgers? The pitter-patter of tiny feet...squirrels? mice? worse?
Most mornings, pre-coffee, me and my bucket go for a waltz around the garden, picking up fallen branches and pinecones, things that give the lawn mower indigestion; watering plants that are thirsty; talking to birds. There are hundreds of cardinals around here and they never fail to make me smile. This morning, as I wandered, they were always nearby, flitting in red flashes through bushes, swooping from tree to tree, flirting with each other and, I'm pretty sure, listening to me telling them how beautiful they are. Talks to birds, must be crazy? I'm okay with that, love those birds.
Yesterday I had a bone density test - so much fun, this thinning of the bones! But it was painless and quick and then I met a friend for coffee. We chatted about this and that, including the benefits to health and longevity of healthy eating - all the while munching on our chocolate croissants. We did our best to solve the world's problems and, though we didn't solve any of them, we did feel better for trying. She then went home to her husband, and I went shopping.
I went to a favorite shop in search of new sheets, one where it's always fun to browse and, in the middle of the linens' aisle, I was hailed by a familiar voice. Turning around I was face to face with our heavily tattooed, purple punk haired former yoga instructor. We've not gone back since finding, during covid, that it was as easy to practice at home with YouTube videos, and a lot more convenient. So - a little awkward. We small talked our way through five minutes, I heard about her upcoming trip to India, news of a mutual friend and, when there was nothing more to say, we said goodbye and I made a beeline for the stationery aisle.
I didn't find any sheets, but I didn't come away empty-handed. Have I told you about my addiction? To notebooks? journals? greeting cards? stationary of every stripe? As an addict, this was the aisle from which I should resolutely turn away and hasten towards the exit. But as much as I try to slap my hand away from reaching out in these places.........well, you know how addiction works.
I don't need any more notebooks.
I know this, but the knowing doesn't help.
They're stashed all over the house and when I die my children will find them.
I can see it now in my mind's eye. It might make them sad; they might wipe away a tear or two -
"If only we'd known how serious this was, we could have staged an intervention and dear old Ma would still be here, scribbling away faster than ever, trying to fill them all...."
It was getting on into the afternoon. Time to go home. To a cup of tea, a few chapters of my book, a half hour's stitching, something for supper - I'll be glad when the OC's back. I like cooking but dislike eating alone. Food is for sharing.
The evening reports came in from the testosterone duo - today's project - building steps on the deck.
At nine p.m. I got a wild hair to make soda bread with raisins and, while it was baking, lowered my bones to the floor for some yoga, the better to make them creak less. I let the bread cool and had a slice with my hot cocoa. And then another slice, and another. It was either delicious or I was hungry, or both - don't judge me.
And so, to bed, perchance to dream; perchance to not hear the lodgers scritch-scratching above me. Identifying same and giving them the heave-ho is most assuredly a job requiring testosterone.