Friday, October 21, 2022

A Day in the Life, or Two, or Three, of a Woman Alone

 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.


Elephant's Child said...

They sound like pretty good days.
I talk to the birds too. And the plants.
And usually don't eat well if himself is away. It some how seems like too much effort to cook a proper meal - which is crazy because we eat very differently and when he is home two different meals are the order of the day.
Your soda bread was obviously GOOD.
I hope the pesky skritchers can be quickly identified and evicted when OC returns and that the testosterone projects go well.

gz said...

It's good to have days to yourself!
Memories of roof scritchings....hope they may be evicted soon.

Meeting with friends is good, even with your yoga teacher...reconnecting in person is important, even if we don't go back to classes.

Enjoy your you time..and enjoy their return! Xx

Annemiek said...

So happy this morning to see that you wrote a new post. It has been said before: you do have a way with words! I did not read it once but 3 times and I will read it out loud to my quilting friend who will come over this afternoon.. It’s a bit like the times I would sit and sew while listening to John Hurt on discovery channel. I did not care about the animals he talked about, but loved his soothing voice and pronounciation..
I do love your story though, so recognisable! ( apart from the fact that there’s not so much testosterone around here lately haha)
I’m no morning person either, talk to plants and birds and we also had critter noises in the roof. It was mice :(
Already looking forward to you next adventure!

Molly said...

EC - It is tempting to be lazy and to loaf when alone, but I've been adventurous. I don't care for fast food especially when it's so easy to prepare something healthy (I keep a respectable distance between the chocolate croissant episodes!) The OC doesn't care for quinoa, or rice, or kale - guess what my recent diet has been heavy on?

gz - You are so right! We have a good friend in Germany who once said it's necessary every few years at least, to meet friends in person to keep the friendship alive. I remember those words often and wish there weren't so many miles between us.

Annemiek - Thank you for the encouraging words. I woke up this morning and my first thought was "Did I really post all that drivel on Blogger last night?" I thought if the answer was yes, it might have been called by night-owl-induced sleep deprivation and I should get on the computer quick and delete it, but your comment calmed me down. That said, it might still be drivel....

Molly said...


Relatively Retiring said...

What a lovely ramble through the day.
For many years now I have lived alone and the experience is very different. I need to balance myself with activity and relaxation, contact with others and solitude. My home is the greatest possible support in this, with so many things that have to be done in the house and in the garden. This includes having morning coffee (and mealworms) with the very tame robin every morning.
Sometimes it is a bit of a struggle to keep going, but then there's a sense of achievement when I have managed to remain independent and even to conquer new skills.

Annemiek said...

Since you are a “ no reply blogger” I cannot answer you by mail, so here I am. Again.
Thank you for your nice comments on my blog!
I did read your blog out loud this afternoon and my friend loved it too, so keep on posting that drivel hahaha

Colette said...

I got a kick out of the "testosterone tasks" your men were doing. As for notebooks and journals, I have some of those around as well. I really must get rid of them before I pass.

Dee said...

Dear Molly, you do know how to craft a phrase and your writing--when you do tongue-in-cheek that is so witty, just delights me. Some of your verbs/predicates paint pictures that stay in my mind all day--those cardinals!

I, too, have a journal/notebook/daybook/datebook/etc. addiction, or do I mean "affliction"????? Just last week I went to Amazon and ordered not one but four! day books for 2023. Who need four? I do!

And I have countless little pads of paper sent by charities in drawers and on shelves around the house--that suggests the addiction I have to making lists and checking off the activities and feeling at the end of the day, "Well done, Dee!"

Molly, you said at one point that you had figured out how to "sign in with Google." Is there a way you could tell me how to do that? I can't leave responses to comments on my own blog because I can't sign in. I'd appreciate any help you could give me. Peace from Dee

Pam said...

Ah, the notebook addiction. Not familiar at all. Cough...

Molly said...

RR - you made me laugh describing hanging out with that Robin! Do you enjoy the mealworms as much as he does? For myself I prefer oatmeal (without mealworms) and, of course, coffee.
I think, even when it's difficult, living alone, keeping up with all the chores that come with maintaining your own house, is more likely to keep you mentally and physically fit than being in a home for the elderly where everything is done for you, leaving you with very little to do yourself. I hope you can continue to maintain your independence. If not for yourself then for your robin friend. Who would he share his mealworms with if not with you?

Annemiek - So glad you and your friend enjoyed it. Hopefully my glaring spelling mistake did not trip you up too badly!

Colette - yes, it's a daunting thought that others might read all our ramblings after we're gone! Time to purge before it's too late!

Dee - thanks for the encouraging words. Signing in again was a hit-and-miss operation - involving Bing, Microsoft, Google and (God help me!) changing passwords yet again. It still takes more steps than it used to so I don't think you could rely on any advice from me. Maybe your local phone store or library or a random teenager - they seem to be wired from birth with all this technology. Good luck!

Pam (eagle-eyed teacher, retired but still on her game!)- Thank you for pointing out (so discreetly!) my glaring faux pas. The nuns must be blushing "up there" on my behalf.