Getting older isn't much fun. I thought (I'd been told!) that being older meant being wiser but consider the events of the past week:
Sunday. I am washing the supper dishes. Suddenly the sink is bright with blood though I've felt nothing, no pain. I lift my hands from the suds and in the left is a broken glass. The middle finger on my right hand is pumping blood at an alarming rate. I wrap the finger tightly in a towel and run next door to beg a ride to the ER for the stitches I know I am going to need. The doctor unwraps the finger, peers at it and says nonchalantly, "Nothing to stitch here. You've taken off several layers of your skin nearly to the bone."
My stomach does a little dance. A gentle nurse washes the wound and bandages it, a big, white, bulky roll of a bandage. The next day at school one of the urchins exclaims, "Ms C! Were you being bad with your bad finger?"
What was I thinking, stuffing my hand along with a bulky sponge into a glass? Glass breaks! I've since bought a spongy brush on a long handle with which to wash the glasses.
Tuesday. Weekday mornings are always a rush. I get up early so I have time to shower and dress, pack a lunch, make the bed, feed the cat, and check my email before leaving, but inevitably I am flying around at the last minute. On this morning, I rush out the door into the rain juggling my school bag, keys, tea mug and umbrella. I set the travel mug on the top of the car, close the umbrella, toss the bag into the car and climb in after it. As I'm pulling out of the driveway something dark goes flying by my left side. Startled, I step on the brakes and peer out the rain spattered window. There, leaking all my lovely hot tea into the drive, is my travel mug. Sigh.
Friday. An official looking letter arrives in the mail from the motor vehicle department. Inside are instructions for renewing my license. I'm flummoxed. My license is not up for renewal until 2015. It's only 2011. I've heard of efficiency, but this? Hell's bells! I look at the clock - too late to call and get it straightened out today. It will have to wait until Monday. Halfway through supper, after mentally muttering harsh words about the incompetency of officialdom, I grab up the paper and look again. It's not for renewing my license - it's for renewing my car registration! How had I missed that? There it says, in blaring blue capital letters at the top of the page, VEHICLE REGISTRATION RENEWAL. I'd fussed fruitlessly for at least an hour and wasted some very choice vocabulary words because I'd misread the paper. I've been with second graders too long. They never read instructions thoroughly either!
Saturday. Laundry day. I don't own a dryer though I do have a small, apartment-sized portable washing machine that hooks by hose to the kitchen sink. Because I'm always in a hurry on weekday mornings, I usually save the laundry chores for the weekend, hoping for at least one sunny day for line drying. This morning the sun popped up over the horizon quite early and the day promised heaps of sunshine and warm temperatures. I roll the washer into place, hook up the hose, turn on the water and put the clothes in the machine.
Something is amiss. The water stops filling half way up the tub and the agitator starts turning with half the clothes still sitting serenely (and quite dry) on the top of the pile. I stop the machine and put it on a different setting, thinking that perhaps the delicate setting I'd chosen requires only half a tub of water. The agitator starts up immediately no matter what setting I choose. Well, hellfire. I can afford neither a repair bill or a new washer. What is wrong with the foolish thing anyhow? And then, only after I pull half the clothes out of the washer, let it run on the small amount of water it will draw, and contemplating a day wasted standing in front of the washing machine, does it occur to me to check the water setting. One of the items I'd pulled from the unwashed clothes was a left behind baby sock and I have a sudden clear image of the Bean gleefully turning the dials on the front of the washer when she was here last weekend. Sure enough, the water setting is pointing to LOW.
I'm telling you, old age is a bother. Your brain (well mine, anyhow) just doesn't click along the way it used to. I'm feeling mighty foolish as I write this, knowing you're all shaking your heads and tut-tutting. But, if there's anything you've been meaning to ask some older, wiser person, you had better do it now while you're thinking of it. Chances are, if you put it off, you'll forget it and the older, wiser person will have done so as well!
In her comment, Tabor asked me to tell what went right this week. Hold onto your hats!
1. Three days of steady rain made my salad garden off the patio surge with new growth resulting in a spectacular salad containing fresh lettuce leaves, baby spinach, chives, basil, oregano, parsley and radishes, all picked, tossed with chopped egg, some pickled beets, a bit of shredded bacon left over from breakfast, sprinkled with balsamic vinegar and eaten within minutes of picking.
2. The kids at school were little bundles of sympathy and concern for my injured finger. The girls blew kisses at it and the boys offered to sort homework papers and clean the chalkboard so I could "rest' my hand.
3. The prescription reading glasses I had to break down and buy allow me to read fine print anywhere.
4. My daughter has asked me to make her wedding dress!
5. Sunshine is abundant now the rain has stopped, the local nursery is having a giant plant sale to which I am headed as soon as I press Update and the Transfer Station is holding bulky waste weekend so there are sure to be lots of treasures.
6. The irises in the front flower garden are making a fabulous showing.
7. The hummingbirds have found the new feeder I put up yesterday and have frequented it both last night and this morning.
8. I am wakened each morning by a cardinal's song. Much better than any alarm clock!
9. We have four (count them, four!) pairs of Baltimore Orioles nesting around the yard and the meadow. They are such beautiful birds.
10. I may have lost my knuckle; my neighbor lost his entire arm to cancer. I may have broken a glass; one child's family in my second grade lost her home to bankruptcy. I may have misread and fretted over my registration renewal; a friend lost her life in a car accident. I am blessed beyond measure every day.