Wednesday, February 1, 2017

On Hold—But—The World Keeps Turning

On Hold—But—The World Keeps Turning
            Thank you, Daughter, for writing my article last week. Rocking chair, indeed! Next time I’m incapacitated, I’ll ask my Son to take my place. I didn’t break that many rules.

New eyeballs! There is a huge, vibrant, crisp and clear world out here, just waiting for me to explore. But my most excellent doctor, with whom I nearly fell in love pre-surgery, turned into a growly ogre post-surgery. End of romance.

            “What do you mean, stay indoors? Don’t garden? Stay away from public places? Don’t bend. Sleep on back. Don’t pick up anything weighty. What does that mean? Don’t stand over a steaming pot cooking. Stay out of the oven. Don’t read, no computer, no television. (I don’t own a television.)

            “Sunglasses.” “Okay, shades, I understand.” Sunglasses are sexy, friends tell me.

            “You bring me back this same pair of perfect eyes I see today,” said Dr. Landazuri.

            Reluctantly, I nodded. I never thought of myself as a rebel. In fact, I’m rather too compliant. But this is hard. Don’t read? I feel like my life is on hold, final exam February 7, before Dr. L will push the “play” button.

            Meanwhile the world keeps turning.

Do I follow the rules? I do the best I can. If I drop a sock, I can hardly call my neighbor. I pick up the sock. One day I went outside without my sunglasses. Two infractions in one. Josue immediately tagged me, sending me scurrying back indoors. On a windy, dusty day, yes.

            My never-ending garden demands care. Reluctantly, I get help. Leo always does the heavy work for me. (Yesterday he also swept and mopped my floors. Asking for help is hard for me to do.)

            Roses need dead-heading. My first amaryllis bloomed. My lime tree is heavy with blossoms; my orange trees filled with tiny green globes. The jacaranda trees shed leaves in the smallest breeze. In days they will burst with new green.

I asked David, who owns the vivero (garden center) why my naked trees along the brick wall were dead. He looked at me strangely, “It’s winter.” Winter? Fall? Spring? How do I tell? Each plant seems to have a different season. You should see my riot-of-color-geraniums!

            My son bought me a new computer and set it up so it would be easy for me to use. He knows me, knows what I want. She is a lovely all-in-one with a large screen so I can watch movies via Netflix. Three weeks ago my son put my computer into the care of UPS for shipping.

            Henrietta, she already has a personality, is taking the scenic route. She has criss-crossed Washington and Oregon, delayed by ice storms and extreme weather, and is now in Idaho? What is “extreme weather”? Why Idaho?

            My son said, “Don’t worry. Think about all the stories she will have. Think Mardi Gras beads.”

            Several days ago Bonnie carried around a colorful King’s Cake for each of us to cut a slice. People in many countries follow this tradition, to celebrate religious festivals, some at Epiphany. In Mexico, the celebration is held Candlemas Day, in observance of Jesus’ presentation in the Temple.

            When I cut into the cake, my slice held a Baby Jesus figurine, which conferred on me honor and fortune throughout the year. Along with the privilege, I also have an obligation to host a party for friends and neighbors. Bonnie served three cakes so several of us lucky ones will co-host the festivities. Following tradition, we will serve tamales and atole, a drink made with masa, the corn flour used in tortillas, to which fruit or chocolate is added.

            This year’s party is February second. I’d made plans to be in Mazatlan the third, so I changed my reservations to the fourth. While I was changing my plans, Bonnie changed her plans. The party will now be the fourth! I’ll contribute, but I’ll miss my own party. What kind of fortune is that!

            “Mexican surprise” is what my gringo friends and I call it. It’s what happens when communication lines are fouled; happens frequently when ordering dinner in a restaurant.

            Meanwhile I am doing the best I can with healing, patience and following rules. I can’t help it if sometimes I forget and a book opens in my hands. When I was growing up, Grandma would call me to set the table or do dishes. “Just one more chapter, please.” Not a lot has changed. “Just one chapter, please.”

Sondra Ashton
HDN: Looking out my back door

January 26, 2017

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