Michael Byers tells me it’s 6:31 and 75 degrees. I have not ventured onto the porch but I see the motionless flags hanging from the house and think, gonna be a scorcher, better run the sprinkler for a while, and pad around the house. I squint at the tablet on the table, answer a couple of messages, and pour another cup of coffee.
At the keeping shelf a few wine glasses stand ready for this evening when my cohorts in the next children’s writing workshop will be gathered around my table for the initial planning session. I take stock of the wine, think about the groceries to be bought for dinner, and run over the week’s schedule in my mind. I’ve gotten busy; work, Rotary, planning for the September DV fundraiser. I bounce on my toes, testing for swelling in the jammed left foot. Painful but not too bad. I might be able to wear real shoes.
I catch a glimpse of myself in the buffet’s mirror and chuckle. My son left a basket of clothes for Goodwill and I snagged a couple of T-shirts to wear for sleeping and yardwork. I look ridiculous but I don’t care; it’s comfortable. I’ve gotten to that stage. I can wear what I like. It’s a good feeling. Still life with attitude.
It’s the twentieth day of the thirtieth month of My Year Without Complaining. It’s the summer solstice. I plan to make good use of the daylight. Life continues.
“Warning” by Jenny Joseph
When I am an old woman I shall wear purple
With a red hat which doesn’t go, and doesn’t suit me.
And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves
And satin sandals, and say we’ve no money for butter.
I shall sit down on the pavement when I’m tired
And gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells
And run my stick along the public railings
And make up for the sobriety of my youth.
I shall go out in my slippers in the rain
And pick flowers in other people’s gardens
And learn to spit.
You can wear terrible shirts and grow more fat
And eat three pounds of sausages at a go
Or only bread and pickle for a week
And hoard pens and pencils and beermats and things in boxes.
But now we must have clothes that keep us dry
And pay our rent and not swear in the street
And set a good example for the children.
We must have friends to dinner and read the papers.
But maybe I ought to practice a little now?
So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised
When suddenly I am old, and start to wear purple.