My Tuesday started Monday evening with a round-table discussion over dinner in my home.  The three presenters of the next Children’s Writing Workshop met to discuss the project.  I had promised “a cold supper” but ended up with a vegetarian casserole and salad.  The eager flow of their ideas carried me until the last hug at nearly 9:00 p.m.  I watched one of them back out of the driveway and thought, well that went well.

The next morning, my feet had swelled again, something that’s been bothering me.  I realized that I had to call the cardiologist which I dread more than I should.  My heart condition lingers in the safe zone of supra-ventricular tachycardia.  Despite a few scares, it has not crossed over to ventricular tachycardia.  “Not life threatening,” they say.  “Just uncomfortable.”  Okay then, but swelling, now, this just started, should I worry?  I listened to my wildly beating heart and thought, maybe.

I placed the call.  Color me nervous.  I read a few emails and discovered that the afternoon’s hearing had been cancelled by the Court.  I sent out the requisite notices and poured another cup of coffee, closing my eyes, feeling my heart flutter.  Supra-ventricular tachycardia.  Two kinds of medicine, not life-shortening, just impactful.  Quality of life. Discomfort.  Pain.  Shortness of breath.

While I waited for the nurse to call, I queued the last two webinars that I needed to complete my CLE requirement for the reporting year which closes at the end of this month.  I watched two self-professed “geezers” talk about civil morality and how to decide if one should rat out one’s client with damning evidence.  They’ve chosen to read outloud the entirety of one of the illustrations from the materials.  The one they’ve picked involves a successful sexual harassment litigant and her attorney, who comes across a video of the incident which reveals that his client had perjured herself.  I wondered why the presenters have picked this particular example.  Could it be because it allows them to repeatedly and graphically describe a beautiful woman’s anatomy with impunity?

An hour into my endeavors, the cardiac nurse called with a bunch of questions.  At the end of our conversation, she hazards the guess that I have let myself get severely dehydrated.  She encouraged me to drink an ungodly amount of water each day and told me she will call back after reporting to the doctor.  I thanked her and started the next CLE, this time settling under headphones because the yard guys had arrived with their commercial-grade machines.

I emerged from the house while John and Charlie Smith stood examining my leaky diverter.  We chatted for a few moments about the multi-hose installation and the weeds they had come to slay.  The older one, John, described the problem with my watering system.  I did not really understand his theory but I gathered that inferior quality of product and ineffectual installation contributed to the massive leaking at the joins.  Figures, I thought, I shouldn’t have tried to do it myself.  I walked past them to my car.  I glanced at the flower bed; at the weeds growing tall on my fence, and thought, Got to keep this place up better.  The neighbors might start complaining.

When I backed out of the driveway, I saw that the brothers had already started attacking the overgrowth of vine.  They left the choke-weed with its purple blossoms.  Chaska Vogt will be pleased; he thinks they are pretty.  He’s six, though; and has not yet learned to distinguish noxious weeds from wildflowers.

It’s the twenty-second day of the thirtieth month of My Year Without Complaining.  Life continues in the sweltering heat.  I move slowly through the morning; I’m getting older. I’m no longer in a hurry.  I take my time.


Wildflowers from the garden of Tim and Mary Pettet.

Wildflowers from the garden of Tim and Mary Pettet.


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