My phone with its dying battery rings at five thirty Pacific and my sister says, How was your Sunday? I say, it was fine, and I realize, suddenly, that it was.
She asks, what did you do?
I tell her.
I woke early; and made organic coffee from freshly ground beans and water heated on my three-burner propane stove. I have discovered the coffee kettle. I have no idea why no one told me that as an adult, I no longer need struggle with a heavy tea kettle. Now that I know, I have a light vessel which my lily white hands can lift. The thin spout pours the water directly over the grounds in the metal funnel. I brewed two perfect cups of coffee with little effort and enjoyed my first sips while I gathered what I need for breakfast.
I scrambled two pasture-raised eggs in butter and piled the fluffy golden curds on lightly toasted sourdough bread. I’m a vegetarian. My parents discovered my inability to process red meat fifty years ago. My mother told the pediatrician that every time I ate beef, I vomited. “Don’t feed her beef,” he instructed. Simple. I’ve gone through bouts of pescatarianism and ate chicken for a while. I even succumbed to the deliciousness of bacon, when my son was little and my then-husband made perfectly cooked, flat, pepper-cured Burger’s Smokehouse every Sunday. How could I resist? But now I mainly eat plant-based, except for butter and eggs. The only man whom I’ve dated since my last divorce ditched me because of it. “Don’t make me choose between you and butter,” I warned. He made the choice for me.
After breakfast, I discovered a sewer problem when I took a shower and the water failed to drain. It’s never an issue caused by me; I have a composting toilet. But the old lines of this park can’t take too much stress, and I’m on the tie-in with two other tiny houses. I called the park; and a couple of stalwart workers came, despite it being their day off. I got dressed and went outside to thank them. I traded political sallies with one of them about my Biden sign and his dislike of Pelosi. He’s a good guy and neither of us got angry.
Late morning found me outside potting the new gardenia tree and its new neighbor, a lovely Japanese maple. I got them at the Delta Tree Farms yesterday. The manager, Linda, took me around the lovely grounds and talked about shade, light, and growth height. I told her about my mother’s love of gardenias and the Japanese maple in the front yard of my Kansas City bungalow. I showed her a picture of my tiny house and described the spot which I planned for the trees. She steered me toward a moderately priced variety and loaded trees, pots, and soil in my car. I went home happy.
After I got the trees in their new vessels this morning, I puttered around my deck. I could use more big pots. I have a plethora of succulents which thrive here, even with my typical inattention. I repotted what I could and swept the little deck. Then my neighbor Alex arrived to start on the mural he’s painting on the back cupboard of my house. I got distracted from chores by his enthusiasm, by the taking of “before” photos and a little video-clip of the first passes of the sander, and by the delightful distraction of chatting with other neighbors about the project.
In the afternoon, I called my dear friend Penny Thieme. We talked for an hour, maybe longer, as scores of snow geese passed overhead and the cooling air signaled the impending arrival of sunset. I smiled through the entire call, including a quiet few minutes when we talked about the tragic death of our friend’s son Bo, during which interlude, I confess, I also cried.
As night closed around me, I made a little something for dinner. Then, well, the phone rang and I heard my sister’s voice, and my smile returned. Later, when I had finished eating, I scrolled through YouTube and discovered a video of Redemptrist brothers and cloistered nuns dancing to Jerusalema. It seemed a perfect end to a perfect Sunday, and I’m not even religious.
It’s the twenty-eighth day of the eighty-sixth month of My Year Without Complaining. Life continues.
To see a very amateur cell-phone video of my tiny garden, click here.