Apparently my new pillow comes from the Dream Factory, because my nights now dance with weird images and strange omens. In the last four days, I’ve dreamed that I had a rat infestation, that I had to decide whether to go on life support, and that a much-loved neighbor moved far away without telling anyone. Oddly enough, the pillow has actually eased the sharp pains in my neck, so that’s something, anyway.
A plethora of niggling chores await me today. As I sat over scrambled eggs, listening to the sad sound of hunters aiming for my beloved snow geese, I contemplated the little piles of half-completed tasks. A stack of cards needs organizing. The lower cabinet bulges with disarray. The sides of the refrigerator ooze with the grime of a spilled bottle of dressing. Clothes still hang on the ladder bar from last week’s washing of undryables. Stuff like that. Saturday stuff.
I went to town yesterday. In these parts, “town” means different places depending on your directional proclivity. Folks who live in Rio Vista tell me that when they go “out of town”, they mean Fairfield. For me, east of the Sacramento River, Lodi seems more logical for any shopping or services not available in our immediate environs. To Lodi, then; and a sweep of stores, from which I returned with cleaning supplies, a week’s worth of bottled drinking water, and a belly ache.
This last came courtesy of Black Bear Diner on Kettelman. I know better than to lunch at such venues. In fact, I can’t even order lunch; the only vegetarian offering centers on a pre-made “veggie” burger of a brand that I find wholly inedible. But my stomach growled as I stood at the UPS counter debating the comparative shipment options. I felt my blood sugar drop and my agitation rise. I needed food. I paused by the Panera’s but could see a line stretching to the door. I told myself that I could park close and order breakfast at the Black Bear. Both true. But oh, the chemical taste of the potatoes! I left them on the plate and struggled back to my car, content with the decently scrambled eggs and half of the dry biscuit.
The drive from Lodi charms me every time. Row after row of grape vines span either side of Highway 12. The trees that I figure must be pears have begun to bud. Flocks of migrating birds rise from the fields and cut across the afternoon sky in their graceful formations. The rivers stretch for miles in winding curves. I take Brannan Island Road past the marinas and notice that work has resumed at Rancho, ravaged by fire in October 2021 and apparently with new, well-heeled owners trying to rehabilitate the scarred section. I nod my head and hope for the best before continuing on the curving levee road. Just as I reach my park, I see a ship start to ease around the bend, headed for Stockton from the Bay. Delta life; nothing finer. I turn into our entrance still smiling from the pleasant journey home.
Now another day stretches before me. I’m on my third cup of coffee; two mugs to the good and filled with possibly deceptive energy. The benefits of living tiny shout themselves today. I could deep-clean the entire place by noon. A crystalline sky rises above me, glimpsed through the transom. The front porch and my little deck need sweeping. Weeds have overtaken the small empty space between the tree and my parking spot. I could happily tend to the repotting of succulents and pulling volunteer grass from the awakening gardenia. Any nagging worry recedes to the background, forgotten in the staggering, unbridled bliss of another day when I was awake to see the dawn.
It’s the eighteenth day of the one-hundred and tenth month of My Year Without Complaining. Life continues.
Thank you for reading my blog. If you have not yet purchased my book and wish to do so, February will be a good month as it’s the first month in my new campaign to raise money for worthy causes. A percentage of all sales for the rest of 2023 will be donated to nonprofits, with a different charity chosen each month.
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