The opposable thumb, even on the left hand, is used more often than I realized. I verified that in the conduct of my daily routines after slicing into it while chopping vegetables.
On the third trip downstairs to start the laundry, I finally do so. On the first, I examine the contents of the fridge; on the second, water the houseplants, remembering the laundry only once I’m back upstairs. It is one way to exercise.
People’s lifestyles can’t be observed by visiting them. Introducing guests into the environment changes things, as anthropologists know. We who see a movie in theaters once a quarter, see two during the daughter’s five-day visit, and dine out three times, another anomaly. This is not how we live when no one else is here.
Having company reveals things about your spouse that you’d otherwise never discover. When a guest mentioned having a key made for her car, Phil said the tag on his key ring contains the code needed to make a duplicate for ours. How come I never knew that?
Von tells us she got an ice cream cake for her birthday. Phil exclaims, “I always wanted an ice cream cake!” Thirty-nine years of celebrating birthdays with this man and it’s news to me.
The Whittier Facebook page discussed the ADA curb work in our neighborhood. Someone mentioned the curb bordering the tree lawn. Someone else responded, “Tree lawn! Great name for it.” It’s always been the parking strip or—to remind us that we don’t own it but do have to maintain it—the right of way. It is where we plant trees. Someone else said they were installing Lego plates on the new crossings. “Those are truncated domes,” Brigitte informed us, “but ‘Lego plates’ is more visually accurate.”
Just so you know: from this day forward in Denver’s Whittier neighborhood, the names for those things are tree lawn and Lego plate.
You can’t pick up a bathmat you’re standing on.
That you can’t outrun your past is something I’ve known for years but only at the tail of my seventh decade have I understood that you are never done with grief, that griefs come back on a random basis to shadow you, that puzzles of the past return again and again, seeking solutions, oblivious to the answers found before.
If I put lettuce in the freezer, it will shrivel, blacken, and become inedible, but putting it in the freezer in the first place does not necessarily mean I have dementia. I could simply be distracted.
It’s the end of August and the kids are back in school but that doesn’t mean relief from over 90° temperatures.
The epiphany about the bathmat also applies to area rugs. Both are apt examples of the recurring revelations life delivers, and the resistance of whatever you stand on.