Adjusting to life's changes with hope… through poetry, haiku, and commentary

Odds and Ends No. 40

Starting a new jar


She popped out of bed around four, as they
were flying back home this morning. I could
smell the coffee but I didn’t get out of bed
until about five. Eye drops then toothbrush.

The kids were gathered around the kitchen
table eating bacon and egg sandwiches. As
for me, I wasn’t awake enough to eat or
drink a thing. I just listened to the chit

chat and watched them eat with one hand
while they played with their phones with
the other. That would not be me. Eat or
phone, but not both. Yesterday, they were

up early, too. She and the kids left for the
Grand Canyon as the sun was coming up.
About three and a half hours one way from
here. By the time I made another pot of

coffee and cleaned up the kitchen, it was
eleven-thirty. I decided on a PB&J with a
few thin slices of Pepper Jack cheese to go
with the coffee. Grape fruit spread, too. I’m

grape only when it comes to PB&J. There is
something magical about opening a new jar
of Skippy. Creamy, of course. I’ve never
known anyone who eats chunky style. (Don’t

know a lot of people either.) Starting a new
peanut butter is as exciting as being the
first one into the pool after a break. (That
was never me.) After unscrewing the cap, I

remembered that is one reason I keep a
small pair of pliers in the kitchen. The jar
seal is white on top, foil underneath, with a
few short tabs folded down around the

outside of the seal. You can lift the short tabs
so they are even with the top but no one on
earth has the finger strength to lift and
remove the seal in one piece by hand. Hence,

the pliers. Squeeze, pray, and lift. Done. Four
bites into the sandwich, I groan a good groan.
PB&J is like manna from heaven. The day is
more peaceful and quiet than usual. I can tell

because I have the front and back doors open.
No traffic noise. No deafening yard work
blowers. No kids on bikes or skateboards.
Strangely quiet now that I think about it.

The house is a comfy 77 degrees. At night, the
house is like a walk-in refrigerator. Plus a fan
above and at the foot of the bed (her side).
Look at it this way. My marriage has trained

me to be able to sleep in hurricane winds.
AC is fine when it is 110 degrees outside, but
I can live without it. (Maybe that is why I long
to live in Asia again!) Still sipping coffee. A

strong pot of Gevalia. I poured a cup and put
the rest in my thermos for later. Cookies are
in order. Two Vienna Fingers will work with
the coffee. (Or with anything if you are a

cookie monster.) As I was making my sandwich,
I realized that I didn’t take any of my morning
stuff. Good that the kids are here. She is so
excited. More so after they asked her to go

with them to the Grand Canyon. Last night,
she was tired and went to bed while I waited
for the kids to get back from their first outing.
She is asleep. So, I decided to put on my

headphones and watch a BBC police drama
set in Whales. I got a few minutes into it and
they got home. I’ll finish it another time. On
Saturday, while they were at the Grand Canyon,

I was thinking of doing some computer tweaking.
It is that stupid soft spot I have for Microsoft.
After all, we’ve been together since DOS days
and the advent of Windows 3.1. I excelled in

all things Microsoft during my technical writing
years. Have I changed or has Microsoft? Both?
I want simple. I want quiet. I don’t need glitz or
eye candy. I corrected my course and stayed

with Linux. Looks like my Halo playing days
are over. Well, they left for the Mesa airport
around five. She is working on a presentation
for tonight. I’m sitting here with you debating

if I feel well enough to walk Thunderbird today.
It will reach 102 degrees by the time I walk.
Cold medicine is gone; but not the cold. No
cough. Throat still sore. And I’m tired.

I’ll see how I feel at three. Then decide. Life
goes on. The kids hit Lake Pleasant and
climbed Camelback yesterday! Seems like
they fit a week’s worth of activity into two

days. They are young; they can do that. We
always feel younger when they are here.
And older. It is all good. Darn it, I miss Halo!

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