Jazzy Does 100 Days of Happiness 66
The garbage bins and the paper and the recycling were at the curb when I turned in to my driveway after work on Wednesday night. The inside front door and the garage door were both wide open. The barbecue was on. The sat-radio was blaring away. There was a half-naked man in my kitchen.
Well, that sure beats coming home to a quiet empty house.
Yes, W is home for a while. He drove through four provinces in two days to get here because there’s too much damned rain in Ontario. Also, he thinks he needs to be here with me to face the scary appointments and doctors at the University hospital. This works for me. Plus he shops for groceries and he cooks and he cleans up the dishes. He pours my wine.
Speaking of wine, this one from B.C. is devilishly good, just like the label says. Or my taste buds have fermented and gone to hell. It’s a toss-up really. All I know for sure is that I’m not telling you how much of it I consumed in the three hours between getting home and going to bed.
Today I went and got a seasonal haircut. By that I mean there’s no guessing now about the size of my ears. The weather is lovely and hot and I’ve got a couple of fans going for the first time this summer. I will NOT be complaining about the heat. Somebody slap me if I do.
Our grass is green, our trees are tall. Two squirrels, a jack rabbit and a duck dropped by for our barbecue. The magpies have decided our backyard is a good place for their afternoon squabbles. And we just might get a deliciously diabolical thunderstorm tonight.
So yeah. Life is good.
You know you’ve hit the bottom of the barrel full of hot topics when you start posting pictures of your own feet. But I don’t care, I’ve got nothing else. And this could serve as a gentle reminder to us all that if your toes look all gnarly and deformed, a pedicure, no matter how lovely and relaxing and thorough, is not going to miraculously cure that.
These are my sparkly going-for-a-pedicure sandals. They are good for wearing while you are sitting down, and great for presenting a challenge after your feet are all soft and slippery and have to carry you down a flight of stairs and across a gravelly parking lot on the way to your car.
I chose this colour from the summer pallet, which also had yellow, pink, coral and several shades of brown in it. I didn’t ask what’s with all that brown, just in case they know something about our up coming summer that I don’t. This shade is called “Intention” because calling it watermelon red would be too easy. It’s got sparkles in it. The lady next to me had her toes painted a kind of dull mink brown, and then asked for gold sparkles over top. Mine were done first, so I’m going to assume they inspired her.
There was also a man in a black bathrobe across the room from us having his size twelve feet treated to everything but the polish. More men should have spa days. I keep trying to convince W to at least have a pedicure done. If there are other more futile ways to exercise my powers of persuasion I can’t think what they might be.
The trip to Greece of course came up in our six way conversation and my esthetician assured me that my toes would look gorgeous against the black sands of Santorini.
These are shoes I can actually walk in. Now that my feet are ready for summer, time to go find a summery place to show them off.
It is the early 1950’s. Not a hundred years ago, but in this old head it feels like it could be. Mom wipes some flour off her house dress, tucks a stray lock of hair behind her ear, and hands us a basket of apples with a handle big enough for two little hands to share. She tells us to deliver this to grandmas house. Together, remember, mom tells my brother. Keep your little sister with you, wait if she gets behind, don’t walk on the road, watch for cars. No stopping! Grandma is waiting for you, so off you go. Dad and I will be over for supper soon.
That’s lot of rules and instructions, and I’ll never remember all of them. Neither will my brother, but that’s simply because he choses not to. He bends and breaks rules all the time or makes up his own. I admire him greatly and trust him implicitly and will do whatever he says.
Grandmas house is easy to see from ours, even though it’s a bazillion miles away, up a winding laneway at the top of a hill. I love to go to grandmas and I’m thrilled to be big enough at last to walk there with my brother. I like to keep my eyes on our destination as it gets closer and closer with every step. I like how the dry gravel dust puffs up and coats my shoes. Ron likes to stop and dawdle and kick things, and jump down into the ditch for an amazing stick or a funny rock. I am on the look-out for big bad wolves. If I tell him this he’ll just laugh at me, so I don’t. I imagine the house of Red Riding Hoods grandma looking just like this. It is made of stones and has big white pillars holding up the roof over the porch where one corner points in and another juts out. No one else outside of a story book has a veranda of such magnificence.
There are big white outdoor rocking chairs waiting to be climbed on, and the wonderful smell of flowers cascading from buckets and beds all around. The last leg of the laneway is very steep and the basket is ten times heavier than when we started out. I am dusty and thirsty and hot.
Grandma always whoops and fluffs up her apron and acts completely surprised to see us when we land on her doorstep. She says funny things like ‘land sakes’ and ‘mercy’ and is always calling out for Will. That’s grandpa. He never answers, but eventually he will show up from the barn or the field or the woodshed quietly going about his business. Grandma is never quiet. She’s the very opposite of that. It’s always crazy and noisy wherever she is, with banging pots and clomping feet and non-stop out-loud thinking. Years later when I learn about ‘inside voices’ I realize that grandma never had one.
She takes the apples and plops herself into a chair. Fetch another sharp paring knife Will! Don’t you children touch these knives! Oh, the apples are grand! Apple Brown Betty for supper, there’s nothing better. Will, fetch some kindling for the cookstove! And the stove is where that stick you brought into my house is headed, she tells my brother. No sticks in my kitchen, and empty those rocks out of your pockets young man, they belong outside on the road! Here’s the dipper. Go out to the pump and get yourselves a drink of water! Run along now! Shoo!
Ron and I escape back out into the sunshine, drink as much cold sweet water as we have the energy to pump, and then go looking for garter snakes in the long grass. Grandma thinks little people should be seen and not heard, but she talks so much that we never really have to say much to her, so that’s one rule that’s pretty easy to keep.
When night comes and I curl up in my little bed with my tummy full of sweet Apple Brown Betty, sleep comes easy. The long walk on short legs, all the sunshine and fresh air, plus a head full of grandmas random exclamations have done me in. I want to go again tomorrow, and the next day, and the day after that! I want it to be summer forever. I want to always have dust on my shoes.
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