How the Cookie Crumbles

Life and scribbles on the far side of SIXTY-FIVE


Freedom Daze

Both grandkids are in school all day as of this week. The younger one is in Grade One now.

All summer as I babysat, I felt I accomplished nothing and began to dream about this fall. The extra time I’d have to myself had me levitating. Lunch or coffee with friends any time I want as long as I’m at the bus stop when school’s out.

So far, this week’s been a mirage. Monday was a holiday; Tuesday, the first day back to school. Wednesday was my bookstore shift. I had a meeting Thursday and had to rush for the bus. That was the same day my dental office called to change next week’s appointment to Friday (today) at 9:00 a.m.  Of course the school bus was late this morning, as was I. Then, the dentist pulled a White Rabbit act from Alice in Wonderland.

Hurry up and wait.

Microsoft Clipart

Microsoft Clipart

I finally straightened up my house for my granddaughter’s sixth birthday this past Sunday. I hadn’t noticed the accumulation of books, notebooks and paper. Mountains of the written word everywhere: on end tables, on my small writing desk in the kitchen, the coffee table and all over my eight-foot dining-room table. I promised I’d tackle the job this week with all the extra time I’d have. I planned to file and trash. I’ve managed none of the above.

Who was I kidding? Have I begun to knock down Paper Mountains and de-clutter piles of junk? Not yet. I’m still having trouble resurrecting my hidden treasures in preparation for the birthday party.

This is a new week. What have I accomplished today? I read blogs and commented. That’s my full-time job now. Oh, I managed to make two pots of coffee and grabbed some lunch. I didn’t go out but came straight home after my last-minute rendezvous with the tardy dentist.

I haven’t even had time to catch up on any reading all day. I did manage to entertain Lady Gaga, my cat, when she insisted on my attention. We played peek-a-boo for which she has an extraordinary fondness. And she likes me. How could I refuse when she sprinted onto my lap and pressed her check against mine, inviting a hug?  I adore my little fur-ball so we sat and mused together for a while.

This buzz of freedom might not look any different than it did before both grandchildren were in school. Even if I don’t accomplish any more than a hill of beans with this extra time, maybe I won’t feel so whacked at the end of the day. I must reserve energy for more than going cross-eyed reading posts all day. Maybe I’ll accomplish something for a change: finish projects, read a book, write something interesting.

For the past seven years since I retired, the hours in my day are shorter than ever and it’s not because I have time to nap.


A Lady and the Tramp

I’ve lived alone too long. No. I’m not whining about being lonely, depressed or bored. Are you kidding? I like love my freedom: I get up when I want, I do what I want, and generally, get away with what I want.

I read the paper every morning with my coffee after I’ve had all the zz’s I need, or I did until recently.

My new cat starts my day by flexing her nails, jamming them into my mattress and stroking my bed skirt. RRrr-i-p, R-iii-pp. She pretends she’s scared but comes peeking around the dresser after two flicks of her tail to check how much progress the lump on the bed has made. I swear I hear her heaving with silent laughter. Her goal is breakfast—NOW—at 6:10 a.m.

I’m a normal retired lady, old enough to make my own decisions, dammit, and nobody’s going to make me change. I’m not getting up before 7:00 a.m. I steal two extra minutes of quiet before the tramp in Lady Gaga charges again. This time she uses her claws to climb my sofa. For whatever reason, hanging off the floor using only her front claws before pushing herself up with her hind legs, nails flexed for better impetus, makes Lady G. much too happy.

She reads me like I’m made of glass.

“Stop it! I’m coming already.”

I don’t often watch television, but occasionally I throw caution to the wind, pour a glass of wine and hope to watch a decent movie to r-e-l-a-x, to give my fingers and brain a rest, (but not my lap). Nope, Lady Gaga has made it clear, my lap belongs to her. I don’t get to do what I want much anymore.

Most days / evenings find me clicking away on my keyboard or surfing the net, reading, or commenting in the blogosphere among other favourite projects. The sleek and trim Lady G. is tired of sleeping and must jump on my lap to wash the sleep out of her marble-size eyes. On second thought, she gives herself an attention-seeking bath like she’s the centre of the universe. Why she must lean on my forearm to take another nap afterwards is beyond me.

I’m such a soft touch, I let her snooze for five minutes or so, (plus, plus) while petting her gently on the top of the head the way she prefers. Sometimes, I get to practice one-finger typing with my left hand while I wait. It’s tedious as hell and slow to boot, but I don’t mind. I’m a woman of a certain age, old enough to make my own decisions dammit, and nobody’s going tomake me change.

I think I’ll take her for a manicure (but not a pedicure); I don’t want her to get the idea I’m a big spender—not big enough to afford a new sofa anytime soon.