It had been a long day. And as it got later and later, I felt some dismay creep into my soul. I took a quick appraisal and decided that there were still some things that needed to be done before I climbed the mountain to my sweet, sweet rest. Middle daughter was home, but working, Certain Man’s day had been physically and emotionally taxing and the two of them were out of sight for the duration of the evening it seemed. Certain Man was within shouting distance, but Middle Daughter was documenting a complicated Hospice admission that she had just visited, and that rendered her pretty much oblivious to the goings on down in the main floor.
I sighed a bit (since Certain Man was NOT within sighing distance) and looked at the kitchen that I had just straightened a few hours earlier. Since then, I had made a coffee cake for Certain Man, fed my ladies, picked and brought in some garden tea, and the kitchen was in disarray. Over 50 containers of strawberry jam sat on the counter, ready to be taken to the basement and the tea hadn’t been made, so there was a small, green mountain on the cupboard where there were some small beasties crawling around. There was still laundry to be sorted for the morning washing, and I was really tired.
There is only one thing to do in these situations, and that is to get busy QUICKLY and do what needs to be done. But I’ve found that, while the sighs don’t help, and neither does feeling sorry for myself, it does help to look for things to be happy about. So I got busy and sorted some laundry. Certain Man had already fetched the laundry from our side of the upstairs and brought it down to the laundry room. (He’s always done that for me, ever since our children were little, and it is a big help!) Nettie had also gotten hers and Cecilia’s into a big basket and pulled it out to the laundry room, which was another gift to be counted. And Middle Daughter would bring hers down later. In case you’re wondering, my angst was not at any of them. It was just that this needed to be done and there was no motivation on the part of the one who needed to do it! Uh-huh!
So. Since I felt like I was supposed to stop sighing and be cheerful about things, I turned on one of my favorite CD’s and sorted the laundry that was available. That was easy enough. I like sorting laundry. Especially to music. And then I looked at one of those yet unappropriated laundry baskets and decided to use it to carry the strawberry jam to the basement. I would need to make a couple of trips, but not FIVE. So I started some water for the tea and then loaded my first sturdy basket with thirty jars of jam and headed on down to unload it. The freezer needed some rearranging, but it wasn’t too bad, so I smiled at it and resolved to be cheerful and did what needed doing and got my first layer of jam jars into the freezer and then went back for more. The water was boiling and I had managed to strip the leaves off of enough tea for a gallon, so I got that steeping, and then took the second load of strawberry jam to the basement and got it arranged where it belonged. Wow! That was satisfying!
Upstairs again, I found that Certain Man was off his chair and winding his clocks. He was working his way around the family room, living room and then into the sun room. I stirred about in the kitchen, finishing the tea and getting it into the fridge. Then Certain Man said something about thinking it was time to go to bed. Which suited me just fine. He came out into the kitchen to see how things were progressing, while I finished arranging things in the laundry room for the morning’s chore of laundry. He was saying something to me, and I was replying in my cheerfullest, brightest voice while I stacked some wash baskets around the corner from him when–!
Down came a heavy wash basket right on my toe! Right on my big toe. Right on my toe that I had done surgery on to remove an ingrown toenail two nights ago! It hurt so much that I couldn’t see straight, much less talk in a cheerful, bright tone. I kinda’ stopped everything in that split second and didn’t say anything out loud. (And NO! I wasn’t saying any bad words!) But in my swirling head where all the stars were milling about I was saying, “REALLY??? (Oh ouch!!!) All this concerted effort to not feel sorry for myself, (Oh ouch!!!) to count the gifts and to be cheerful, and this happens to me???(Oh ouch!!!)” And of course, I had to say to my Heavenly Father, with my face all scrunched up and water standing in my eyes, “I just don’t get it! (Oh ouch!!!) And why is this hurting so much? REALLY much!!! (Oh ouch!!!) What sort of unholy design is there upon my honorable resolve???) Thankfully, I was around the corner from Certain Man and he was sleepy enough that he never noticed the abrupt (long) pause in my cheerful, bright conversation.
After awhile he said, “You ’bout ready to go up?”
I took a deep breath, and discovered I was not going to die of toe-itis-meyeomia and decided to go for it. “Yup!” I said in my cheerfullest brightest voice while my poor toe throbbed and I gave thanks he couldn’t see my face, “I’m just finished. Let’s go get some sleep!”
And so, we did!