Sarge has been working long hours of late, his secondary job full of High Holy schedules to fill. Alone, it is too easy to fall into the pace – one foolish bit of television into the next second-rate movie and the chores before bedtime. Hard it is, too, to throw away good coffee from the thermos he brings home half-empty. Just a cup, you think, while the clock warns you off.
It was 12a and then 1a and the green colon of the 1911’s unblinking stare echoed that of the clock dial…up, then. Never stay in the bed when you can’t sleep. Up and fold the laundry – quiet enough to keep from waking him while also allowing my fidgets their escape. It was a very cool evening and I touched the window to gauge it from within. It was tempting to find a wrap and settle into the swinging chair but I sighed, moving through the dark house and back to bed to try again.
It was perhaps an hour later that the dog woke me, wanting to judge that outside temperature for herself. I think she instinctively knows it and all winter long she will lay for a time on-guard and then wake me with low snuffly grunts to rise and let her out. Once again I padded through the dark, the gimpy knee giving pops and creaks of exasperation. Out, I gave her a moment to decide – out for good, is it? She lay in the cool grass with a deep sigh of agreement. A glance at the stars, Orion’s belt showing even him lying down in his celestial bed.
It wasn’t long before I felt him leave the bed, waking from a deep sleep, to hear what I’d missed – the soft hooty-hoot from outside with the follow on of a quiet short bark. Time to come in, she says, if you don’t mind. Glad I was that he fetched her, and I rolled back over to sleep. A few hours more and it was time to fill his cooler and make the breakfast sandwich he would take with him. Dark, still, I filled the thermos again, the napkin and foil holding the egg and bacon warm within it. Back to bed, then, with a reminder to warm up the truck before leaving, as she doesn’t like a cold take-off.
A glorious slow day has followed that industrious night. We all slept till 9a and some later still. Peace…peace in a morning which I rarely know. And then the whole thing begins anew – a lunch heated up, his brief hours off before leaving again, the thermos filled, the cooler loaded…
It is a quiet life and I like it. A half hour away every hipster and wannabe is roiling about in the human stew of ACL. You could not get me there for any price. And most especially not now with the rampant contagion about to – literally – go viral. I know that smarter people may dismiss it and declare it nothing to be too worried about. But I would rather be ready to be inside for some time than to be wandering among the sick, searching for the last bottle of bleach.
Slow, slow this day…and slow the night to come as the sun moves earlier still to its own bed. I am happy enough in this place. The yarn beckons, gifts to finish for those who might appreciate them for the love and effort they contain. Wishes stitched in for the quiet days to lengthen…to keep harm far away…to give a bit more time to be ready…to enjoy the comfort of these days before The Troubles. The needles click in an enchanting rhythm to ride like a wave to the deep night. And sleep…hopefully sleep.