Eavesdropping in the grocery store, like any good, self-respecting writer, I overheard these conversations in the checkout line....
"My mommy and daddy got married."
"Yup. On Wednesday."
"I can buy some food now and know it won't get eat."
"Yeah, I was buying all the food and those people were eating it all. Now they're gone, so I'll have some food."
"The milk makes my hand cold. I had to set it down."
"Good. You don't want warm milk."
I was kinda glad to escape that store, but I still see that little girl with her proud proclamation, and the man with the groceries he was finally going to get to eat, and the old woman with the half gallon of milk and knarled hands.
Then I caught a report on the radio about planting potatoes in Peru. Because of the warming trend over the last twenty years, farmers have had to move their potatoes up the mountain to plant at higher and higher elevations for the cooler temperature. But the mountain only goes so high. In some areas, they are already planting on top of the mountain.
I've been meaning to share this story, so now I will. There was an old man who walked his dog along the road every day. Morning, afternoon, evening, regardless of the weather, he was out there. My sister and I always passed him when we drove to work at different times, and he always threw up an arm, like he knew you. He waved at everyone. Then one day he wasn't there. Several days passed, and no one saw him. My sister worried about him. She thought his family put him in a home. I said nonsense. She worried about the dog. I thought he might come back, but he never did. Every time I drive that stretch of road I think about him.
And further back inside my brain: When someone uses a cane or a walker, you can hear them coming. Thump. Thump. There’s an undertone of foreboding in that noise. You want it to stop. You want it to continue. You wonder when it will all come crashing down around you. One thing that has recently become clear to me is how much easier it is to give assistance than to receive it.
That's it. My blog has been quiet but I've been busy getting the garden in (everything is late) and editing Black River, my new novel. I have all these thoughts racing around in my head and no time to delve into them. If I go much further back in my brain I might discover something really scary.