Where to begin! Today was a master stroke of incomparable attainment! The unparalleled zest hasn’t the trapping of anything profane as commercial achievement or gloating victory. Rather it is the consequence of unpredicted fortuity. The coup is particularly gratifying because it followed a sleepless night after an evening meal which because of its infrequent pungency provoked a moderately unsettled repercussion. At two o’clock this morning I succumbed to my persistent wakefulness by withdrawing from the virginal lair to pursue a less hostile environment in the drawing room. When at last I returned to bed, I slept painlessly until shortly before nine o’clock this morning. If the Stoic revival weren’t then enough to inspire a determined address of the day, any hanging back was abruptly quelled by the sound of an incoming telephone call from an HVAC manufacturer in Ottawa advising that the filters ordered last August had arrived and were ready for pick-up. The delay had been precipitated by the pandemic and the corporate shift to produce masks instead.
Within minutes after the telephone call we straight away proposed to drive to the city to collect the goods around 1:00 pm; but first we outfitted ourselves in sheepskin and silks for a bracing bicycle ride. For reasons I cannot unfold our 10 km jaunt – uninhibited by the usual pedestrian and other traffic – was dutifully fulfilled in what seemed record time and a similarly unique rapture. The waterfalls by the old town hall were resplendent in their wintry majesty. Along our path we encountered several gambolling dogs relishing their constitutional with their muffled masters.
Upon leaving town en route to the city we encountered a funeral procession complete with an enormous and brilliantly red Mississippi Mills fire truck that glistened in the sunshine. We knew in an instant that the funeral was for a recently deceased local firefighter. In accordance with Ottawa Valley tradition all traffic in either direction had instinctively paused alongside the road as a kindness for the motorcade of the deceased’s family. We made certain not to wave at the funeral directors (whom we knew) in the lead cars for fear of animating the scene beyond its ritual gravity.
During our ensuing drive to the city we reactivated our earlier resolve to search for a dry cleaner with a convenient parking lot that wasn’t merely a drop-off depot located in a grocery store. This scrupulous investigation was prompted by the newly revived need to clean my collection of silk scarves which historically I had criminally laundered contrary to the tag instructions. This historic violence might normally have survived were it not for the fact that I had just purchased a new silk which captured my complete and less than partial affection.
After scoping every possible location on our route between country and city we discovered a hitherto unknown store at what I serendipitously knew from previous banking necessity was located in the city’s most ideal small mall. When however I met the clerk of the store on her way out of the premises for lunch she told me – if I trusted her (which I unhesitatingly said I did) – I could give her the five scarves which she would store in her car for later processing because she had already set the store alarm. I chose instead to return later in the afternoon rather than obscure her day with my tiny brown paper bag of scarves. This I did; and when doing so I met a young man at the cashier who in addition to advising me he was an apprentice also answered my inquiry that his father owned the business – in fact one of four stores which had operated for the past forty years. These credentials cemented my unanticipated satisfaction.
Such was the unexpected zenith of joy today that I omitted to mention another welcome telephone call from my family physician’s office that he would as asked send a referral to my plastic surgeon for a minute procedure. I mention this trifling detail only because it completes the picture of today’s unobstructed utility.
The less demonstrable features of today’s gusto were my indisputably favourite Christmas music (Mantovani, Bing Crosby and the Mormon Tabernacle choir – all of which were the product of my late mother’s schmaltzy preferences) and naturally the undercurrent of my Lincoln Aviator to which I am hopelessly and shamefully dedicated. Add to this an exquisite winter sky and the several uplifting emails from friends including a vicarious celebration of the last night of Chanukah.
He shall drink of the brook in the way,
therefore shall he lift up his head.