Just a Normal Day


At times I have what seems a flash of insight, a sudden recognition that life is an unbelievable ride and I want to hang on forever.  I don’t chastise myself for not perpetually maintaining this wide-eyed view, it would be too preoccupying if nothing else. When the awakening does occur however it is a welcome unguent.  The gritty alternative is hardly to be desired.

The events of the day began somewhat earlier than usual.  We were on our bikes not much after 9:00 a.m.  The air was warm, summer-like, and after cycling for several kilometres I began thinking about removing my light pullover. We had nothing particular on our minds, just relishing the exercise and being out-of-doors.  We lengthened our customary route slightly by detouring to Water Street along the River to inspect a property we’d recently talked about.  This in turn led us to the Riverwalk, adjacent the roaring springtime water of the Upper Falls. From there we cut down Brae Street, across Farm Street, up the steep hill to Gemmill Park behind the arena then along Bridge Street to our apartment.

My routine attendance upon my elderly mother included a small bit of business, some discussion of household and domestic matters and finally arranging a weekend social engagement for Mother’s Day. This filial duty is becoming more and more like a daily checklist.  At times I wonder who is the primary beneficiary of it.  Certainly it expiates my disquietude about mother’s circumstances, living alone in a large house.  One learns to ignore factual discrepancies, to abide constant repetition, to abandon clinical health matters.  In the end it is a capitulation to the least of the evils of getting old, an accommodation of short-comings and inadequacies.

Going to the grocery store is becoming something in the nature of an outing for me.  At times I think the staff must think I live there.  I diversified my adventure today by visiting the local health food store to collect four bags of Abbott Crunchy Granola.  I made a point of telling the clerk (who I suspect is one of the two female owners of the store) that the Abbott granola makes all the other stuff taste like sawdust.  I am annoyed that the product hasn’t been selling better since I know first-hand that it is superior to any of the others.  It was a distinct deprivation not to have had it when we were in South Carolina last winter.  I can’t imagine why anyone who buys granola would hesitate to go for the best when the difference in price might be a mere three dollars at the most.  The petty compromises that some people feel compelled to make!

We’ve entered what feels like a tranquil period, even tranquillized.  With so many recent matters on our agenda now settled we’re at loose ends.  We’ve decided to spend the summer here, foregoing the initial plans to go to St. Andrew’s-by-the-Sea in New Brunswick.  Besides there is so much right here at our doorstep that I find it difficult to convince myself of the necessity to travel.