Friday, October 22, 2010

Green Side Up


I finally got to town yesterday. I would not have gone but the fridge echoed when you opened it. We were down to choosing between a spoonful of Mango Chutney or half a dozen garlic stuffed green olives for breakfast.

I had not been to town for errands or shopping in ten days, and there were several stops required. Pharmacy, post office, health food store, bank, grocer's. In that order. Between the health food store and the bank I stopped to have lunch. I needed to sit.

I guess I haven't said that three weeks back I had a round of food poisoning that has left me collywobbled. If I am on my feet for too long my blood pressure drops and things get a bit unpredictable. I'm still only good for short stints of activity, a "short stint" being about five minutes sandwiched between hour long rests. And there were several longer stints in there yesterday with very short rests.

By the time I had finished at the grocer's I was seeing grey clouds flicker across my field of vision and feeling like I might just flop onto the floor. The store found someone to load my groceries into the truck. I sat and waited until I had my breath (and blood pressure) back before I tried to drive.

But I started the great expedition at the pharmacy. I was standing at the pharmacy check-out and the conversation went like this:

Scene: L-shaped counter, little old man of 85+ buying lottery tickets on the L to my right. I am facing the clerk, my purchases on the counter. I am sort of clutching the counter to keep from falling.

She says: "That will be $18.00 please."

I look at her goggle-eyed. She hasn't yet rung me through so I am confused.

She looks at me, waiting for me to coff up the dough. She gives a jump, says, "Sorry! That's for this gentleman's lotto tickets! Some days I don't know whether I'm coming or going!"

He says, "That's nothing! Some days I don't know if I'm dead or alive!"

I say: "Any day on the green side of the grass is a gift."

She looks at me thoughtfully and says: "That's an attitude held only by people who face a lot of challenges."

Today I pay for yesterday's excursion. Three-minute stints and two hour rests. Not very productive. The grass is short, but I'm still looking at it from the green side. Life is a challenge at times but it's still a great gift.

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