Weekly Writing Challenge: Glimmers of a Beginning
It’s snowing again. I drive down the six-lane highway, a long serpentine of headlights coming at me, then past me. It’s 4:00 pm. The light snow and late afternoon sky wraps unknown drivers in a blanket of foggy white and the greasy tire tracks in each lane of the highway is bordered by sticky, accumulating snow. Grammaw Bunny (that’s me) is not driving with her usual lead foot, choosing instead to get home safely in time to feed the felines.
I had been with my mom the past few hours, initially for her six-month check-up at the doctor’s office. We sat in the examining room, waiting for the doctor to appear. I sat looking at a red sharps container hanging on the wall while the “teeny tiny thing” (my mother’s words) called a nurse took my mom’s blood pressure and pulse, which were both within normal range. My hearing impaired mom asked nurse Candace her name and after a couple of failed attempts at determining said name, called her “Candid”. Candace said “close enough” with a smile and a chuckle and told us the doctor would be right in. The remainder of the appointment went well, with my mother being about as lucid as she’s been in awhile, her bouts of dementia not making an appearance while the gray-haired doctor in his wrinkled white coat asked many questions. “How’s your husband doing?’ was his first question, to which my mom said, “He’s dead!” (The doctor knew this.) “How many kids do you have?” Mom replied, “Two…and one of them is sitting over there,” pointing at me. (Oh sure, mom, two weeks ago I was your sister and you asked me why I changed my name.) Ten minutes after the doctor’s appointment, while waiting in the spacious entryway of the clinic for the Cabulance, mom asks if we’re going to Prange’s – a long departed department store. Mom’s lucidity had suddenly departed as well.
So, after the doctor’s appointment and a trip to her assisted living abode to pay bills, I headed home in the glory of the snow. If not for the drive, I would have deemed the snow extremely pretty – soft, light flakes drifting down on a garbage hill and the walls of the prison that I pass by on the highway. (Not to worry, kiddies, I am safe from rancid meat and dangerous felons.) I continue driving in my Grammaw Bunny way while the “I-can-drive-80-in-the-snow-because-I-have-four-wheel-drive” crazy people pass me on the left. The snow grows heavier, the roads snowier, and the traffic thicker as I head north. The exit lane is worse than the highway, the greasy tire tracks filled in with snow. The city traffic is snarling along, made worse by the nearby mall and the shoppers heading home to dinner and a bottle of brew. Grammaw follows a semi down the avenue that leads past her bank and a humongous Fleet Farm.
A quick stop at the grocery store is required for a “thank you” card and Tuesday’s lunch. Just inside is a nut-laden display next to the fake palm tree and pineapple display. Christmas decorations hang from the ceiling. Packer football balloons fly above the salad bar. The smell of broasted chicken emanates from the deli. A sign in the produce department screams “Eat your veggies!” The oranges beg me to take them home. I realize I am in sensory overload and I haven’t even made it to the greeting card section. It’s actually a good overload. I had trudged from my car to the doors of the grocery store, the hood of my jacket up to protect myself from snow and cold, growling about the winter that is present but not official. The overload of decorations, balloons, pineapple and rows of vegetables brightened my mood and had me thinking of summer, camping and bare toes in the warm sand. I lost myself in those pleasurable thoughts for several minutes as I semi-consciously bought broasted chicken and a couple of greeting cards.
I want to say that when I “came to”, I was standing in front of a box of Calgon, but that would be a lie. Perhaps I should have bought a box of Calgon and had a little dream at home with a bottle of wine, a box of bonbons and a good book with an Adonis leading character. Nope, instead I bought the carb-loaded broasted chicken. I don’t always make the right decisions, but it was done.
The trip home from the grocery store is short. I live practically across the street, which gives me an opportunity to walk for milk on occasion. Today there would be no walking. I turn on the wipers to get rid of the fluffy snow that accumulated on the windshield while I was inside with the pineapple and put my car in drive for the final lap home in the snow. I don’t have to go far to press the button on the garage door opener and walk inside to the warmth of electric heat and the hungry felines.
They are waiting, singing for their supper and glad that Grammaw Bunny finally made it home.
If you would like to see more from this week’s writing challenge, click here.