Spinal Taps and Chinese Takeout

by Bella Rum

We ordered Chinese last night. It was terrible, horrible and very, very bad. Years ago, I swore off of Chinese food after I got up the next morning and saw all that chicken fat coagulated on top of the leftovers. No wonder I always felt a little queasy after eating it. That’s been at least fifteen years ago. It will be another fifteen before I try again. If I ever eat it again, it will be in a nursing home when they force-feed it to me. Ha! Wouldn’t that be a particular version of hell, a long-term-care facility that force feeds its “guests” Chinese food.

It was ironic that H chose the fortune cookie that cautioned: A dream is just a dream. A goal is a dream with a plan and a deadline. He’s allergic to deadlines. He prefers everything to remain open-ended. To him, completion means he can never improve upon it. He would be perfectly happy to tinker with something forever. I used to think he was good at his job because he was goal-oriented, but it was actually because he enjoyed the process, and you know what they say about enjoying what you do. Back then, he had no choice but to pay attention to those pesky deadlines. In retirement, there’s always tomorrow.

H got a load of mulch yesterday and started planting some schip laurels along the fence in the backyard. They grow fast and get very tall and wide. The tags on them say 6′ wide and 10′ to 12′ tall. They should provide complete privacy in a few years. We’re going to put a couple of burning bushes on the other fence. They also get huge and turn bright red in the fall. You see them dotting the landscape this time of year. Very showy.

My sister and B-I-L returned to Florida on Sunday. We never got together after they came for lunch. Maybe next year. She is ten years older than I am. At our age, just like when we were very young, a year can make a huge difference, but not necessarily in a good way.

I talked to my brother last night. He felt so bad. The doctor had a terrible time with the spinal tap because the arthritis is severe in his back. I had a feeling that would happen. It was difficult to even get the needle in place. It caused excruciating pain. The pressure was very high. I talked to him the day before, and he told me that he was going back to work after the spinal tap. I suggested that maybe he wouldn’t be able to do that. Good grief. He is a working fool. When I talked to him last night, he was experiencing nausea and felt lousy in general. His voice was devoid of expression – completely flat. The MRI is today. They will medicate him for that. I hope he goes home and sleeps afterward.

I’m off to paint the door facings on the front door and the side door in the garage. It’s beautiful here. A perfect day for painting, and not a wrap-around porch in sight, but you know me, I can always find something to paint. It’s the best therapy I’ve found. When I finish, I’ll take a pic of the front door. The straw man that H and the grands made is very cute.

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