He tosses, turns and flinches in his sleep like an animal roasting in a pit.
– I Was Amelia Earhart by Jane Mendelsohn
Late Sunday morning my husband returned from taking his mother out to breakfast. With the day promising 80’s sunshine in mid-September, Richie said he’d be outside. He saw my heart was elsewhere, “I’ll be out in a bit. I’m writing.” He knows me too well, recognized that was an indeterminate amount of time, and took advantage of the situation. When I finally went out on the deck, I felt betrayed by him, her…and a fellow writer:
Our daughter will be moving to a new apartment, so we went to furniture stores with her to check out locations, quality and price. One of the stops was a glass mattress store front. The locale seemed hokey versus some of the more upscale local shops she visited. Regardless, we went in, figuring our daughter would at least determine what type of mattress she liked.
Nobody was on the display floor when we entered the mattress graveyard. The oversized room was eerily quiet but also Tarah’s preference. She didn’t want anyone watching her reenact sleep habits.
We walked up and down the Madeline-esque rows and nobody greeted us – which was actually great. I hate being pounced on and our daughter was the customer, not us. Our shy Tarah finally got comfortable enough with the environment, sat on a mattress and out came Mr. Salesman. The mattresses either had doorbells under them or this guy was watching us through a peephole. I would have believed either based on his sudden interest in our family. I was subtle:
“Can you go back to wherever you came from?”
He tilted his head like our family dog, either wanting attention or to hear me better.
I explained that the process was a little awkward to us and asked for some time to figure out preferences.
The salesman said he completely understood, explained the store color coding for soft, medium, firm and returned to the back room.
My Goldilocks daughter roamed about, tried several mattresses and declared her just-right preference was “soft”.
Right on cue, Mr. Man appeared again.
“Did you not find something else to do?” I continued, “she is just starting to figure out the differences. Could you spend some time with Google instead and give us a few more minutes?”
He seemed to somewhat understand, showed us where to find the pricing charts and went back to his ease-dropping peephole.
We talked with our daughter about brands, budgeting and moving day as she bounced between her three favorite mattresses. When she declared which one she liked best, the Wizard of Odd came back out from behind the curtain.
“Can you make yourself scarce? We are discussing her game plan for moving and how this is all going to work.”
He was understanding enough but only after he explained delivery options, showed us his springs exhibit and told us about the 1-day ONLY free bedframe sale!
“Thanks but we are not going to buy something our first day out. Can you go to the desk for one moment and bring us your business card instead?”
He no longer understood. My fake purchase alternative was too formal and he explained, “I am always the only one here. Just call and ask for me (who else was answering?) and I’ll help you with financing.”
We all stood to leave. Tarah thanked him for letting us look and moved toward the door to continue her comparison shopping. I followed her out of the hokey location and wondered why I didn’t just ask the guy to get lost?!
Here in New England, when the gardens start to overflow, is one of my favorite times of the year. Relatives share their food before it spoils, neighbors leave treats at the door and country roads have home grown garden centers. Beautiful green zucchini for bread, yellow squash for stir fry and beautiful red tomatoes for spaghetti sauce. It doesn’t matter how much they weigh, frugal yanks all across the county are charging ‘two for a dollah’. Our money goes far during the ‘Honor System’ self check-out season. I can’t wait to taste the wonderful meals these beautiful, affordable, local, fresh vegetables will make…
I just need a little help from a friend. “Hon! Richie!? Look what I found doing errands today…!” This time of year my love grows by leaps and bounds.
Each night we brew a tea –
for he and I and we.
All of you are constant company –
Each flutter a welcomed harmony.
Adding beauty to our home –
All the colors at the dome.
Camomile, sugar and nectar –
Drinks all around, near and afar.
Atop a small park hilltop at the edge of the Maine and New Hampshire border where I hear the ocean meeting rock, birds in the trees and the glide of waves onto a tiny beach below.
Writing into the night, it was almost midnight by the time I went to bed. I rose at five to walk the dog and feed the pets. With nobody to answer to, I climbed back onto my gel-topped mattress and covered myself with a plush down comforter. This soft heaven was a great way to begin my vacation.
My body could reawake when it was really ready to start the day. I did not set an alarm. The sun was shining and the birds were singing but the first day of summer could wait.
Or so I thought.
At 7:15, our dog, Otis, started to bark. He doesn’t bark very often. He was very insistent.
I was so comfortable though!
I turned over and snuggled into my bed cloud.
He barked louder to really get my attention.
I knew he was right. I’d had enough sleep. In humorous agreement as I flung off my covers, I found myself saying with a smile:
“Thank you God for talking to me through my dog! I am getting up now.”
Every day is a blessing. There is no reason for a snooze button. My heaven is now and I answer to Him every day. I can’t wait to see what else He has in store for me on this beautiful day.
Your arms around me,
Snuggled tightly hip to hip,
Spooning in the sand.
When you can walk down the driveway, check your mailbox and then pick and eat fresh blueberries before heading back to the house.