Saturday, June 27, 2009

Journal of a Living Lady #350
Nancy White Kelly

You probably know the old saw that everything happens in threes. I’m not superstitious, but I if I were, I would be concerned about entering my third week of threes.
A couple of weeks ago, in rapid succession, Buddy had a crick in his neck that was so bad he saw a chiropractor twice and a medical doctor once. The doctor gave him a shot in his neck that hurt but helped. $$$

Rocky, the German shepherd dog that our son Bobby gave us at Christmas is now sixteen months old. He is as smart and adventuresome as they come. He began limping badly and our conclusion was that he tried to dig under the pasture fence and got pricked by a piece of subterranean barb wire. I gave him penicillin shot in hopes it would cure any infection he might have with high hopes of avoiding a vet visit.$$$
Then it was my turn. I developed that nasty ole stomach virus that kept me hugging the toilet every fifteen minutes for nearly twelve hours. I would have had to die to get better. Week one.

A few days ago Buddy’s neck pain returned with a vengeance. It is the week-end, of course, so I will have to endure his torment until he can see his family doctor on Monday. He walks around like Frankenstein, turning his whole body at his shoulders. Poor baby.
Rocky healed from his sore foot, but a few days later had pain in his right leg that was so bad that he yelped with each step he took. We had to discontinue his basic obedience training. It was just too difficult for him to heel, sit and get down.
Buddy and I examined Rocky’s paw and could see no puncture, no infection, no anything that looked unusual. We aggressively felt his foot and ankle area and he didn’t holler. This was a puzzler. Monday we gave in and took him to the vet as he was limping as badly as ever. The vet believes he has a sprained shoulder. My guess is that he managed to get atop our metal-roofed barn from the mountain-side rear and slid off the metal siding which is a good ten foot drop. The vet postponed x-rays to see if medication would help first. Rocky is on anti-inflammatory drugs and glucosamine. $$$

Yesterday I woke up with a sore throat, the coughing crud, and a probable cold, something I rarely have, especially in the summer time. It is terrible timing as this up-coming week I have a Sunday school class to teach, a luncheon engagement with a struggling cancer survivor and a doctor’s appointment with a friend who is to hear the prognosis of her serious cancer. I also agreed to a speaking request on short notice, and, finally, there is a book signing on Saturday for both U.S. Senator Zell Miller and me at the Inspirations Book Store in Hiawassee at 10:00.

I can hardly wait until week three. Hopefully my Buddy won’t need a new cadaveric disc in his antique neck, Rocky won’t need x-rays and a trip to Athens, and I won’t develop pneumonia requiring a stay in the hospital. I’ll pass on that delicious hospital chow.
If I believed in silly fallacies of threes as my mother did, I would try to reverse my luck by turning counter-clockwise three times. Or, I would search for a cluster of three butterflies which supposedly brings good luck.

Being a pragmatist, I accept life as it comes. It could be worse, a lot worse. If I threw my problems in a pile and then saw yours, I would probably grab mine back.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Journal of a Living Lady #349

Nancy White Kelly

Last week Buddy and I made the thirty mile trip to the closest big box store. As usual, we stopped for breakfast on the way, this time at the place with golden arches.

As we made our way to the counter, I noticed a scruffy-looking, older gentleman eating pancakes with beautiful strawberries piled on top. It amazed me that this franchised hamburger establishment would serve such luscious fruit.
Buddy ordered a sausage and biscuit. I asked the clerk for pancakes with strawberries on top. Her jaw dropped and she glared silently in disbelief. I caught on and reacted with calm aplomb.

“Cancel those strawberries,” I said. “Just plain pancakes will be fine.”

With our trays in hand, Buddy and I passed by the strange, but eloquent diner who apparently brought his own fruit. Buddy wasn’t as interested in the man as I was.
The next peculiar thing that I noticed was that his food was on a lovely straw placemat. Instead of the foam plates Buddy and I were given, this man had a real dish. Its gilded border matched the edge of his china cup which was decorated with pink cherubs.

Buddy and I took a near-by booth. I hoped the man wouldn’t notice my staring. He didn’t. He was in another world fully occupied with his morning meal.
A white, cloth napkin lay upon his lap in vivid contrast to his wrinkled and soiled shirt. As best I could tell from the distance, the napkin appeared to be ironed.
Had the man been in a tuxedo and cleanly shaven, he could have been a stand-in for the butler in those “pass the all-fruit” commercials.

I removed my plastic fork from the sealed package and then pried the tiny piece of yellow, imitation oil from the small container. My eyes kept returning to the odd man. Probably he had real butter.

His eating utensils were not the same as mine. The fork was a silvery-colored metal, probably sterling.

Twice the old man got up from his booth seat, picked up a white paper cup, and approached the counter. Without a word, the clerk refilled the man’s cup with coffee. He returned to his seat and methodically poured the piping-hot contents into his personal cup.

Buddy and I finished eating and discarded our trash. On the way out the door, I took one last look at the old man who was still leisurely enjoying his breakfast. He was lost in oblivion.

Was he a vagrant or an eccentric millionaire? I laughed as my mind supplied a silly answer:” Only the Shadow knows.”

Buddy and I headed for our car in the parking lot. I carefully perused the area looking for that candid camera. This experience was so surreal that there had to be someone lurking in the shrubbery.

Nobody came forth. I smiled anyway.