Ever had one of those months where something very small and what would typically be insignificant derails all your plans? I’m not talking about those little things that lead to something much larger. Those things tend to grow well beyond our control.
I’m talking about the everyday little things that manage to sideline you for months on end, like stepping off a curb incorrectly and rolling your ankle. This is a minor thing. An inconvenience for most of us at best, this minor mishap suddenly consumes my months.
A rolled ankle resulted in an x-ray, which resulted in being told to stay off the foot for a few weeks and keep it elevated. While staying off the foot, I received a phone call asking me to check in with my doctor immediately.
You see, it wasn’t just a rolled ankle. It was a discovery of weak bones and loads of fractures that explained my foot pain. This small discovery resulted in more tests, more discussions around therapy, and suddenly having more specialists added to my team. And all because I was out walking the four-footed one and stepped off a curb wrong. An ordinary thing led to extraordinary results I never expected in my wildest dreams.
The four-footed one decided she wasn’t going to be left behind. I’m sure that’s why she climbed into Beloved’s bag. Now and then, she will crawl into a suitcase or overnight bag and fall asleep while waiting for one of us to pick it up.
This time she climbed into the bag while we were sleeping and made herself comfortable. Beloved never noticed until he went to pick up the bag and her little head popped up as if to say good morning to him. He put the bag down, lifted her out of it and carried her to where I was sitting.
When he’s gone overnight, he tells the four-footed one to be a wee good lassie for me. But, frankly, there are times it gets confusing in this house who he is referring to because sometimes he calls me lassie instead of lass.
So the four-footed one curled up in my lap, ignored Beloved’s goodbyes and promptly fell back asleep. I wasn’t complaining much because she will not often nap in anyone’s lap anymore. And I knew that when he came home the next morning, she would be all over him and act like staying home with me was the worst thing in the world.
I like my coffee hot and black. I like to sit in the stillness of the early morning and get some writing or reading done, depending on my mood.
It’s been a bit of a dream, one made to order of sorts. Sure there are things I would change, but for the most part, the fact that Beloved knows how I like my coffee and how I like to spend those special moments is perfect.
Neither he nor I am perfect, of course. That’s not really the point. It is the point that we somehow know what each other needs when we need it. He knows when I need him to pick me up from a fall and when I need him to let me find my own feet.
I know when he needs me to comment on the paper and when it is enough just to read his words and leave comments for the editors. I know when he needs to sit in the early morning and let his demons talk to him and when he needs to be hugged and told that everything will be okay.
And somehow, perfectly, the four-footed one knows when we need to laugh and when we need a soft body to snuggle and forget about the rest of the world.
The four-footed one is very particular about where her toys go. Some toys belong in a wicker basket, others on her bed, and more must stay in her kennel. She will find and put them where they belong if you give them new places. She will also give you the stink eye while putting them back.
Beloved frequently gives them new homes when he is cleaning the floor. His theory is to move everything and do a thorough cleaning. Unfortunately, sometimes this results in certain toys ending up in the wrong location. The four-footed one is never amused when this happens.
Not only does she treat Beloved to the stink eye, but she also ignores him when he tries to make up to her. That is until he pulls out his secret weapon, a yogurt bone. She cannot resist yogurt bones; no matter how angry she is, she will still come to him and let him love on her while she eats her bone. Once the bone is finished, she’s back to ignoring him with the strength of a million versions of herself.
I guess when you know where something should be, you know it with all your heart, and you work hard to ensure it stays there.
Some men wear jean jackets like they were born to wear them. Other men wear leather jackets as if it’s a second skin. Beloved tends to lean more towards leather jackets, but his heart is in a hoodie or a cardigan. When he’s trying to be professional, it’s a blazer or a suit jacket.
At the end of the day, Beloved’s embraced the idea that being comfortable is confident and sexy and that works for him. If I were to wear comfortable clothing, I would look neither confident nor sexy, but I would look very comfortable.
Somehow a hoodie or cardigan on me looks, well, less than pulled together. A blazer feels like a straight jacket in some ways. Jean jackets are never warm enough; leather jackets are better when it’s one of Beloved’s, and he’s thrown it over my shoulders to stay warm.
My favorite hoodies are Beloved’s hoodies, far too big for me but perfectly warm and comfortable. Same with his older cardigans. None of his stuff, of course, actually goes with my outfits, but any time a woman wear’s her man’s jackets or sweaters, it works, even though it doesn’t. No one ever says that Beloved’s casually draped jacket, which is miles too big, is simply wrong for my outfit because it’s understood that he gave it to me to stay warm, not for fashion.
Sometimes, when things slow down a little and nothing urgently requires my attention, I marvel at how we got here, how the four-footed one joined our lives and fills each day with a sense of purpose and energy that wasn’t there before.
In those still moments, I can recall all the things we said we were going to do in the future, which has suddenly become the present. I mentally tick off the ones we’ve completed and consider where the other ones are feasible or if we even want them anymore.
Sometimes I consider how fortunate I am. But unfortunately, not everyone with a chronic illness finds unconditional love, a job that accommodates them, and finds their way forward.
I count many friends who’ve become single or deemed undatable due to health issues. Yet, I know others who struggle to manage their disease in conjunction with their employment status because bills need to be paid, and life goes on.
I’m blessed to find someone in my corner regardless of my health for the day, evening, or week. He is okay with last-minute changes or going to events solo. He doesn’t mind the tears, frustration, and missteps that are a part of living with lupus. He doesn’t care that our plans have changed or our future dreams are different now.
Some people think bacon makes everything better. Some individuals believe that bacon can solve problems, lure up cryptid creatures, or hold the answer to the toughest questions. I am not one of those people.
Beloved, on the other hand, is very fond of bacon. Therefore, to Beloved’s way of thinking, bacon should be available for every meal. He would even offer bacon as the ideal snack if you let him.
So when Beloved discovered bacon was on sale, he made sure he had cleared his calendar to go shopping for bacon for the day. To him, our house never has enough bacon, even when the freezer contains nothing except bacon.
On more than one occasion, Beloved has joked that we need a separate freezer to contain the bacon he requires. He may be right about the freezer since this last shopping trip. I never thought I’d spend hours rearranging everything in the freezer as if it were a giant puzzle.
The problem with rearranging one’s freezer is that one must work quickly. Otherwise, things will thaw. Too much food thawing at once is a very bad thing indeed. Not that Beloved cared, as long as his precious bacon was kept safe and cold. After all, it might be what allows us to live through disasters yet to come.
The four-footed one sniffed the air with eagerness and perhaps anticipation. But, of course, it can be hard to read her body language when she doesn’t wag her tail as much as she wags her whole body. But I’m sure the four-footed one can’t help herself.
To be fair, if I had a tail, I’d probably have a hard time keeping it under control as well. You see, Beloved was beginning to pull together a cheese tray. Neither the four-footed one nor myself can resist the alluring sights, aromas, or tastes of cheese. Cheese is our weakness.
So while the four-footed one’s whole body wriggled in anticipation, I tried to sneak a peek or two at the items being unwrapped. I’ve yet to meet someone who can resist Beloved’s cheese trays unless that person is lactose intolerant.
True, cheese in and of itself is delightful, but the way Beloved pairs different flavors and textures and offers them with an array of fruits and small pieces of bread is simply irresistible.
I know some people will say that waiting only whets the appetite. However, waiting for cheese seems like an unfair punishment, perhaps even torture in some books. So yes, cheese, please!
It’s cookie season, at least in my house it is. Cookie season has thankfully just started in our house, which means that we are looking at recipes and deciding which ones to try or make. These decisions have to be weighed carefully. You see, Beloved already has five types of cookies he knows he will be making soon. To his way of thinking, they are required to bring in the holiday season.
Whenever it is early in the season, the possibilities are endless. There are so many flavors to try, and each cookie has its special appeal. However, everything must be added to the must-try pile at this point in the season.
A little later into the season, when time gets a little short, we will start removing things from our pile. We will slowly remove things that seem too fussy, have hard-to-find ingredients, require too much time, or no longer hold the appeal they once did.
As we move further into the season, Beloved will continue to remove items from the must-try pile until he’s left with something manageable. It will be manageable, except for whatever reason, Beloved will suddenly be driving with the need to bake them all simultaneously or close to that. So the pressure will be on. He will make them all quickly and efficiently, and I will sample them in their deliciousness.
A hot cup of coffee with a few good friends can heal what ails you sometimes. And other times, a hot cup of coffee allows you to hold back on what you might otherwise say or do.
I’ve never mastered the art of knowing when the cup of coffee would work best or wouldn’t be in my best interest. I’ve never seen coffee as anything other than my best friend.
Need time to think things through? Why not grab a cup of coffee? Or you need to deliver some really bad news; why not think through the words before you deliver it by grabbing a cup of coffee? If you feel alone, a cup of coffee can change that sense of loneliness into something manageable.
I have yet to find a time when coffee isn’t ideal or warranted. Not that I’m looking all that hard for the reason or time, either. I mean, who would? There are such wide varieties of coffee served in many different ways that it is always an option.
Coffee is almost perfect if you ask me. I say almost because nothing can truly be perfect. However, coffee is very close to being the perfect drink, no matter the occasion or the time.