Day 15, Highs and Lows

Sunday 12/16/2018

This day started out with

A High

which requires some back-story. For mumble-mumble years, every Sunday morning Marian and I walked about a quarter-mile to the coffee shop in Midtown to read the Sunday paper and have cappucini and sweet rolls. Late last year, some quite noisy groups of friends started occupying the place Sunday mornings. This particularly annoyed Marian, so we switched to the much quieter (in fact, so quiet one wonders how long they’ll be business) Baron Barista, about 2 miles away. That meant driving, not walking, which was OK because Marian’s walking distance shrank steadily over that time anyway.

Last week I mentioned how it was quite an emotional experience to go back alone to the P.A. Café Sunday morning. Today I had the notion to go to Baron Barista instead; and then had the sudden notion, “Wonder if I could walk that?” A quick check of Google Maps showed it was 2.2 miles and 40 minutes, which seemed well within my capacities, so off I went, paper under my arm.

Swinging along it dawned on me, with a real jolt of pleasure, that I was doing something that was only possible to me as a bachelor. Even a decade ago, such a walk would have been out of the question for Marian, and so wouldn’t have occurred to me as a possibility. Here I was, doing a new thing that was possible only in my new life. Trivial though it was, it felt good.

Later, the Downers


Forty-odd years ago, Marian brought home a “pony-tail palm” (beaucarnia recurvata) which over time grew and grew until “Beau” towered nearly 7 feet above the rim of the pot, and had branched out like a menora.

Knowing that my time in this house was limited, I have worried about what to do with Beau for months. I wanted to find a new permanent home for this plant, and hated the idea that it might end up in a compost pile. Fortunately, Liz Shaw, a niece-in-law of Marian’s sister Jean, is a landscape gardener by trade, appreciates plants, and agreed to take Beau into her own home.

IMG_3534The arrangement was for her to come today and at noon sharp, she and her son Spencer pulled into the driveway. They very professionally staked and tied Beau’s branches, moved him out to the truck, and wrapped him securely in a sheet. They roped him him securely into the bed of the truck and he was off to his new home.

I had not expected this to be an emotional event; after all this was exactly what I wanted to have happen, had planned for, and marked the end of my responsibility for the plant.

But it was emotional, very much so. I had a hard time controlling my voice saying goodbye to Liz, and for half an hour after they left I wandered around the house, sniffling and wiping my eyes — closer to actual tears than I’ve been since Day 2 — and mumbled a couple of times, “Just shards of the old life, going away,” which was the best I could do to sum it up.

Up a little

So I’d had the plan (since Dennis wasn’t able to join me for The Green Book) that I’d go see Ralph Wrecks the Internet solo. It was time to execute, so I blew my nose and acted. I love modern movie going. I bought my senior ticket for Century 16 on, had the ticket sent to my phone, walked into the theater 15 minutes before showtime to wave my phone at the scanner, sat down in my reserved lounge chair and reclined it. Aside from the fact that they showed twenty minutes of previews after the start of the nominal show-time of 2pm, it was a good experience.





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