Storm on the Pacific Ocean

posted in: Blog, Family | 4
Stormy Seas
Storm on the Pacific Ocean

Last night, as I looked out into the dark, the house on the bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean shook as a storm raged outside.  In darkness, howling wind flailed against buildings and fences.  Hail and rain pummeled roof and windows and beat a frantic rhythm on the garden deck.  By-and-by, the deafening noise abated as the storm passed, leaving dense rain clouds in the night sky.

Carefully listening over noisy morning showers, I heard the newspaper slap against the steep, wet concrete drive.  As the paper skidded to rest under the car, water began to wick up through minute holes in its plastic cover.  I crammed my feet into rubber clogs and hurried out to retrieve the local news before the paper became soaked, and then rushed to get back inside the house before my coffee cooled.

Six days a week, this activity serves as my warmup routine for the daily walk necessary to preserve a semblance of muscle tone and remind old bones that their job is to hold me upright – all day long.

Beaded Rainbow
After the Storm

On Mondays when there is no paper, I lounge in my easy chair holding a really hot cup of coffee.  I wonder if blowing to cool it counts as exercise.  I’ve come to the conclusion that it does if I say it does.

Victorious, with paper in hand, I stopped inside the door, kicked off clogs and slid into slippers.  A glance downward showed two inches of damp hemline around the bottom of my long robe.  Clearly evident were soaking wet dinner-plate-sized knee marks made by paying homage to the paper person with the wicked throwing arm.

Hurriedly, I changed robes and all but trotted to my waiting chair, coffee and paper.  Aahh.  Day started.  Officially.  On time.  Slurrrp.  Sounds of the Pacific Ocean made perfect background music.

Front page news above the fold was a mix of stories, one uplifting and one sad. Below the fold, I learned a possible Federal Government shutdown worked its way toward probable.  Two days before my Social Security check was to be deposited to my bank account.  This would not be good.

After the Storm
Day’s End on the Pacific Ocean

And so I settled in for my morning read.  A positive story, then came negative, then positive.  Lots of news.  Skipped lightly over sports. Read patient advice for sometimes silly questions.  Ignored implications in my horoscope.  Read the comics and got a couple or three really good laughs.  Out of the corner of my eye, I saw my empty coffee cup on the side table and looked forward to another cup with breakfast.

At last, I turned the page and saw your photo at the top.  In the obits.  Oh, no!

I closed my eyes and leaned hard against the back of my chair.

Of course, I knew you weren’t well.  And that you hadn’t been well for a very long time.  But, that’s not the point.  The last time we talked, we argued.  It wasn’t a serious argument.  It was stupid, as most arguments seem to be.  But nevertheless, in the coffee shop, the air that crossed the table between us bristled with raised voices and harsh words.

That afternoon I watched you stomp off toward your car.  Your parting shot lingered in the air behind you.  “You’ll see I am right.”

At the time, I told myself, “He just wants to go smoke his pipe.”  But, I knew then I was wrong.  And now you are gone.  Forever.  Well, at least you had the last word.  I know I will miss you.

From the bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean, I send you this wish.  May You Rest in Peace.

4 Responses

    • Judith

      So glad you liked the story. If I had waited a few more days to write it, I would’ve had to write about the loss of two friends who passed within the last month, a total loss in the past year of three friends, each of whom I have known for at least fifty years. Until now, I had not thought about this aspect of aging. Seeing friends disappear into the ether. I’m thinking I’m not liking it so much.

      After attending the second Women’s March last weekend, I’m beginning to get an idea I was born a couple of generations too soon. So, perhaps the answer lies in changing generations. Now to decide …

  1. Mary

    Awhile back Del asked if I had checked out your site lately. My intentions are to check it out every so often , but of course I get the iPad shut off before I think about it. Yes things are ok here in Iowa, even though we too are saying farewell to good friends. It is saddler when it’s someone way too young. Mary

  2. Judith

    Hi, Mary and Del. Good to hear from you and happy you are doing well. We’re having a mild winter here – at least so far. In fact, mid February this year is a perfect faux spring. You know, when Mother Nature hands out the hint that spring is about to be sprung. And so you run out into the yard and plant stuff like crazy. Then March comes along and brings rain that washes away all your February efforts. But we never learn – except if we resolve to stay away from the nursery until sometime in April. Or maybe even later than that. Take care of yourselves. Love, J

Leave a Reply