I went to have my annual physical recently. I could remember the words the doctor wanted me to, and I was able to name a good many animals when he asked me to name as many as I could in two minutes. In fact, he said I tied for the most animals named with one of his other patients. So I guess my mind is still OK.
Then he began asking me some other questions which related to my physical aging. He wanted to know if I noticed myself shuffling when I walked. I don’t think I do. Let me know if you notice it.
He also wanted to know if I had a night light in my bathroom. I don’t. Over 20 years ago and about two years apart, two of my neighbors had sewer rats come up their plumbing and into their toilet bowls. Both ladies taught with me and both lived about three houses from me. One across the street and the other around the corner. One occurred at night and the other in the day time. In fact, the day-time lady called me for help. My husband was not at home, and the best advice I could offer was close the lid. I did, however, walk over to her house, and the two of us hovered on her sidewalk until help arrived and dispatched the rat.
I never saw either rat, but the notion so traumatized me that I never, ever, go to the bathroom in the dark for fear of a rat tickling my undersides.
I told this story to the doctor to explain why I did not need a night light. He was pretty much speechless. We moved on to other matters.
Another incident brought home to me the fact that time inexorably moves on.
I went to visit my Macon grandchildren. (I was about to say baby sit, but that is no longer the case. They are no longer babies.) The Macon granddaughters also had bedroom makeovers. (Are we sensing a theme here?)
A long time ago I had gifted each of them with cork bulletin boards. I had painted the fames with colorful designs to match the then-room décor and glued small wooden letters that spelled each of their names on the frames. We had to repaint one of the bulletin boards as the original pink and green had to be changed to yellow and white. The repainting was the main purpose of my visit.
My granddaughter had already painted the frame a solid yellow. What remained to be done was white squiggles and dots as decorations. Together we sat down with small paint brushes and a bottle of white paint. But I did most of the embellishing. My granddaughters were really impressed with my design. This doesn’t say much for their artistic abilities. When there is no design to match and you are only doing a design that will please your grandchildren, it is not too tricky. Most anything makes them happy. The whole adventure only took about 15 minutes.
We ate lunch and decided to hit the mall. What else could three females want to do more than shop?
We went shopping for me. We spent a good deal of time looking for some sort of organizer for my pocket book to carry all the trivia and cards you have to have on your person. The saleslady was helpful and my granddaughters searched the area carefully for what I wanted. But the sales lady said they don’t make what I wanted anymore. So we wandered into shoes.
I needed some white sandals. I found two pair I liked and in the process knocked over a pile of shoe boxes. My elder granddaughter quickly scooped them up and restacked them.
The sisters were divided on which sandal they liked. I picked the one the younger one liked, and we all agreed that their mother would hate them. She only wears black, white and beige – not like her mother who likes colors the louder the better. We then went for ice cream.
It occurred to me on the way home that our roles are reversing. It is now the granddaughters who wait on me to make up my mind and help me shop and pick up after me.
Paula Travis is a retired teacher from the Newton County School System. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.