Monday, August 06, 2007

Gobsmacked, double plus ungood
I am driving along on my way to Mass at the monastery, preparing to exit from the interstate onto a smaller highway when
A car smashes into the driver’s side of my car, blasting out the window and pushing me onto the shoulder and into the guardrail, from which we both ricochet across three lanes of traffic to end on the opposite service road: she, smashed into the guard rail; me, pulled to a stop facing north about 20 feet away.
Two drivers stop immediately and rush to the other car. I take inventory: I’m alive, nothing hurts, the engine is not smoking. I have automatically brushed some broken glass out of my hair, and have some tiny cuts on my fingers- nothing that a Kleenex won't take care of. I realize that my glasses have been knocked off in the proceedings- a Catch-22 that the desperately near-sighted will appreciate. I’m afraid to move too many things about to look for them, because of the glass scattered across the front seat. Moving very cautiously, I find them on the passenger’s side floor and put them on.
After that, things move in an orderly fashion. One of the helpful drivers assists me out of the car, through the passenger door- mine is fused shut. I phone home- after thirty years, my husband knows that any call that begins “Now, I don’t want you to get upset…” is bad news, but I assure him that I‘m fine and he doesn’t need to rush down. The EMT’s arrive and load the other driver, who they think will be alright, into the ambulance. They give me a cursory checkover and an officer and I determine that my car is driveable. While I wait for the interviewing policeman, I pick the remaining shards of glass out of the window, putting them in a produce bag I happened to have . Picked up two at once at the store and stuffed the second in my bag, for some reason. Random, but useful in the end.
After the police get their information and I’m cleared to leave, I glance at the clock. It’s only 9:09. The whole episode has only taken about half an hour.
I phone home again and tell them that since it’s still early, I’ve decided to go on to Mass. No one thinks this is a very good idea, but I’m determined, though somewhat shaky. By the time I drive to the monastery, walk up the hill and into the abbey, splash some water on my face and throw away my ruined stockings, they are almost done with the consecration. Must have been some short readings and a sketchy little sermon this morning. And while gratitude is my first emotion, because I am deeply thankful to be alive and whole- my second thought is surprising: it wouldn’t have been a bad day to die.
I’ve puzzled over why that was in the following day, and I can only conclude that the spiritual masters are right- if you work at being ready to go, while living as fully as you can at the same time, you just might be.
So, glad to be here, safe and sound. Grateful for the life illustration. Carrying on.

Thursday, August 02, 2007


I got a sucker, I got a sucker, I got a sucker, hey, hey, hey, hey.
Got Bubbins for the morning on Monday. I was warned that I'd only have time to pick up the basics, as his grocery attention span was short. But he was perfectly good- we discussed eggs and milk and English muffins and he told me a long, involved story about...something. Kitty food, maybe.
But in the produce section, he began to struggle to get out of the cart and reach the kiwis.
Now, I know he has no personal experience with kiwis, other than tasting them at Nana Gigi's, so I couldn't see what the uproar was about.
'What, baby?" I asked.
He gave me his trademarked "you silly woman" look: "Baw!, Baw!"
Well, duh.
He was in ball heaven, while I picked up some romaine and nectarines.
And I bought him a green plastic one, for being a genius.

Balls are a big deal around here.
He played nicely by himself while I unpacked the groceries and put a stew in the crock pot and did some laundry. Then he helped me go through a big plastic bin of fabric and craft miscellany: I gave him interesting scraps to look at and he took everything out of the bedside table drawers.
We had only one serious disagreement- he thought he should move the Ott light around and I thought he shouldn't, since if it fell on him it could smush him. He was removed to think it over.
He ate his lunch, but refused to take a nap- no corral- so he had to go home to sleep, so he wouldn be crazy when they met up with the AZ grandparents later.He really is excellent company, for someone barely a year old.