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Ice storm

by davesandel on February 2nd, 2011

A squirrel scampered along the electric line, and I watched him go.  The snow froze and ice fell on top and no one except that squirrel is moving anywhere today.  In the middle of a February work week, no one wants to open the door.

“Watch Doctor Zhivago?  Play canasta?  Good plan.”  Breakfast and a movie.

We moved a freezer from Lincoln and a refrigerator from our house to our shed yesterday.  We could have waited till today, or waited till next week.  Now the ground looks permanently covered with inches of thick crust that won’t be easy to move till it melts.

“We’re on our way, John.  We’re bringing the van.  We’re picking up the freezer.”

John laughed.  He always laughs.  “OK.”  He hesitated.  “If I’m not there, get your tax forms off my desk.”

Not there.  Who would help me move the freezer?  I didn’t say anything.  “I’ll probably be back before you leave,” he said.

I laughed.  A little.  Good.

The tires on our van are getting close to bald.  Freezing rain fell during the morning, and we drove right along.  Not quite as fast as usual.  The ice was mostly pellets, and it didn’t get real slippery.

Mom waited in her wheelchair, back turned to the door.  She wore a black and red and gold velvet top, and her hair looked nice.  We moved around so she could see us, and her face sparkled up in a very happy smile.

“I was going to call you,” she said.

“What were you going to say,” I said.

“To tell you not to come in this awful weather.”  Her face wore a familiar worried frown, showing her powerlessness.  What she could do was say stop, say no.  She does that more than she needs to, more now than before.  But her reluctance is only skin deep.

“Well, here we are,” I said.  “Good,” she said.  And she smiled again.

She ate her lunch.  Bite by bite.  She eats more in the nursing home than she did at home before her accident.  We didn’t bring food, but it was still nice to have lunch together.

“I was surprised God didn’t comfort me when I was in The Hole,” she said.

She looked vulnerable and entitled at the same time, I thought.  Like I would, I thought.  Like Alice talking to her father, or her son, after returning from Wonderland.

“When I was in the hospital hooked up to everything and couldn’t move, I slept a lot.  The morphine kept flowing in.  And I felt awful.  God didn’t come.”

“A lot of people were praying for you.”

“Pastor Peters told me we can’t trust faith to our feelings.  I might not feel God, but He’s there.”


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