Burrrrrr ~ it is 0 degrees outside! A bright, sunny day with no wind chill. Snow is frozen from a week of hit-and-miss flurries and temperatures below freezing. Imagine evergreens cascading with sparkling snow like strands of pearls. The short days of sunrises at 7:04 a.m. and sunsets at 4:29 p.m. are spreading further apart as each day seeks longer spring and summer existence. Roads are cleared due to the excellent maintenance. As usual, the birds and squirrels are scampering for food. My feeder has succumbed to the elements and, though still hanging from its hanger, it is on the ground allowing critters to “bottom-feed.” I’ve had the opportunity to wear my collection of warm winter clothes (purchased over the years from ski trips or Europe), which I cannot wear in too-hot-for-winter-Georgia. I’m so glad I held onto those cute snow bunny pieces I enjoyed in Kingsport when embracing snowfalls and sharing hot chocolate with the neighborhood kids on the church benches on The Lodge porch in White City.
With the beauty of the weather I continue to admire around the Finger Lakes, I have had a brain freeze. Not the first (nor last, I’m sure). My niece, Laura Kendrick, had been on my mind more than normal during her first semester of college classes. So, I texted her to inquire how she was doing.
Me: “Checking in. Been on my mind lately. How’s it going?”
Response: “Hi, been a long time. In a wheelchair for weeks. Fell off one of my horses and have been in the worst pain of my life.”
Me: “SO sorry to hear! When did you get horses?”
Response: “Not feeling well and am going to bed now. Good to hear from you.”
So, I wrote and sent Laura a praying-for-a-full-and-speedy-recovery-get-well-thinking-of-you note on my monogrammed stationery. Followed up with a call a couple of weeks later, then spoke with her father who is my brother, Jeff.
Me: “How is Laura recovering?”
Jeff: “From what?”
Me: “Her fall off her horse.”
Jeff: “Ugh, she does not own a horse.”
Me: “Was she riding someone else’s?”
Jeff: “Don’t know what you are talking about.”
Me: “She told me she fell off her horse and is in so much pain that she had been in a wheelchair for weeks.”
Jeff: “Susan, we live in the same house and I would have noticed if she was in a wheelchair.”
Me: “That’s interesting. I have a texting correspondence and even sent her a note.”
Jeff: “Well, I remember that she received a note from you, but she had no idea what you were talking about.”
I pulled my phone to find our communication. It was not there?!?!? The next morning, that was the first thing I thought about and checked my phone again. Nothing. Hmmm?! A few hours go by when it dawned on me, I used to know a U.S. food vendor in Athens whose name was Laura, yes, Kendrick. So, hesitantly, I pressed her name and there it was … all the info regarding her falling off a horse and being in a wheelchair. The word ‘dingbat’ quickly came to mind.
Grand Central Station chaos is plausible ~ as I grew up sharing the household with five siblings and many pets. Frequently, one or more of us would have sleepovers. Fluffing and buffing first thing on Saturday mornings was not on anyone’s agenda and that has stuck with me into adulthood. Unless the University of Georgia has a noon kickoff, Saturdays and holidays are kick-back-take-your-time-getting-ready mornings. I can almost always take first place in the ‘most nappy hair’ contest with my goddess Medusa mop partially on top of my head. Most of it by morning has fallen onto my shoulders, but I am never in a hurry to modify. Until recently (kinda) when Jeff took one look at me and with a big smile suggested my hair “looked like the solar system.” I thought that was hilarious and responded, “it took all night to get the look.” Perhaps, President Trump can use my solar system version as a logo for the rebirth of the U.S. space program. Or maybe not.
So, in keeping with modern technology… When I visited Best Buy to have my computer tweaked after accidently mishandling it AGAIN, I decided to purchase an Alexa Dot. I was told by the seller, “It will do everything that you tell it to do.” Laughing and without missing a beat, I replied, “Perhaps that would have been good for my marriage!”
The sorority will celebrate Mardi Gras with jambalaya and king cake on Tuesday, followed by Ash Wednesday which marks the beginning of Lent as we prepare for the celebration of our risen Lord on Easter. Gave up sweets last year. Humbles me. Will do the same but be more disciplined in workouts and prayers this Lenten season. Speaking of discipline … Cornell’s wrestling team had a 92-match winning streak for 19 years until last week! That astounds me. It would take 19 years for me to do 92 sit-ups!
With Leap Year upon us, we have an extra day for almsgiving. St. Patrick’s Day, when all of us are Irish, will fall before I write to you again and spring will begin to tantalize our senses. Erin go Bragh!
Susan E. Kendrick is a Sunday Stories columnist who shares her insights and Southern humor each month in Sincerely, Susan. To correspond with Susan, email her at [email protected]