PermaLink The first entry after the last09/01/2007 11:16 PM
Something akin to normal life has resumed here.  The kitten and the future megawabbit are larger, the air is cooler, the apples are larger, and I can start to smell fall coming.

I will start tonight by telling you my back hurts like hell right now. Without any particular warning, I felt a twinge when grabbing bags of cat and rabbit food out of the back of the Volkswagen this afternoon, and since then, it seems like everything I do exacerbates it. Even just sitting on Nora's oh-so-soft couch next to Mary, the uber-suckup white cat, I am in pain.

Oddly, I was terrifically relaxed this morning and my back was fine, a common side-effect of fooling around with Nora. Maybe too relaxed, because I didn't prep for lifting large objects. I'm paying for it now.

A week has gone by since my father's funeral service. My stepmother is still taking it pretty rough... she emails with Nora pretty regularly (though not me) and it's obvious that she's still in a lot of pain. Yet even through that, she seems to be worrying about... us. Me. My brother and sister. I have no good idea why, since we're all in our 40s and for all intents and purposes, pretty responsible adults. If anything, I wish my stepmother would focus on herself -- really on herself -- and not worry about anybody else for a while.

I don't know if she has that skill anymore. After 16 years of caring for my father, and who knows how many years of worrying about him, she's been left alone. I don't know if she knows how to be herself anymore, or even what "herself" means. I don't even know how to tell her to relearn that.

And so, it worries me.

I then take my own advice: she's 59, she's an adult, she doesn't need me worrying about her.

But it's what one does.

The cards from friends and co-workers have been a steady presence in our paper mailbox this week. The finality they represent means something to me. People do feel like they have to do something, or at least say something, and I do value it. I keep them (even the envelopes).

The end of summer is in my nose. I can smell the way the mountain smells in September, and it's different than it was in June and July. The mountain is exhaling now, the green is starting to plateau and start toward the orange and brown that will come in five weeks. My apple trees are heavy with round things, though Nora says the Granny Smiths are too "bitter" to eat yet. I like 'em just fine. Anything's better than that damn Golden Delicious out there, the tree that was tagged as a McIntosh when I planted it from the nursery five years ago.

I hate Delicious apples. They're so overbred that they're anything but delicious. They're crumbly and dry and finicky and lack flavor. I'd dig the sumbitch up, but it's a well-shaped tree and Mr. Woodchuck likes the apples.

You get older, you learn to put up with things and just work around them.

Except back pain.


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