A ray of morning sunshine slanted down from the window on the stairway landing. Without thinking, I stepped into the beam, like a super star steps into a spotlight on stage. Closing my eyes, I smiled. It felt right and good to be there.
I may have stood in this exact spot on an April morning sixty years ago, when I was five. Back then I would have been listening to Mom talking to Daddy in the kitchen and enjoying the smell of fresh bread baking. I would have listened to my sister practicing her clarinet in her room, knowing that my brother was down the hall tinkering with a mechanical gadget in his room.
Today’s new, yet familiar, sunlight opened a floodgate of memories. Memories made more poignant by the job that lay before me, clearing out my childhood home to prepare for a new family to move in. Continue reading
Tammie looked over at me from behind the steering wheel. She asked, “So, Mom, when are you going to retire?”
Without thinking, I laughed and said, “Me? I’m not old enough to retire. That’s at least two or three years away yet.” In the silence that followed, I looked out the passenger window at the fields, ponds and houses we were passing on highway 41. As our car crested a small rise and a whole new vista opened to us, I acknowledged to myself that maybe it was time for me to start thinking about retirement. I’d be sixty five in less than a year and a half.
Throughout most of the thirty seven years that Arnie and I were married, my husband frequently said, “We’re going to work it out so that you can quit working at the hospital.” That never happened, probably because my job provided our family with health insurance. All was good, I liked what I did and I worked only four days a week.
When Arnie and I were fifty-six years old, Arnie died suddenly. After that I had no more thoughts about quitting work. Continue reading
Thick gray clouds hung low over the fields and farmyards that my bus rumbled past. I leaned my head against the cold window glass, enjoying being alone with my thoughts. One of my favorite songs was playing on the radio, a man singing the words, “From a Jack…to a Queen,” The drama in his beautiful voice, and the emotions his words conjured up in my twelve year old mind made me sigh deeply. Continue reading