I took the morning off yesterday to take Mom to one of her doctor’s appointments, so I was “home” at a time of day when I normally would be in the city working.
As I pulled out of my little fifty-home neighborhood onto the main road, the surveyor working in the intersection waved to me. Mental note: Lone surveyor – not a highway crew of eight, six of whom are standing around drinking coffee and talking.
I pulled up in front of the Village Offices to drop off our water bill payment. The sign on the door said CLOSED so I got out to ask the man sitting on the front steps of the old bank building which now houses the offices, when they would open. I’ve seen this man around town many times and it turns out one of the few black men in our rural upstate community is a Vietnam veteran who, like many veterans over the years who suffered from various mental and physical scars of their service, lives in a group home just up the street. He says he likes living here better than any place he’s ever lived because the people are friendly and we have everything we really need right here, as long as we reach out for it. Well, there’s my attitude adjustment for the day! We passed the next five minutes chatting until the lovely lady who is our clerk realized she had forgotten to flip the Open/Closed sign and the two of us outside had a good laugh because neither of us had thought to actually try the door.
On my way to pick up Mom I passed a grandma pausing in her walk to allow her stroller-bound charge the opportunity to smell and touch lovely flowering bush along the way, Gary of Gary’s Hots opening up his lunch wagon across from the plant, and the usual suspects headed into the diner for the weekly old farts’ breakfast.
At the her appointment, one of the nurses asked about my grandbabies and Mom’s physician spent a good 15 minutes with us inquiring as to the quality of her life and helping both of us adjust to her changing needs and concerns. Since he is also my and my two brothers’ doctor, he is in a unique position to advise the family.
I dropped Mom off at her apartment complex afterward and headed out of town. As I watched a boy of about twelve, fishing pole and bait can in hand, his curly chestnut hair sweat matted to his face, peddling his bike down to the creek, I thought for sure I heard whistling.