It's a beautiful, crisp, sunny autumn day, and Gregg and David have gone over to my parents' house to move their float. This is a twice-yearly event that weighs heavily on my dad's mind until it is done. In the fall, they detach the float from the dock and tow it into a nearby bay (for storage over the winter months). With winter storm winds and waves, the float could damage the dock, or even break away (and be lost), so this keeps everything safe. In the spring, Gregg and David go back into the bay, tow the float out, and re-attach it to the dock. My dad is restless until these two tasks have been done.
While they are gone, I have been pruning our mint and lavender plants. This is a fun job, partly because both of these kinds of plants smell so good! It's like being inside of a teabag. Surrounded by blue sky, blue water and all different shades of lush green vegetation, I worked until had to take a break, to come inside and sit down, as my back started to seize up.
If you know me at all, you know that I am not a gardener by any stretch of the imagination. This year, however, I have started to see the pleasure in it. I told Gregg that I'd prefer to prune the plants than go to the grocery store while they move the float, but that I'd like to go with him when he gets back. Gregg's reply was, "You really must not want to go to the store, if you'd rather work in the garden." So I'm not known as a gardener around here, but it's a pleasure on a day like this, especially since A) No one is pushing me to do it, B) I can stop if I'm exhausted, C) I can see the results of my work easily, and D) I'm saving money (by doing it myself)!
And it's true: I just don't like grocery shopping since Katie passed away; I don't know why. Maybe it's because I had some weird encounters with people at the store in the early days, but whatever it is, I dread grocery shopping now. It takes me twice as long to shop alone as it does if Gregg or David goes with me. I get sidetracked, and into sensory-overload at the store, if I go alone. I should add that our local stores are awesome. The nearest one is HUGE, full of gourmet goodies and fresh ideas; the produce is beyond compare, as is the meat department. I just can't take it all in without going into a sort of trance, these days. Then, I always see someone (or several people) I know, which is okay, but that slows me down even more.
I have a friend who didn't like to put gas in her car's tank after her son died, so I know that it's not unusual to take a dislike to something ordinary like this. It's just an odd aversion for me to have, but I push through it, or wait until we can go together. I wonder if it will pass.
Tennis is going well for David. He has won all but two of his matches, and he is fun to watch. The most important thing, to me, is that he is learning from the games and enjoying the cameraderie of his peers. His classes are interesting, and a few good extra-curricular opportunities have arisen, so we shall see what comes to pass. I am proud of what a nice young man he is; can you tell? We are blessed to be the parents of both David and Katie.
Someone at a tennis match recently asked me how many kids I have, and I answered, "Two: David, and our daughter Katie, who passed away last August." This shocked the person who asked, and he was clearly uncomfortable with my answer. Gregg and I discussed it later, and Gregg thought I had made it difficult. I disagree. I have two children; one is here and one is elsewhere, but I am the mother of two kids, and that will always be the case. I don't mind explaining it at all. It's not a problem; I had two kids intentionally, and I still am the mother of both of them. Katie is part of our family, and she always will be; she just doesn't live here with us now.