Another Quiet Day



I don't have much to say about today.  It was overcast and dreary and we woke up to a dusting of snow.  The snow didn't hang around long since it got up to about 35 degrees.  I suspect that we won't have a white Christmas unless the flurries they're predicting for next week produce more than a few flakes.


The male House Finch stopped for a dip in the birdbath this morning.  I don't know how birds can get into that cold water and splash around.  Brr.


I found this Christmas picture that didn't get put away last year in the guest room and thought it'd be cheerful to have up.  It's a greeting card I matted and framed years ago.  This week I need all the cheerful I can muster.

Finished December Preemie Hat #2 this afternoon.  I like the way the colors stacked up.

19 December--Barbara Malcolm, The Seaview. 

             The sun came up too early.  I showered, dressed in work clothes, and walked down to The Seaview.  The doors were tightly locked and Silas' truck was parked in the shade.  I stood on the porch with the key in my hand debating whether to go in and risk waking him or turn around and go back to my room to pace up and down.  I unlocked the door.

            I hadn't gotten through what would eventually be the kitchen before I heard footsteps coming down the stairs.  Silas came around the corner in his jeans carrying a baseball bat.  "Who...?"

            "Sorry to wake you, Silas," I said.  "I woke up early and couldn't get back to sleep so I thought I'd come over and clean or pull nails or something."  It sounded lame even to me.

            He cleared his throat and rubbed his eyes with his left hand, the right one was busy holding the baseball bat.  "You remember I told you that I was going fishing but I guess I could work, Mrs. Rose."

            I shook my head.  "No, don't cancel your plans.  I'll sit out back and pull nails for a while.  You go fishing.  I have things to think about."

            He had been at Johnno's the night before too.  "You mean Uncle Iggy...?"

            My lifted hand stopped his words.  "I have things to think about.  Let's just leave it at that."

            It was cool in the shade of the bougainvillea and my hands had gotten used to the hammer.  The heavily painted wood felt smooth on my thighs as I lay each board across them, pulled the nails, dropped the nails in a can, and stacked the boards beside me.

            My hands settled into a rhythm which let my mind go over what had happened the night before and everything that had gone before that.  I was afraid that I'd flung myself at Iggy in haste looking for a protector or a Jim-substitute but we had done nothing more than exchange a few embraces and kisses.  I had to admit that I had come perilously close to taking him to my bed more than once but Iggy was a gentleman and had respected it when I changed my mind.

            Silas left to go fishing and asked again if I was certain that I didn't want him to stay to work but I assured him that I didn't want to interrupt his plans.  He hadn't been gone more than fifteen minutes when Iggy pulled up.  My heart skipped a beat and my palms grew sweaty on the hammer handle.

            He carefully closed the door, pulled his tool belt out of the back, and walked across the road.  "Good morning, Mrs. Rose," he said.

            "Good morning, Mr. Solomon," I said, not looking up.  Out of the corner of my eye I watched him buckle his belt around his slim hips and noticed his strong fingers as they secured it.  I kept pulling nails and putting boards on the stack.

            He cleared his throat.  "I was unhappy with the way Silas wired a light up in one of the back bedrooms so I thought I would come over and redo it."

            "Silas is gone fishing," I said.

            "Yes, I know.  He mentioned that he and some friends were going out today.  I did not want to embarrass him so I will fix it."  He cleared his throat again.  "Good day, Mrs. Rose."  He walked across the yard, up the steps, and disappeared into the hotel.

            "Good day, Mr. Solomon," I said after he'd disappeared.

            My hands lay idle on my lap.  Did he expect me to so quickly forget the way he left me the night before?  Did he expect me to apologize for backing away from the relationship?  I didn't know how long I sat there but I jumped when I saw him framed by the back door.  I picked up another board and got ready to pull another nail.  Not paying attention to what I was doing, the hammer slipped off the nail, and the claw raked my forearm.  My breath hissed between my teeth and I dropped the hammer.

            He knelt in front of me in an instant.  "Let me see your arm."  His warm hand pulled my forearm out to see a line of blood welling.  "Tsk.  That needs washing.  I will be right back."  He headed up the road and was back in a couple minutes with a box.  "Johnno has a first aid kit," he said.  He took my hand, carefully dabbed the scrape with a paper towel and cool water, then he dried my arm, and examined it to see if it needed bandaging.

            I tried to tug my arm back.  "Thanks, but I have bandages and salve in my room."

            He shook his head.  "This needs gauze and tape.  Hold still."  He pulled out an old dusty box labeled "Curad" then he rolled out a long piece of gauze that he folded in thirds.  He squeezed a line of salve on the gauze and then spread it over the scrape, securing it every few inches.

            I thought it looked like I'd missed trying to slit my wrist.  "Wow, that's very... thorough.  Uh, thank you, Mr. Solomon, I think I'm good."

            He patted his handiwork.  "It is very easy to get infection in the tropics.  You should probably call it a day."

            His fatherly tone irked me.  "Don't be silly.  I'm fine.  I'm going inside to do some cleaning, sweep up sawdust, keep the place neat.  Thank you, Mr. Solomon, and good day."  I stood up, picked up the hammer, and walked in the back door.   As soon as I was out of the sunlight shining through the door I leaned against the wall and let my breath out.   I wasn't going to cry.  I was not.

            I listened as Iggy crossed the road, got in his truck, and drove away.


Today's toss was a game.  Like I said, I've got to slack off until after Christmas when I can go empty the back of the car.

I'm determined to go to DS's on Christmas day to deliver gifts and see the family.  We're all testing in the next few days so we'll all have a clean bill of health for Friday.  I'm nervous about it but determined.

--Barbara

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