Well, it was 72 degrees and sunny today......more than we can usually expect for early February. This has been our second mild winter in a row. It was so nice that I went for a 3.5 mile walk....the turles and gators were sunning, storks and cormorants were sunning and foraging. It was glorious! Even as the recent heavy storm was passing through, we only got s few windy days, but it was warm enough that one evening I just sat out and listened to the wind in the trees. There have been some cold days and nights, but usually just for two or three days in a row and then it warms up again.....not bad at all. The jasmine on my mailbox is almost in full bloom, as are the Chinese fringe. The azaleas are trying and I guess when we see the red bud trees we can officially declare it Spring!
February has started better in that my mother is speaking......I think that's a good thing! In the silence of January and in preparation for having the carpets replaced, I managed to clean my clothes closet and the closets in the other bedrooms. Once I got on a roll, I hit other areas in quick bursts, although the kitchen and garage remain untouched. About three loads have been taken to the thrift shop and it has become easier with each load......and it does feel lighter and freeing to be rid of "stuff" that has been sitting around for years.
It is so nice to have clean, refresh carpets. Mine were so bad that I was embarrassed for the workmen to see them. Smokey had used some spots as a bathroom and Gabby had thrown up and left spots that would always reappear after cleaning. In a effort to prevent that from happening to the new carpets, as soon as it was put down I went to Home Depot and purchased a lightweight carpet in 12 foot wide strips that were cut to fit around three sides of the bed....in both my room and my mother's. The other bedroom is closed to the cats! So far, Smokey doesn't seem inclined to mark anything, so I hope my efforts will pay off.
My only social events have been a lunch with Janeen, whom I used to work with at the synagogue. We always enjoy getting together and it was good to see her. She treated to lunch as a belated birthday gift, which was above and beyond, but very thoughtful. It was another of those nice days when we were able to eat out on the porch at The Cottage. My former neighbors invited me to their annual Super Bowl party. Since last year they have built a huge home in Belfair and it was my first time to see it and, boy, was it amazing. I was surprised at the size of it for just the two of them, but that's how things are around here....gone are the days of the little beach cottage! They are also that much younger that those things seem more important.....and there is no denying that it is spectacular.
I have to tell you about an encounter I had in Burger King, of all places. My mother and I had gone on island for something and stopped at our favorite burger joint, one of the few that offers a veggie burger. As I'm getting my mother's "wheels" out of the car, I notice a man helping his wife (older than me, not as old as my mother) with a similar thing. My first thought was that the invalids seemed to be descending on BK! They got in and settled before us. When I finally got my mother seated and headed to the counter to place our order, the lady rose from her seat and approached me.......and, while many people would be frightened to be approached by a stranger like that, I'm thinking "is this someone I'm supposed to know" as her face wasn't ringing a bell. She took my arm and thanked me for helping (my mother) and taking her out! I told her she was my mother, and the woman said that she was now in my mother's situation and she know how much it meant to have someone help or to be taken out. By this time, I'm teary-eyed and told her that it wasn't always easy. She said she knew, to release it, let it go.....and that everything would be fine! I thanked her and we carried on with our lunch. It took me a while to collect myself as it was both unsettling and so affirming for me that it is difficult to describe. They were leaving as I went up to order dessert. I took her hand and thanked her for making my day. It was an extraordinary act of kindness from a total stranger and I'm still touched by it. She certainly motivated me to pass it forward!