Life Is Filled With Surprises


When I wake to a new day, I never know what will happen. Life is wonderful and every day is something new. Take my yesterday for example. I woke up at my usual hour of 5:30 AM, thanks to my faithful cat Cleo’s reminder it was time to rise. She walks across my head to make her presence known. Cleo has only one thing on her mind; going outdoors.

I managed to find my clothes and the shirt my daughter Christina gave me. The shirt was just printed for her company, FoxFarm. The design on the back of the shirt is a work of art. It is a symbol of abstract design and colors which Leonardo da Vinci or Vincent van Gogh would be proud to create.


My bedroom has begun to look like a hospital ready-room and a junkyard, all rolled into one. Besides my bed and clothing drawers, there are the oxygen bottles, my computer and my printer, and books of all kinds because I like to read. There are stacks of CDs; Opera, Jazz, Blues, Dixieland and Fifties popular singers. There are more things, but you must imagine the rest. It is crowded.


Cleo and I manage well enough. Shaving is a ritual completed quickly and then to breakfast of my oatmeal and fixings (apple bits, raisins, nuts and some milk and honey). Breakfast may be varied, now and then, for some sort of egg dish. I was ready to drive to my postal box two blocks away for my mail. Carrying a small fifteen-inch oxygen cylinder in one hand so I could continue to breathe, and my keys and man-purse in the other, I sat in my car and turned the key. Nothing happened. There was no sound or reaction. To my surprise, the battery was deader than a door nail.

After I fiddled with the controls, I was pretty sure the engine had no juice, so I called AAA and got a jump start. Although the KIA was new when I bought it, four years had slipped by me without any warning. I had, mistakenly, supposed that with a new car I could expect the battery to last forever.

Upper Lake’s Napa Auto Parts couldn’t help. They had no KIA batteries or Tester in stock. I had to drive to Lakeport Napa who fixed my KIA problem with a new battery quick as greased lightning.

On my way home I stopped at Bruno’s for a small apple pie, a watermelon and some avocados. The avocados will help bring back my weight and my strength and the pie is for the sugar monster inside me. The weight of the shopping bags was a reminder I am not as strong as I once was. A loss of forty pounds is what happens when you can’t breathe. You lose your appetite. It is my only health problem and one I will soon remedy. I drove to my mail box and gathered all the mail that had stacked up in three days.

There was a time not long ago when my grip and arm strength was great enough to hold much heavier weights than a watermelon, or a gallon of lemonade, in one hand. No more. The watermelon and the gallon of lemonade each weighed ten or fifteen pounds each. Yet when I tried to carry each one from the back-seat of my car, up the four steps to my front porch and to the box at the front door, I failed miserably. Each of those two items were all I could manage, breathing like breath was going of style because each seemed to weigh weighed a hundred and fifty pounds each.

Bringing the groceries home became a challenge. Somehow, I managed to get the two bags of groceries, the lemonade and the watermelon (and don’t forget the fifteen-inch-long oxygen cylinder) to the front steps, but it looked like I had been through a war. Even the half dozen letters I brought from the mail box had fallen all over the ground and the steps. Eventually, I rounded up the stray critters and got everything in its place. The day was a good example of what makes my life filled with new challenges. Life is wonderful. All in all it was a good day.


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Copyright ©2018-2020  Gene Paleno, PAL Publishing Inc.

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