Dawn Reader

Dawn Reader
from Open Door Coffee Co.; Hudson, OH; Oct. 26, 2016

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

The Glory of the Ordinary

Later this afternoon, I begin hormone therapy for my stubborn prostate cancer, which has already defeated a renowned surgeon and a skilled radiation oncologist.  Things will be changing in our lives; we know of some; others are likely; others are possible (among these are the most heinous of them).  Yesterday (Monday, July 15) I decided I would just have as "ordinary" a day as possible.  I would do nothing really dramatic--would not skydive or ride a hot-air balloon or ascend Everest or dive the Andria Doria.  You see: I love the "ordinary" aspects of my life, and I worry profoundly how these medications will alter--or destroy?--what I love.

So here it is--kind of a log of my life, July 15, 2013:
  • 6:15: Up to clean up and begin the day's work.  Joyce was already up, was dressing in her workout clothes to head out to LifeCenter Plus.  I headed downstairs to put back into the fridge the sourdough starter I'd "fed" the night before: Two cups went back into the the starter container; the rest I set aside for use later this week ... muffins? waffles?  Haven't decided.
  • I had a little more cleaning up from our weekend trip to do--so I filed some things, put other things away.
  • Next: a letter to my mom, letting her know we were home safely, that we'd loved being with her and other family this past weekend.  An email to my oncologist, asking about the venue for my next blood test.
  • I posted my "Daily Doggerel" on Facebook, did some light editing of yesterday's installment of Spoon River Middle School, which I'm serializing three days a week on this blog.  I uploaded it--shared it on Twitter and Facebook.
  • 7:50: I loaded up my backpack, heated up a scone I'd baked (stuffed it in my jacket pocket), and walked over to Hattie's Cafe (my daily ritual), where I drank coffee and ate the scone while reading the New York Times on my Kindle Fire. (Along the way, I began reciting--silently--a third of the poems I've memorized; this is a daily task: Otherwise, they wing away like startled starlings.) That accomplished, I read my day's quota for Kirkus Reviews: I read 100 pp/day, early each day, preparing for a book review to write.  (Can't tell you what the book was: Kirkus policy.)
  • 9:30ish: Walked on down to Heinen's to get a couple of ears of corn for supper; between there and home I finished going through the poems I needed to do.  Silently.
  • Home: Fussed around with some other quotidian tasks (bank accounts, etc.), then settled in and wrote a review for Kirkus of a book I'd finished a couple of days ago.  Uploaded it to Kirkus' website.
  • Noonish: Lunch with Joyce.  And some conversation with her about some writing she's doing.  (I help her; she helps me.)
  • Afterwards, biked down to Starbucks, but as I was passing Mickey's Barber Shop, I saw he had no one waiting, so I zipped in and got a haircut/beard trim.  Convenient!
  • On to Starbucks, where I read about 50 pp of a novel I'm going to review for the Plain Dealer in a couple of weeks--and 50 more pp for Kirkus (I got behind while we were in Mass.).
  • 2:30ish: Biked home, talked some more with Joyce, then drove out to LifeCenter Plus, reciting "My Last Duchess"--silently!--along the way (long poems really like to fly away if I don't keep rehearsing them).
  • Rode the exercise biked for a hard 30 minutes (502 calories, 11.0 miles!).  On the bike, I recited my M-W-F afternoon poem quota (about 1/3 of the total); today will be the T-Th-Sat portion.  Sunday--a day off!
  • Cleaned up and headed home, stopping at CVS to buy the vitamins and calcium supplements I'll have to take because of the deleterious effects of the meds I'll be on.  Stopped, too, on this brutally hot day for a large Diet Dr. Pepper at the 7/11.
  • Home: more conversation with Joyce about her writing projects, then downstairs to start dinner (I'm the principal cook these days).  While eating (chicken-fresh corn-wild rice-sourdough bread baked by you-know-who) we watched some of Real Time with Bill Maher that was waiting for us on the DVR.
  • We cleaned up the kitchen & headed over to our local CharterOne Bank, where we had an issue to deal with (none of your beeswax).
  • Afterwards, down to Szalay's Market in the Valley, where we got some more corn, some local honey, some fruit spread.
  • We drove up to Kent to look at some sites that had been important to us early in our relationship, including Satterfield Hall on the Kent State campus, the building where we met almost exactly forty-four years ago.  We peeked at the classroom where we met (the door was locked--but it has one of those little windows) and took a picture at the very spot where Joyce first spoke to me--a mystery to me, still, after all these years.  Then we drove over to 323 College Court, to the building where we first lived when we were married in December 1969.  Four apartments in the house; we lived downstairs, north side.  A tiny place--living room, dining room, bedroom, kitchen, bath.  Laundry in the basement.  No A-C.  A faux fireplace.
  • Kent Starbucks was closed for a staff meeting (grrr), so we drove back to the one in Hudson, got our grande decaf Americanos.
  • Home: unloaded our groceries; I uploaded a couple of pictures to Facebook, then started working on Thursday's "Daily Doggerel"--and this post ... 
And this morning ...
  • Last night--upstairs: read a few chapter in a couple of books (by Tobias Smollett and former Harmon School student Cori McCarthy), then streamed the 1st episode of a cop show from Across the Pond: The Silence--featuring a young girl with hearing loss as a witness in a murder.
  • Talked and hugged and wept with Joyce.
  • Eventually fell into a sleep full of dreams whose details I can not at all remember ... ?
Lots of my days--post-retirement--have been more or less like this one.  Ordinary days filled with reading and writing and errands and exercise and cooking and coffee and Netflix and being with Joyce.  Yes, just ordinary days.  Glorious, glorious ordinary days.

1 comment:

  1. Thinking of you today as you start the next phase of your journey. Wishing you soooo many more glorious ordinary days!