Sunday, August 14, 2011

4am Cucumbers

Yesterday when I arrived at the Dewey Street house to mow the lawn it was late morning. As I opened the screen door my keys slipped from my right hand, fell downward and bounced once before disappearing into the crack between the house and the steps, coming to rest beneath 500 lbs of precast concrete.

I can't get into the house. I can't drive home. Anxiety crashes in.

I step off the landing, set down the canvas bag held in my left hand, and begin digging for my phone. Found. I dial my husband. He asks where in our home he would find the spare keys. The house was easy. He will find those in the dining room, just outside his home office door. The car, well, um, there is only the one, there were two once, but...

My husband has more patience than anyone I know. After we hang up, I slip my cell phone into the back pocket of my paint-splattered khakis. Remembering that I am here to work, I walk around back to find the lawnmower.

About 45 minutes later my husband arrives with a spare set of house keys and a telescoping rod -- much like a car antenna -- with a magnet on the end. Using the spare keys, I let myself into the house, use the bathroom and find a flashlight. We need to move the stairs just a bit. Instead of trying to lift the concrete, my husband patiently pries the stairs away from the house -- an approach I hadn't even considered. Soon my keys are in my hand. We slide the stairs back to their original position, or perhaps just a bit closer to the front of the house.

All is well, or at least would be, if my cell phone hadn't slipped out of my pocket and fallen into the toilet. It is drying in a bag of rice. The outcome is not promising. Worrying about my phone is what woke me up at 4am this morning. Anxious in the darkness, I turn on both lights in the bathroom, then decide it needs cleaning. Task accomplished. On my way to the basement laundry room with a full hamper of dirty clothes, I walk through our kitchen. The dishes from supper are clean and dry in the dishwasher. In the sink, an empty storage container and a fork await washing, the last of the cucumber salad from dinner apparently enjoyed by my husband before coming to bed.

I smile at the thought of my husband eating cucumber salad 'bachelor style' right out of the container, not bothering with a plate. The cucumbers were a gift from a friend, an unexpected blessing in a week when the vines in our garden had faded and fizzled into lumps of brown from too much rain. I open the frig. A huge bowl of cucumbers from my friend's garden remains. I reach in and grab the bowl, move it to the kitchen counter. Dozer, our black lab, hears me and comes to sit nearby, quietly begging with big brown eyes. As I peel and slice, occasionally sharing a piece of cucumber with Dozer, I realize that what seemed so important only hours ago, really doesn't matter at all. I think about how blessed we truly are in this life -- by big things like marriage and by little things like 4 am cucumbers -- and how much more our Creator has waiting for us in the next.

Today is going to be a good day.


No comments: