This morning, one of those pitch-perfect September mornings, the first Saturday after school started, I ran past the soccer fields, and it was all as it's been since my kids were kids. Tiny creatures in crayon yellow and crayon green T-shirts were buzzing around a black and white ball, with adults hovering above and around them with whistles and snacks and sweatshirts. Of course it took me back to my days sitting sideline, often with a nursing textbook, always with other grownups with whom I may or may not have had a lot in common, but if nothing else, at least those kids. It was a ritual, a rite, in our case one that our son always seemed to regret having gotten involved with shortly after the start of the season. I kind of miss those days, and I kind of don't. I felt much more a part of this community then, which was cool.
This afternoon, a pitch-perfect September afternoon, I did a Dallas afternoon romp, first to the library to return overdue books, get seduced by some others I don't have time for, and to check out my those books without human help. Okay, I needed a human to help me learn to do it, but now I can do it alone. When the lady cheerfully told me I could check out books without her, the first thing out of my mouth was, "But what about your job?" She assured me she'd still have a job. (I hope she wasn't insulted, thinking I thought her job was only about passing things under a scanner and collecting the only kind of fines most people don't mind paying. She didn't seem to be.) Then I went to a vacant lot and bought apples, corn, and shiny red pears from the blind man and his family who always sell them. I had to read the scale and report honestly so they could charge me correctly. He did the math in his head. Then I went to a coffee kiosk in the Safeway parking lot and ordered a cherry Italian soda without cream, which is one of the prettiest and most refreshing things in the world. THEN, a glutton for a good afternoon, and mainly just a glutton, I went to the deserted noodle and sushi place on Main and got the evilest yummy sushi roll, now known as a Dallas Roll, which is deep fried. I was the only one in the perfectly un-air-conditioned restaurant and enjoyed a peaceful feast over a book I like but expect to end badly, and it all only was broken by my pager bleating at me, because, yes, I'm on call.
A little later my daughter called, and I told her of the roadbumps in the way of our efforts to move to her general neck of the woods, North Portland, but that I hadn't lost hope. She told me that she has some adoptive grandchildren in that neighborhood she thinks we might take advantage of (and their parents of us!) and I was glad to hear it.
Now, this evening, I'm going to do a bad job of cooking steak, and eat the corn I bought, and try to polish off a children's feature (is there a better word than "feature" for this kind of thing? It isn't really a story, so...?) about lost and found sheep and people. Sometimes I think my life is a little bland. I imagine by now you do, too. But a normal day like this is such a pipe dream for so many, and I will not despise that, and I will be, am, grateful.