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A beautiful day

     It's a beautiful day! The pool sweep is pool-sweeping; the pool filter is pool-filtering to the hum of the pool equipment. Last night's squawking parakeets are sleeping it off; a hummingbird flits through the fresh purple leaves of my Purple Smoke Tree. A few wispy clouds look down from the clear blue sky, where a small plane chugs its way through the blueness.

     Staying home isn't all that bad. Some days it's really good. Time to read; time to feed the hungry plants and the always hungry Paul; time to reconnect with faraway friends. Time to rediscover the lost art of cooking and baking. Don't take me wrong on that last one. Cooking hot dogs and scrambled eggs is not exactly rediscovering anything. Baking ready-made cookie dough—from an old friend—is not exactly rediscovering baking. But, embarrassed to admit, it's more than I've done for a long time.

     The TV helps a bit now and then, but less and less as the days linger on. A little news in the morning; a light movie in the evening, that about does it.

     The weekends are best. The three of us are here. Christy—off work—keeps me and Paul out of mischief and takes care of Paul's morning needs, giving me a morning off. Even better, she cooks! Sunday evenings we have a real home-cooked meal. What a treat!

     No rain for days—finally. The potted plants are appreciating the food I gave them earlier, holding their leaves up to show me how thankful they are—except for the hibiscus, which let some kind of mold kill it during all that rain this year.

     My morning coffee tastes better, with its companion my generously-buttered toast, sending off its cinnamon aroma to please my nostrils—and my soul.

     Staying home isn't all that bad. Except some days it is. I miss my friends, my family. I miss chatting with the servers in the restaurant and my friends in the back pew of church.

     The other day I was lying on my bed out of sheer boredom. Lying down doing nothing seems more reasonable than sitting in the living room doing nothing. Huh? I know, dumb. But anyway, I was lying there, feeling down and bored and you know—all those things you feel when you're not doing anything worthwhile. I scolded myself. I told myself to do something about it, not just lie there, so I got up and went into the living room.

     "Paul, we're going cruising." I grabbed our face masks and wheeled him out the door to the car. You have to know: Paul is a creature of habit, i.e., that bit of Asperger's he says he doesn't have. Before we leave the house for any reason, he MUST brush his teeth and put his sports gloves on and, if needed, go to the bathroom. And I, being one who cares about looks, insist that he shave before leaving the house.

     None of that applied. I was getting out and Paul was coming with me. I buckled him in, started the engine, poked the 50s on 5 Sirius tab and turned the volume up. At the freeway ramp, I ramped it up! Ahhh—felt so good. I drove, Paul sat. We went twenty miles out of town and he never once tried to change the Sirius to his favorite Love channel or turn up the volume. He likes it rocking out so loud it hurts your ears. He knew. We came back on side-roads we hadn't taken before and landed home with my disposition much improved. I thanked Paul.

     A last note about this staying at home. I've now lost five pounds due to watching my weight every day and having found something that works for me. And since I eat less—and less often—I really, really look forward to what and when I do eat.

     So that's my story. What's yours?

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