I’ve begun Week 8 of my recuperation from foot surgery. I’m still on crutches with one steel pin in my second toe, but the stitches have been removed and I’m off those nasty pain meds. Now I can actually keep up my end of a conversation and write e-mails without at least 15 typos. My sweetie says my foot looks like it’s been chewed on by a wildcat, but I really am making progress.

I’ve moved off the red couch and out to the sun porch where I divide my time between the green Chippendale sofa and the bouncy antique rocker. I have my books and papers, as well as my dish of dark chocolates. I sit here contemplating life, allowing myself a certain number of minutes to feel sorry for myself, wishing I could plant pea pods and lettuce. Then I make myself stop that nonsense and realize I’m enjoying these days just a little. Who knows when I’ll ever have this meditative solitude again?

Other than one day of raining cats and dogs and other assorted critters, this past week has been a quiet, sun-filled opportunity to watch spring unfurl itself in all its glory right in front of my eyes.

The grass, the trees and the marsh have come alive with that tender green newness we long for throughout our excessive winter. The goldfinches and red-winged blackbirds swoop and sing as the warm sun glints on their glossy feathers; a pair of sparrows flits in and out of the smallest birdhouse. The peepers are so boisterous, I laugh out loud as I think, “Peepers Gone Wild!”

This morning my oldest daughter carried a load of wet towels to the clothesline and I hung them up, under her supervision. The bright colors bobbing in the breeze are such a cheerful sight. After pulling a few weeds from the herb garden by the kitchen door and admiring the pansies, I had to come inside and have a little rest.

All my daughters have been patient and kind, stepping up to the plate as much as they possibly can. They come and go with the grandchildren, hot meals, their take-charge, “look who has the upper hand now” attitudes, and their good humor. They capture the dust bunnies, collect the trash, bring in the mail and library books, take me out to lunch, change the sheets, clean the commode, and give me foot massages.

We laugh about anything and everything, joking about how this is all good practice for when I’m an old woman. I quickly reassure them that I’m saving up for an assisted living apartment, preferably in Cancun. “I can finally work on my tan because I won’t be worried about the wrinkles,” I tell them, “and I’m hoping for tropical drinks to wash down any necessary meds and glimpses of cute cabana boys.” My girls look at one another, eyebrows raised. I’m sure they’re thinking, “What planet is she living on?”

I’ve definitely been residing on “Planet Having-Too-Much-Time-to-Think.”

What I’m looking for is the planet halfway between that one and “Planet Having-Too-Much-to- Do.” Now that would be a happy place, with all my toes pin-less and in fine working order. I imagine a perfect planet where there’s time to write, do yoga, dance, sing and swim. I want moonlight walks on the beach, picnics featuring chocolate cake, concerts in the park, kayaking on a sparkly lake, fireworks…

Hey, I realize I’ve described a place just within my grasp – Let’s call it “Planet Summer-in-Maine.” On the day you read this, my friends, that’s exactly where I’ll be.


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