January 12, 2017
I had a pity party today—my printer doesn’t work and I’ve tried everything, Yahoo forgot who I was and they’re not easy to remind, my hip hurt, my shoulders ached (from pushing up in the wheelchair), I’m tired of being so dependent I need help to go to the potty, I long for solitude and yet I want company, and I want to stand in my kitchen and cook. I could continue my list of causes for whining, but you get the idea. Pity parties are not attractive, even to the person throwing the party.
Pity parties are also contagious—mine spread to Jordan who began to have her own version of a bad day which included me calling her way too often because I had to use the bathroom, the crockpot wouldn’t heat after she got the dinner in it, and so on. Both of us off our game meant we weren’t efficient and cheerful with each other, though once she grasped the situation, Jordan really tried.
When I was young, my family spent part of each summer in a cottage at the Indiana Dunes. It sat at the crest of a high dune, with a sweeping view of Lake Michigan to the north and woods to the south. It was a place to eat, swim, and sleep—not read because Dad would never let us turn the Aladdin lamp up high enough.
About halfway down the dune, there was a path that led to the cabin of friends. Along that path a little bare spot of sand jutted out toward the lake. That was “my spot.” I’d sit there and listen to the gentle lap of waves when the lake was calm, the crashing when it was wild. At the end of the day the sun set a little to my left, and I could see tiny specks that were the skyscrapers of Chicago outlined against what was usually a bright red sun. I took our dog, Timmy, a collie mix, with me, and I’d go to that spot when I was troubled or lonely or content, thinking about how good life was.
I wish I were at the Dunes today and could sit and watch the sun go down. I’d take Sophie, and we’d sit and listen to the lake and all would be well with the world. It’s a comfort even now to go there in my mind—if I close my eyes, I can hear the waves.