It’s a fairly well-known fact that I take a nap every afternoon. I’m religious about it. Friends and family know not to call or come by between two and four. I’ve read a lot about research supporting the healthful aspects of napping, and I’m certainly not one of those who claim to feel worse after a nap then before. It’s a lifelong habit, inherited from my father, and now that I’m retired, I’m free to indulge every afternoon.
By the time two o’clock rolled around today, I was more than ready to sleep. The plumbing saga continued, with a crew of professional diggers who belied the heritage of the gravedigger in Hamlet. These were cheerful fellows—at least four of them—who pushed countless wheelbarrows filled with rock to a waiting truck. But they seemed to laugh and joke among themselves while they worked. They were not impressed by Sophie, though, and I had to keep her in the house, despite her protests.
The wonderful woman who twice a month cleans my cottage texted to say she had to wait for repairmen at her own home. Jordan and I sort of gave up hope, but a little after one she showed up. I asked for a quick cleaning—laundry, bed linen, vacuum, etc.—but she was two steps ahead of me. She was going to do those things and clean the bedroom, then close me in the bedroom to nap while she cleaned the rest of the cottage. She took it in stride when I said she could not flush the commode but was undone when the plumbers cut off the water. “I can’t clean bathrooms,” she complained.
So that was the state of things when I went to sleep—a dirty house, an unflushed, stopped up commode, and no water. By then, the diggers had finished, and the plumbers had started their repair, which they promised me they could get done today. Sophie was wandering around, still wanting to go outside, a bit bewildered by all that was going on.
I woke up to a new world. Zenaida was gone, but the cottage sparkled and smelled clean and good. The bathroom was clean, the commode had been flushed and cleaned, and the plumbers were gone. I texted my thanks to Zenaida and called the plumbing company, where they said they weren’t quite through—all the dirt they took out has to be replaced and the area cleaned up. But the important repair was done, and Sophie was happily surveying her kingdom in the back yard. I felt like a new person.
Tonight at happy hour we celebrated Mary’s birthday—it’s one of the big ones, and she will be in New York on the actual day, so we partied a bit ahead with a spread of cheese, pickled herring, blue cheese dip, and hummus. Prudence made chocolate dipped strawberries and strawberry buttercream frosting, which Jordan put on chocolate cupcakes. Can you guess that the birthday girl’s favorites are chocolate and strawberry?
A happy day, though it ended with Jordan and me searching Amazon for the N95 masks recommended when—not if, according to the CDC—the corona virus erupts here. Many affordable versions are “currently not available,” which tells you we are late to the party. But we did order four masks. I have this twisted logic, that I hope is true—if we spend money on the masks, we won’t need them. Still I worry ahead about quarantines and our country’s lack of preparedness.