I spent most of this past week’s holiday time sick with the flu. Except for Christmas morning, I have been, at least, well enough to function. However, today was the first day in almost a week when I have been about to think well and consider things.
The person who is to clean my house well once a month showed up today, knocked on my door, rang my bell, and (when I didn’t answer) left. I was inside eating and on the computer, so I am not sure why I didn’t hear her, but there it was. She agreed to come tomorrow, so I changed my plans for grocery shopping to tonight.
I decided to eat at Cracker Barrel on the way up. I figured I hadn’t spent much nor done much in nearly a week, so a meal out would not break the bank. It went well. The drive to the specialty food store where I buy most of my good vegan food (Earth Fare) is about 30 minutes away. The trip was eventful only because I hadn’t been driving for almost a week and it took a few weird moments for me to center in and get back to driving well. After that, it was a trip to the store with very nice clerks and bakers and whoever else worked there. It is a wonderful place and I always leave spending too much, but feeling so very rich inside for the experience.
I arrived home and unloaded my two bags of groceries. I had called ahead and they had actually baked me all fresh cookies, so they were still hot. Unfortunately, I could not eat the cookies right then as I had put in too many carbs for supper 😦 Even so, they will still taste good for many days. Yes, I am careful. I seldom eat more than 1/2 cookie at a time and no more than 1-2 per day.
Back to the story – I realized that I had purchased my favorite food there, mock chicken salad, but had forgotten to buy the rye bread to make the sandwiches. I got back in the car and drove to the local market for their soft rye bread. When I arrived at the store, I was the only one in the small lot. In fact, when I opened the door, I didn’t get out right away, as I sat and listened to … nothing. For about two minutes, I heard no cars, no voices, no real sounds at all. This is the time of year that can happen in my town – cold, no insects, and animals are inside with their masters. I realized that when I lived in Indianapolis (750,000 people as opposed to my current town of about 3500-5000) you never heard quiet. There was always background noise, cars on the interstate, people leaving for work or arriving home, dogs and cats out doing whatever they do between meals. It was never just quiet. So, I sat. I sat until I heard a car far away driving down some street. That brought me out of my reverie (or whatever you want to call it) and I went inside. The store was empty too. I only saw 1 customer who was leaving, and a cashier and a bag boy. The cashier told me it had been “dead” for a couple of hours. I purchased my bread and went home.
I take the quiet at home for granted. It’s just me and kitty (Tamika) and she, normally, sleeps most of the day and only bothers me at night. I write, blog, play “Words with Friends,” email, and rest – all quiet endeavors. It is quiet a lot. The quiet at the store had been even more pronounced as I wasn’t really doing anything. It simply made me think about our lives.
On to the related, but weird, next note. On Christmas Eve, just before getting ill, I had been driving down the road toward New Castle, a city, but small one, and – at one point – the highway had no cars but mine, no street lights, and – except for the glow of the town a few miles away – no lights at all. I thought then of “The Walking Dead.” I realized that if we were in that type of environment that, even if I was driving my car, I could not see that far even with my headlights and virtually nothing to either side of my car. The dark closed in a bit and, combined with tonight’s quiet, I thought of how much we take noise and light for granted. It wasn’t so much a scary thought as just, well, a thought. If civilization were gone, how very quiet it would be and dark most of the time as soon as the sun went down. Life would start and stop with the motions of the sun. Zombies or not, life at night would be scarier.
This wasn’t meant to be a downward moving post. I usually allow these thoughts to carry themselves and see where they go. It usually tells me my frame of mind. Right now, I guess I am on the worried side about things, though worried is a strong word here. I am “conscious” of how things could be given a little bit of change.
As the new year creeps in, stop and ponder a bit about how fortunate we are to have the luxury of lights and sound, of eyes and ears. My hope for a wonderful 2015 starts now for each and every one of you.