Our Triumphant Return to the Park

It took me an hour and a half to walk around the park. I kept having to stop and rest* and the dog was more than happy to just stand around and tilt her face into the sun, so we were pretty slow going.

But I had to get out of the house. I feel like I’ve been cooped up here for days. So, even though I’m probably going to spend the rest of the afternoon asleep, I got out and enjoyed the sunshine and felt glad to be alive.

If there’s anything that regularly makes me as happy as coming over the top of the hill and seeing the road twisting beneath us and the trees stretching above us and realizing that the brain has turned off–no worrying about the bills, no replaying things over and over again, thinking of all the ways I could have been smoother or stronger or whatever–and it’s just me and the dog and the walk before us.

It makes me whole again, almost every time I go.

*read: “decide if I was going to throw up or die or what”

Further Scary Stories for Halloween

All right, here’s the scariest thing that’s happened to me here in Nashville. Just to set the stage, let’s revisit the Ghosts of the Civil War who Stole My Can Opener.

For those of you who don’t remember the ongoing saga of the Ghosts of the Civil War who Stole My Can Opener, it’s like this. Once, I had the perfect can opener–hardy and well-balanced. The kind of thing you gave just a little flip of the wrist and it cut through metal like a hot knife through butter. It was an awesome can opener, the kind you don’t appreciate until you set it on the counter one afternoon only to come back a couple of hours later and find it missing.

Now, I don’t know what really happened to the can opener, but since we live right in front of a set of tracks guarded by Union soldiers, we jokingly blamed the Ghosts of the Civil War. And you know, if you’d been sitting in my back yard for 150 years, you’d probably be damn ready for a glorious can opener of joy to let you into your pork & beans.

And now, whenever anything weird happens in the house, we, rightly or wrongly, blame the Ghosts of the Civil War. But honestly, usually, it’s the cats.

Still, here’s something weird that happens pretty regularly. I’ll be sitting in the front room here and I’ll hear the screen door open and the regular door handle will start to jiggle. Mrs. Wigglebottom will get up and go over to the door, tail wagging. I will, often, assume it’s the Butcher struggling with his keys, go over, throw open the door, only to find no one there. And sometimes we’ll hear knocking at the door, and no one will be there.

What’s really weird about this is that the screen door is noisy. It makes a lot of unmistakable noise when it opens and it slams shut pretty fiercely. So, it’s not like there’s something else you could mistake for that sound. And while it’s possible that someone could open the screen door, screw with the regular door, and run off before I get the door open, that doesn’t explain how the screen door doesn’t slam shut.

I can’t explain it, but I’m hoping someday to throw open the door and find my can opener sitting there between the two doors.