One is the Loneliest Number

So I’d best check my to-do list to prepare for domicile-sharing again after five days home alone (sorry, Tsuga, you’re somebody too.) She just called from Springfield and flights to Atlanta are still on schedule. Amazing.

I must say I’ve gotten along famously with me–not a single whine or blame cast; no grousing or guilt grenades. Even when I transgress–putting a spoon down on the actual countertop–I’ve been quite gracious and forgiving. No grudges, slights or reproaches. I’m really getting along with me very well and wonder how it could be otherwise.

Meanwhile, I need to check my list:

  • Put all the dirty dishes out in the yard for a tongue-lashing.
  • Vacuum, dust, mop and power-wash (and maybe disinfect) the front room.
  • Wash the cat and rehydrate the goldfish.
  • Hide all empty beverage containers and replenish supply on way to airport.
  • See if the house can be brought back into homeothermic range, which will mean burning precious firewood. What choice do I have?
  • Tidy up around the woodpile to show off my manly work of splitting and stacking next year’s stash to best affect.
  • Stop by ___ and pick up her ___ for her birthday before she gets back in town.
  • Practice: Yes, dear. Coming, dear. No, I’m not an idiot, I just have other things on my mind right now.

And the two shall be made one. ONE. It’s not the loneliest number you could ever do. Sometimes, it’s not so bad, really. And then…

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Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.

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  1. “… not a single whine”? You mean you only whine when Ma’s around? 😉
    Love you, Pop. Happy reunion.

  2. You dare write like this, knowing someone will tell your wife to read this blog entry? I guess you guys must actually be pretty happy with each other, to get away with such bad mouthing.

  3. Oh Fred
    How similar our lives are! For me the really big deal is getting the illicit dog hair out of the bedroom – for some its lipstick on the collar but for me, its black short labby hairs on the bedspread.


  4. When my wife comes home from a trip, she accuses me of going around behind her back cooking salty, greasy food. She’s usually right. Mostly I cook vegetarian wombats ( our word for omlettes) .