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HOME AGAIN
August 2, 2004
 
Hot today, they say on the radio. Hot and humid, just as it was yesterday. Mostly people don't like it, but somehow I don't mind. A fan suffices.

The blast of bright sun, heat and damp was a positive delight the other day during the brief transfer from the building into the ambulance to go from one hospital to another. Hospital air is chilly, and hospital light is artificial and cold: even some of the well in a hospital look like they're already dead.

There is no clear night or day there, either: even the window in your room is an unconvincing source of evidence as to the time of day, and the ICU has no windows. The dinging and buzzing of all the machines does something odd to the passage of time, or perhaps it is just the drifting in and out of strange sleep amid all the electronic noises that throw the interior clock hopelessly out of kilter.

And they have no cats at all. Nary a one. It's no wonder everybody there is sick.

Here at the Farm, though, things are looking up. Little Noodle leaps joyously upon the tail of one of the older cats and is rewarded with a howl of rebuke and a cuff on the ears. Immediately, she does it again: corporal punishment is not a deterrent for kittens. I learn that, in my absence, she climbed up onto the arm of Q's chair and kissed Jimmy Carter's image on the television screen as he addressed the Democratic Convention. Yesterday she weighed herself on the bathroom scale, peering intently at the dial, watching the needle move whenever she moved.

The dahlias are blooming, and so are the Black-eyed Susans. And the calla lilies. Q's tomatoes are ripening at last, and the mystery vine in my flower bed is about to state its identity: cantaloupe or zucchini? I should have pulled it up when it was small -- what business has an enormous vine in a flower garden? -- but the suspense about its identity was killing me and I let it stay. There's a volunteer tomato out there, too that should never have been left there, and it is now bearing fruit. So it's staying; I have always had a soft spot in my heart for volunteers. The side border needs weeding, but I'm not bending yet. Our new stone wall cries out to begin being built, but that must wait, too.

I am glad to be home, but I am tired. It will be good to gain strength and do more, but that seems not to be on the calendar for today. Thanks to all you farmers for your kind expressions of concern. Tomorrow is another day.
Copyright © 2018 Barbara Crafton
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