Thursday, June 8, 2017
What Ever Happened to the Millers? Part Three
"One, two, three..." Nora silently counted to eleven, filling her kettle with tap water. She had calculated this to be the exact amount needed to brew a pot of tea. She detested the amount of energy expended by her hated electric stove, so she had resorted to precision. The whole process of making a pot of tea had been affected by this new concept. Two measured tablespoons of English breakfast tea; the kettle heated for four minutes, then left to absorb the residual heat a minute or two; poured into the pot, tea basket set in for four minutes, then quickly removed... Very different from the old Nora, actually the younger Nora, who had loved to "wing it" in just about every aspect of life.
It was good timing, becoming more attuned to detail at this point. She needed the mental exercise, for one thing. A woman she had met on a flight from Chicago to San Antonio had explained to her that it was good to be making such a great change in life (moving from where she had lived her whole life--so that she knew the streets, shops, stores, and stoplights all so well that she hardly had to think) at this age (just about ready for dementia to start setting in). Anyway, such had been the case for her friend on the airplane, Veronica. She was a little older than Nora and had moved to San Antonio from Houston about ten years prior. It forced her to start using her mind again, she had said, instead of just floating along on the sea of familiarity while her brain turned to mush.
Now, what to do with this free time, while Gary and the boys were out... Nora looked around her kitchen. It was very different than when they had moved in. Blue-green walls with white wainscoting and painted white cabinets brightened and widened the space where it had been drab beige and dirty brown. They hadn't wanted a fixer-upper but the housing market had been crazy. So there had been a lot to deal with that first year, physically as well as psychologically. But they were getting to the end of it, and not having anything pressing, she wondered what to do next.
Enjoying the quiet, she poured a cup of tea and wandered into the dining room, now painted a bright terra-cotta that nobody seemed to like. Still, she didn't want to change it again. She was tired. She sat at the old round wooden claw-foot table, and opened her Bible to Psalm 71. Nora realized she had benefited greatly from having to struggle through so much, not that she had been heroic, or even patient, or in any way sane (Poor Gary). Also, she was fully aware that the obstacles she had faced were non-existent in comparison to what others around her were going through, and this just made matters worse. She really had nothing to complain about. So, she needed to stop complaining. She knew one thing could help--Drinking in the words she felt deeply refreshed.