slice of hard life, bits of fun

my kid falls and breaks his hip. he undergoes surgery to fix it. a four-inch incision and three steel screws jammed through his femur. some days later, he gets feverish and sick. he has three grand mals in two days. the same number in the entire month of april.

everyone is under the weather. snotty, runny, stuffy noses, though testing negative for covid. even the dog snores. unruly, drunken students traipse by on their way to and from parties between eleven p.m. and two-thirty in the morning. it's hard to get a decent night's sleep. i lie awake worrying about the serious and mundane. i think of my huggy child and how i should farm him out to nursing homes as a therapy kid. if only he didn't have innocent fingers good for poking out eyes and scratching necks.

luckily, an afternoon nap (a rarity) is like a pat of butter smeared on a hunk of freshly baked bread. it's a cloud. it's sugar dissolving into warm liquid. a salve and a salvation. the sounds of daytime waft through an open window: a young man shoveling gravel; songbirds; light traffic; lawn mowers. i deliciously drift in and out of the dream world, my husband and child saming me in the room next door.

i carry my ninety-two-pound child down the steep flight of stairs from the second floor where we've been camped out for five weeks which feels like a chunk of forever. he walks a few yards on the grass holding my hands as i step backwards, guiding him. i lift him into his stroller. buckle him in. push him around the garden taking our millionth loop. he paws an alberta spruce. takes his glasses off and begins chewing them. i can see he's done. he goes back up the stairs with a lot of help from me pushing his bum. he's happy to get back into bed again where he's free to do practically nothing.

he's supposed to go back to school on wednesday with walker and wheelchair and some vigilant humans. still, i'm nervous. he's not walking that well. his gait is slanted. his change of direction and pivot is hitched. i don't want him to get hurt again. it's a natural concern. but i need a rest. i miss my pennellville vistas, walks and runs. i miss my garden. i miss time and space spent alone. miss doing things for myself. miss my friends.

while i'm changing a wet diaper, i hear a barking dog. i look outside the open window to see if i can spot the snarling pooch. i see my neighbor walking his achy, ancient beagle who, by the way, isn't the culprit. half chuckling, i bark at him (my neighbor, not his dog) as he looks around in puzzlement. i bark and laugh again, and can see from my perch as he beings to understand, though still can't tell where i'm coming from. i call, "never a dull moment when you live next door to christy shake." he laughs and says something about crazy neighbors. i'm amazed and delighted, despite this slice of hard life, i still have a knack for humor, and that some people get my jokes.


  1. A bittersweet post, with a touch of humor. It's so very important to keep that vital sense alive. Job certainly had remarkable patience, but I wonder about his sense of humor.