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Photos not taken

When I arrived, he was fully dressed, showered and shaved, but resting in his bed. We missed a week and I wondered how his vacation with family had been. He admonished me with a smile saying he had waited and I hadn’t come on time. I sat and he took my cold hands in his warm ones. He smiled so wide, his ill-fitting teeth shifted but his green eyes danced with joy. I sat chatting until my odd position began tweaking my back muscles. He rose from the bed and we set about our task of the morning – cleaning and trimming Brussel sprouts.

His wife left on errands and we headed out to the cool day. The sun is weaker but in a spot out of the wind one could be quiet comfortable. We walked down the drive to the quince tree and the sheep field. The curious lambs watched as I brought a lawn chair. He sat and pointed out the particularly ripe quince with his cane as I clamored throughout the prickly brush. When I had a shopping bag full, he rose and inspected my car. Pulling the passenger door open, he inquired about the various controls.

Nothing would do but we decided to tour the farm. I rolled down the windows, turned up the heat and we set off at a leisurely pace of about 3 miles per hour. When we reached the upper field, he directed me to drive into the croft and circle so he could look back at the farm. Was he thinking that he knew every hillock and dip in the land? Was he remembering the years he had driven a tractor over this very land with no thought of ever being unable to work the soil every day? I was thankful for 4-wheel drive and a stout little vehicle. We parked beside the greenhouse where late green beans covered the bushes just inside. I grabbed another bag and set about picking enough for his lunch. When hopped back into the driver’s seat, he grinned and apologized for “stealing a few Altoids mints” from my tin.  He is on homeopathic remedies and a wholly organic and careful diet. Sugar is a huge NO! but what could I do.

We parked next to the chickens and watched the rooster endlessly try to round-up his hens. We stopped to greet the pigs  and bumped along the edges of the corn field admiring the changing leaves.

“When you can not work nor even write about your day. When you can no longer do anything but sit, you see the most minute of changes.  Yet, when you can look back at where you sit, you are free.”

11 comments on “Photos not taken

  1. Doppleganger says:

    lovely….. what a nice idea to drive over the land he has spent so many minutes, hours, days, weeks,months, years playing on, working on, worrying over, gloating over and living off of. Proud of you.

    1. Thanks doppleganger! I enjoy every minute with him. So interesting to see life from his view…

  2. julieallyn says:

    So descriptive. I could see and imagine, in my mind’s eye, every step of your journey together this day.

    Lovely piece Martha.

    1. Thanks Julie. I love my time with him…

      1. julieallyn says:

        I think that’s beautiful. Comfort and closeness for him (and you as well) plus memories to carry with you when he’s gone.

  3. It sounds like that was probably the best day he’s had in a long time. I wouldn’t be surprised if he wanted to do it again.

    1. I wish I had thought of it sooner. Driving around can get us so much further than walking or taking his wheelchair. It was lovely.

  4. Touring NH says:

    I’m sure your drive around the farm brought back a lot of memories for him.

    1. Thanks Laura, it is so interesting to try to see his world through his eye and memories…

  5. mariekeates says:

    I’m always struck by the peace and serenity of your time with him. The drive was a stroke of genius. I bet he loved every minute.

    Here I’m coming to terms with the fact that my blog is dead. Parts may be salvageable at some point but, for now, I’m rising like a Phoenix from the ashes with a new blog. I will add the best of the old as and when I get the time. If you’re interested the new blog is http://www.iwalkalone.co.uk. I think I’m going to be a lonely little blogger for a while 😦

    1. Thanks Marie. I will have to take him out for a drive more often. It was fun and I know it meant a lot to him…

      So glad to see you are up and running again!!

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