All that heated argument about anthropogenic global warming notwithstanding, Thursday was colder than a well digger’s posterior or even a witch’s breast here in our portion of the prairie. The sky was a depressingly Ingmar Bergman-esque gray all the short day long, the winds that came sweeping down the plains from the North Pole were whipping around a desultory amount of snow the in otherwise dry atmosphere, and we had chores to do.
Our beloved Pa helped us deal with the dreary task of getting our newfangled cellular telephone to reveal those noisome voice mails it now features, and to replace it with the old Ma Bell land-line number that had been in the phone books for as long as we or any of our friends who might call can remember, which our Pa insisted on in case there was some family emergency that only we can deal with, and after making it all happen with the help of the earnest but rather dim-witted woman at the phone company’s east-side strip-mall shop he treated us to a couple of very nice slacks at a nearby clothing store that was already touting its Valentine’s Day specials. After that we helped we helped our beloved Ma and Pa take down all their fabulous Christmas decorations in their enviable retirement apartment and return them for another 11 months or so to their place in a nearby rental storage space, and although some of those boxes were heavy enough to cause a strain in our back it also somehow lifted our heart.
All that bother also kept us largely away from the rest of the news all day, and we happily listened to old rockabilly and garage band music and the crazed conversation of the regulars at a dive we sometimes frequent on the way home, which also did us much good. When we at long last got home to our adequately-heated old house and turned on the space heaters in our poorly ventilated airplane room of an office we logged on to the internet and found it as desultory as ever, but we decided to dismiss it all with the same hopeful attitude that our Pa and Ma lately seem to have. They’re both convinced that the age of Trump can’t be any worse than the age of Obama, which is all too convincingly plausible, and that the weather is bound to get better for at least a little while, which is inarguable.
The weather for today here on our portion of the plains is forecast to be just as awful as yesterday, and we’ll have more chores to do, but we nonetheless have our own high hopes. We’re slated to get up relatively early to take an old and dear friend of ours home from the hospital, where he’s undergoing some nether-region-invading procedures that he assures us are quite routine yet still require sedation that prevents him from driving himself home. He once woke up even earlier on an even colder morning to give us a ride home from the airport after we’d been visiting the folks when they were living back east during Christmastime, and we expect that the chance to partially repay the favor will boost our spirits past what the thermometer shows. That gray-ponytailed old hippie is also convinced that the age of Trump can’t be any worse than the age of Obama, and although he’s a couple of decades younger than our Ma and Pa we’ll consider his wisdom, and look forward to a brief nap today despite all its other chores.
By next Tuesday the temperatures are forecast to be near 60 degrees Fahrenheit around here, and although that’s nowhere near were we like it to be we’ll still be glad of it. There’s every reason to believe that our Pa and Ma will be starting their early Valentine’s Day celebrations during their 60th year of marriage, and that our gray-ponytailed friend will be relieved that those intrusive tests have proved happily negative, and that the age of Trump will prove at least no worse than the age of Obama, and that no matter what all our friends will still be able to reach us in case of emergency at that same old land-line number.
— Bud Norman