A Day in the Life

I had an exciting and varied Sunday. First, it was my Sunday to make the coffee for after the 8 o’clock service at St. George’s, so I got there about 7:25 under a lowering sky. My partner in this endeavor was already there. She told me the weather forecast was for a very severe thunderstorm and sure enough, the sky got darker and darker with not a breath of wind. We went into church and right at the Consecration the sky blew open and thunder and lightning rattled the skies – and then the hail started, making such a racket that I was sure the roof was going to be ripped open and windows shattered. Though I sit in the second pew from the front, and our priest wears a microphone, I could barely hear the prayers over the noise. The rain came down so hard it was like a thick fog, and then the sky grew dark as night. But the congregation stayed in place and we all soldiered through the service. We adjourned then to the church hall and ate sweet rolls and drank coffee and congratulated ourselves for not abandoning the service and fleeing to the basement. But none of us dared to go out and drive home until it abated. On the drive home I noted several big branches down and one tree broken off at the base and half blocking the street.

At home the power was out in the whole building – well, sort of. As happened once before, half of the power in our apartment was out. The stove worked but not the refrigerator. My computer had power – but not my connection to the Internet. My land line phone didn’t work, though an old-style Plain Old Phone did. This was true for about half the apartments, plus the underground garage (including the door; they opened it manually and set volunteers to guard it), and the elevators – and we live on the third floor, very painful with my bad knee. I got two different reports of a nearby transformer going off with a big bang and burning briskly just before the storm broke.

For the past week or ten days, I’d been thinking of a certain shrimp dish served at a little Thai restaurant called Pattaya and getting more and more of a hankering for it. With a kitchen just half on line, I decided to eat out, and drove to Pattaya – only to find they don’t open until after three on Sundays. So I went to another, slightly more upscale Asian restaurant, recently renamed Kai and Little Crustacean (your guess is as good as mine). I was disappointed not to find that dish on their menu, and asked the waiter to recommend something approaching that mix of shrimp and fresh ginger. Instead, he went to the kitchen and brought out their head chef, and I described it to him: shrimp and slivers of fresh ginger in a brown sauce, with broccoli, pea pods, onions, carrots, and mushrooms, between two and three stars (out of five) hot. He said he’d make it for me – and my oh my, was it good! I told them that if I was ever in the unfortunate position of ordering a last meal, this would be it. You can believe I left a really good tip.

I did a little stitching and worked on a new Chapter Three of Tying the Knot until the power finally came back around six, in time for me to watch an old Columbo repeat before going to bed.

Monday I went to consult with the same surgeon who operated successfully on my MRSA-infected knee last year. He ordered up some X-rays and sure enough, that same knee hurts and makes grinding sounds because it’s gone “bone on bone” and needs to be replaced. He explained the surgery, which isn’t what I thought it was, but wants a CAT scan and extensive blood work done in advance – no need to tempt another round of that infection. And no cortisone or other treatment meanwhile for the same reason. Gah.  My advice: Never grow old.

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