Friday 23rd December 2011
AMID the pell-mell of preparation and problems arising from having left too much to the last minute, three small incidents this week have served as valuable reminders: that life is both beautiful and sad, and that I am not as adept with my fingers as I was once.
On Wednesday, the rat-a-tat-tat heralded a postal delivery.
“Turned mild again.”
(I have a number of great conversation starters.)
“Crazy for this time of year. My bees don’t know what to make of it.”
“Ooo. You keep bees?”
And we’re off: nattering about pollination and Einstein, shaking our heads over colony collapse, global warming, and how little respect is paid to one of nature’s most loyal workers.
Yesterday, among the greetings cards delivered by the same busy little worker (the post-lady, I mean) is one from friends whose three-year-old daughter has been undergoing treatment for cancer. I recognise handwriting and postmark.
It’s been some time since I last visited them. One of those situations where you’re never quite sure: you don’t want to seem over-anxious by ringing up more often than you normally would. They’re such a wonderful young family. Fingers crossed seems a daft expression sometimes, but you’d do it for them even if you had the most painful arthritis.
As usual, their card is home-made: children’s illustrations of a Santa, tree, presents, countless kisses… and, yes, as bold and clear a signature from their patient younger daughter as one could wish for.
Meanwhile, my younger daughter has done all our (joint gift) shopping. Least I can do in return is repair those earrings, like I said I would: simply a case of re-attaching the dangly bits to the pin bits using those tiny rings and pliers.
Hour after hour of grrr: aging eyes, poor grip, whatever. Finally relieved to have done the one, I drop the other and cannot find the ring-thing for all my desperate hands-and-knees looking.
She comes home, I moan, she finds it, we fix it. I cheer loudly, wholly exhilarated.
It’s the little things.