Hit­ting home

The Covington News - - LIFESTYLE - COLUM­NIST Paula Travis is a re­tired teacher from the New­ton County School Sys­tem. She can be con­tacted at pnbtravis@att.net.

I went to have my an­nual phys­i­cal re­cently. I could re­mem­ber the words the doc­tor wanted me to, and I was able to name a good many an­i­mals when he asked me to name as many as I could in two min­utes. In fact, he said I tied for the most an­i­mals named with one of his other pa­tients. So I guess my mind is still OK.

Then he be­gan ask­ing me some other ques­tions which re­lated to my phys­i­cal ag­ing. He wanted to know if I no­ticed my­self shuf­fling when I walked. I don’t think I do. Let me know if you no­tice it.

He also wanted to know if I had a night light in my bath­room. I don’t. Over 20 years ago and about two years apart, two of my neigh­bors had sewer rats come up their plumb­ing and into their toi­let bowls. Both ladies taught with me and both lived about three houses from me. One across the street and the other around the cor­ner. One oc­curred at night and the other in the day time. In fact, the day­time lady called me for help. My hus­band was not at home, and the best ad­vice I could of­fer was close the lid. I did, how­ever, walk over to her house, and the two of us hov­ered on her side­walk un­til help ar­rived and dis­patched the rat.

I never saw ei­ther rat, but the no­tion so trau­ma­tized me that I never, ever, go to the bath­room in the dark for fear of a rat tick­ling my un­der­sides.

I told this story to the doc­tor to ex­plain why I did not need a night light. He was pretty much speech­less. We moved on to other mat­ters.

An­other in­ci­dent brought home to me the fact that time in­ex­orably moves on.

I went to visit my Ma­con grand­chil­dren. (I was about to say baby sit, but that is no longer the case. They are no longer ba­bies.) The Ma­con grand­daugh­ters also had bed­room makeovers. (Are we sens­ing a theme here?)

A long time ago I had gifted each of them with cork bul­letin boards. I had painted the fames with col­or­ful de­signs to match the then-room dé­cor and glued small wooden letters that spelled each of their names on the frames. We had to re­paint one of the bul­letin boards as the orig­i­nal pink and green had to be changed to yel­low and white. The re­paint­ing was the main pur­pose of my visit.

My grand­daugh­ter had al­ready painted the frame a solid yel­low. What re­mained to be done was white squig­gles and dots as dec­o­ra­tions. To­gether we sat down with small paint brushes and a bot­tle of white paint. But I did most of the em­bel­lish­ing. My grand­daugh­ters were re­ally im­pressed with my de­sign. This doesn’t say much for their artis­tic abil­i­ties. When there is no de­sign to match and you are only do­ing a de­sign that will please your grand­chil­dren, it is not too tricky. Most any­thing makes them happy. The whole ad­ven­ture only took about 15 min­utes.

We ate lunch and de­cided to hit the mall. What else could three fe­males want to do more than shop?

We went shop­ping for me. We spent a good deal of time look­ing for some sort of or­ga­nizer for my pocket book to carry all the trivia and cards you have to have on your per­son. The saleslady was help­ful and my grand­daugh­ters searched the area care­fully for what I wanted. But the sales lady said they don’t make what I wanted any­more. So we wan­dered into shoes.

I needed some white san­dals. I found two pair I liked and in the process knocked over a pile of shoe boxes. My el­der grand­daugh­ter quickly scooped them up and restacked them.

The sis­ters were di­vided on which san­dal they liked. I picked the one the younger one liked, and we all agreed that their mother would hate them. She only wears black, white and beige – not like her mother who likes col­ors the louder the bet­ter. We then went for ice cream.

It oc­curred to me on the way home that our roles are re­vers­ing. It is now the grand­daugh­ters who wait on me to make up my mind and help me shop and pick up af­ter me.

PAULA TRAVIS

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