the fog has lifted

After weeks of foggy days here at the beach, the fog has finally lifted. No need for my dog-hairy fleece Fall jacket. I can sit outside in a dress and not freeze my fanny off.

There’s something about clear skies, temps in the low 70s, that make you feel like anything is possible.

For example, I just read an “Los Angeles Times” article that reported some students are actually thriving thanks to distant learning. They are in control of their time–the when and where, the how, they learn, the lack of peer distractions and waste of time classroom disruptions. Score one for a positive side effect of the pandemic.

Instead of being huddled inside the house watching TV, my family’s social distance gatherings are now outside in the fresh, freezing air. Score two.

The grandkids now wash their hands more (something grandma has been urging them to do, like, forever). Three points!

I’m spending way less money on gas, lipstick (what’s the point now that I wear masks?), foundation (same point), walking my dogs more, hanging out with family more, re-connecting with neighbors more, thinking about, and preparing, meals with more zeal, not complaining as much about having to do household chores and having the time to think about not only what drives my present, but my future.

Trees and shadows, cooing doves, the running water of my backyard river and the bubbling clawfoot bathtub fountain. A second cup of strong coffee. My daughter upstairs with Millie. She opens the balcony door and my mother-hen instincts coochy-coochy nestles into my twig-framed nest–my home–Angel Cove Cottage By the Sea. This place where I have lived and worried, loved, changed, explored and accepted life as it is, imperfect perfection.

My ex-husband, we’re friends. My happy, rude Finn steals food from the table. Monet, the compliant cattle dog, copes and instructs her younger nemesis to be more like her. The visiting cast of adult kids, parents to my very different personality-wise and delightful grandsons, my sister, cousin, nieces and nephews, all keep me on my toes. All have their opinions, anxieties and big, giant hearts.

I was born in the middle. I teach middle school. My house is in the middle of a street that arrows toward the ocean. My middle name, Lee, is short (what was my mother thinking?). I am not tall, nor am I tiny. I am no longer considered middle-aged, but I am definitely not mid-weight. I am wedged between here and there. Sometimes annoying. I want to break out and be extraordinary. But I am average. I am middle. No one’s going to know I was here when I’m gone. So I might as well be here, luxuriate in the middle. Take a bath. Sip a second glass of wine. Order groceries online. Put up the foldable fort for my grandson and blow up the inflatable dinosaurs. The chores can wait. It’s time to hug.

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