narrated by: Myra
My cat Heidi died of old age, it was something I’d been expecting for several years so I wasn’t really surprised. But my other cat, Josie took it particularly hard.
I decided to see about getting a second cat. I know that Cole isn’t fond of me adding another pet to the house, likely thinking he’ll have to find someone to adopt them after I go. He’s never been a big pet person, but I wasn’t a dog person ether and I took on my sister’s dog Della for her after she died. Truly awful animal.
It wasn’t difficult to find a second cat, as soon as I saw Amber, I knew she was the one for me and Josie.
I’m relieved that it’s spring time again so I can reopen the Farmer’s Market. Winter is the loneliest time, with the market closed, and most people sticking indoors. Nine months out of the year I get to run this place, and keep myself occupied for most of the hours of the day.
I sort of met this guy, a customer really. He wanted to get a plant for inside his house but wanted one that wouldn’t die if he forgot about it. I recommended a cactus, but really discouraged him from neglecting it.
He must have thought I was being forward with him, because he tracked me down later out on the patio, and complimented my appearance. It’s been over fifty years since a man other than my husband flirted with me.
And when he asked me out, I nearly declined. But there was a piece of me that had been missing companionship, and I decided to just go for it. He said he’d be back near closing time to take me out, and for the first time in ages I felt nervous about something.
Business is even better this year than the last, and Alice is still helping. I know she doesn’t want to run a Farmer’s Market, she’s never shown the least bit of interest in the gardening, but she’s good at sales.
It seems she really dodged a bullet with that Isaac boy, I saw her kiss him a few summers ago, and I never mentioned it. If her fate had turned out like Julia’s then I would feel like the worst Grandma.
Norma is one of my newer friends I’ve accumulated since Randy died and I moved out here to Millwood. She has her own garden, so doesn’t buy often. She came by though to pick up some strawberries for Julia, she jokes that she is hoping it’ll give the baby red hair.
It’s just such a bad situation all the way around. I try to be a good friend and listen to her, but I don’t really have any advice to offer so I feel sort of useless.
The household is divided between keeping the baby and putting it up for adoption, and Norma jokes weakly that if it were a boy she would definitely want to keep it. But I know she’s just trying to put on a brave face. No one can imagine having someone else raise their grandchild, especially when you have the finances and ability to provide for the child yourself.
It’s hard to listen to her, as she points how unfair it is that the boy can go about his life with no repercussions, but Julia will have this haunt her for the rest of her life.
She told me that Alice has been a great friend through this, and it makes me proud of my granddaughter, and just ever so relieved that she didn’t go any farther with that boy.
Norma is still chatting as we near closing time, and Phil arrived to take me out.
She was polite to Phil, though her heart wasn’t in the introduction. It feels uncomfortable to have anyone even know I am going on a date, let alone meet him. I’m just hopeful that Norma is so occupied with Julia, that she won’t mention it to anyone.
Before heading out for a bite to eat, I offered him some of my own wine. It gave me the opportunity to have something come up, that I could decline dinner if he was a dud, but the wine part of the evening went well.
He was married, but his wife had also died, and he has a grandson, Jackson that works at Planet Java. He talked a lot about his grandson, and nothing about any of his own children. I didn’t want to pry though so I didn’t ask.
It would have been better to end the evening there, instead we walked next door to the Orchard Cafe, and he proceeded to eat rather pig-like. I was appalled, and nearly reprimanded him for his manners, but forced myself to lower my arms and be calm. If a man hasn’t learned how to eat properly in his seventies, then there just isn’t hope he ever will.
I just wanted to have a nice evening, with a companion to talk to, and share with, and I wouldn’t get that if I stepped into a mothering role. But it was difficult to try and have a conversation when he kept belching, and pounding his chest. He didn’t even turn away when he burped, just did it right in my direction. Besides that, it was banana splits, I didn’t know someone could burp that.
His only redeeming quality was that he liked my wine, and seemed to care a great deal about his grandson. He’s not interested in cats, so I didn’t share much about mine. He did want to know more about the gardening and my family, and it was nice to talk about them.
It seemed foolish, but I did allow him to kiss me goodnight, and told him he could call me again. I don’t know if I’ve become pathetic, lowering my expectations or if it’s just what you do at my age. There is a piece of me, the younger, liberal twenty-something that says I shouldn’t settle for an ice cream belcher, but then again there isn’t anyone else knocking on my door, and it is nice to have a companion.
When I met with Cole and his family at the Lighthouse for lunch the following weekend, I didn’t mention anything about Phil. I hope that Norma keeps it quiet, because there’s just no way that I could tell Cole about him. Phil is nothing of the man that Randy was. As long as Norma doesn’t talk, then there isn’t anything to worry about.
Lucy shared that Alice has already qualified for the Scholar Grant, and there are a few more possibilities on the horizon. She’s only a sophomore, well for a few more months anyway, and I’m just sure she’ll do great things.
Milo has been making a new friend at school, and is also doing really well with his grades.
Even shy Itzel has seemed to bloom in the past year, with making friends, getting her grades up, and speaking up more. I’m hopeful that she’s found her place in the family and knows that she is a part of it.
It’s always nice to see my family, Lucy always gently reminds me that there is an open-ended offer for me to move in with them if I get too lonely. A piece of me thinks it’d be nice to spend my evenings with my family then with Phil, but I really don’t want to intrude, and besides they don’t really have the room.
When I get home at night, I like to have my own space, and curl into my bed with the cats for company. It’s not for everyone, but it’s not too terrible.
Notes: Myra had generic wants to flirt and go on a date. This is the first time since Randy died seven years ago that she’s had a single romantic want. It wasn’t the most successful date, she was really appalled with his table manners, but the wine part of the evening went really well. Phil is a professor, and has the same last name as a townie I made over a bit back (all coincidence) so I decided that’s his grandson. I don’t know if she’ll keep seeing him or not, it was all very average, and no romantic wants after the date.
Look at the top of Phil’s head! Age spots! I thought that was great.
Thanks for reading!
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