Here in the piney woods of Florida’s Gulf coast, the panhandle, we barely had a winter this year, and now — it’s hot. Hot, that is, if you’re doing stoop labor to pick up roughly one gazillion pine cones that fell the past few months so you’re husband can mow the clearing. The warm sun on my bare arms created the perfect conditions for manufacturing Vitamin D and strengthening my immune system.
A first: My iPhone nearly caused me to jump out of my skin when it made a noise like an air-raid signal. It was an emergency alert exhorting folks over 65 to stay home. Lou Lou Belle thought a thunder storm was coming and hid under my desk.
And another first: Winn Dixie delivered groceries to us. I left an envelope taped to the front door with a cash tip in it for the driver. She texted a thank you from her car. I waved from behind the glass door and then, once she had driven away, retrieved the bags and brought them to the kitchen, where I placed them in the side by side stainless steel sinks. Buck offered to help, but I declined. Overkill, most likely, but while he is extremely fit and healthy, he is 82 and a lymphoma survivor. Also my greatest treasure on earth. He knows me so well. He stood in the doorway and watched as I disinfected, stored, cleaned the sink, washed my hands again (and again), and used a Clorox wipe on all nearby surfaces.
“Twitchy Baby?” he said, using my affectionate nickname.
I looked up and saw that tender look in his eyes, hand over his heart. “Yes?”
“Love.” That’s all. And that’s everything.