Wednesday, June 24, 2020

The 100 Foot Orange Extension Cord and the Chair

I brought the 100 foot orange extension cord into the garage. Then I carried a kitchen chair to a spot in the parking lot where there was shade. It was not even 9 AM on the second full day of summer and it was already 80 degrees. And my mother in law is soon to be 93.

She had come to the Berkshires almost a week ago. It had been over three months since she had seen any of us. And I think she missed us as much as we did her. But she also waited most anxiously for this moment. The moment she could sit in that chair.

First, however, her granddaughter, my daughter got to sit there. And as she sat, my granddaughter, my mother in law's only great granddaughter, watched her mommy sitting in that chair and started to cry. We were there also, my wife, my son and I, all there looking at our daughter, our son's sister, as she sat in that chair. I held my granddaughter in my arms and assured her that her mommy was well and happy. But, as her mommy had a mask on and she could not see if her mommy was indeed happy, my granddaughter was clearly uncertain of her mommy's true frame of mind.

For nearly 30 minutes, her mommy sat in that chair, the 100 foot orange extension cord reaching from its starting point at the outlet in the garage to mere inches from where our daughter sat. And when it was over, when our daughter finished and got up from that chair, I asked my granddaughter if she wanted to sit in that chair next. That it was fun to sit there. She responded with a very emphatic "Nooooo".

The sun had moved, as it always does, over those 30 minutes. And so one of the other chairs I had brought out for my family to sit and look at the chair where my daughter had just been sitting and where my mother in law was now about to sit, had gone from being in the shade to the sun.  The offending chair was the one in which I was sitting and my wife warned me to move, since I didn't have a hat on and the doctor had removed a bunch of things from the top of my head years before. She was right, so I moved my chair into the shade.

My mother in law is a woman of elegance and beauty, and age had done nothing to diminish either of these qualities. But, as she waited for her turn in that chair, she imagined herself a little less of each, for it had been far too long since she last sat in a chair like this. And, even behind her mask, one could tell she was happy to be sitting there now.

I forgot to tell you about the garage. It was actually one of 20 connected garages, each one the property of a different unit owner in this apartment complex. The driveway for these garages was oval shaped. The chair and the extension cord were near one end of the oval. And anyone driving around that oval to get in or out of their garage would necessarily have to pass by the spot where the 100 foot orange extension cord, the chair that was next to it, and the other chairs, along with me, my wife, both my children, my granddaughter and my mother-in-law were now assembled. Not that anyone did come by that early on this morning. But I am telling you just in case someone had.

Where was I? Oh yeah, my mother in law now sat down in that chair. And for another 30 minutes myself, my wife, my son, my granddaughter and now my daughter, who had been the last to sit in that chair, sat in other chairs, or stood if we tired of sitting, and watched my mother in law sit in that chair, within inches of the 100 foot orange extension cord.

And when she was finally done sitting in that chair, my mother in law got up. Looking as elegant and beautiful as always. But maybe even a little more so now.

Oh, I guess I forgot to tell you about one more person who was present during all the times I have spoken about. My son has a very close friend who cuts hair. And in these most turbulent times, when danger is omnipresent, getting a haircut outside, thanks to a chair and a 100 foot orange extension cord that made functional all those hair cutting implements requiring electricity, is a wonderful luxury. 

As my wife took a broom and swept up any evidence of what had transpired, and I returned the chairs to their rightful places in our kitchen, and the 100 foot orange extension cord was placed in the storage shed, life, at least in this one regard, returned to normal.

But we all know this is a time when absolutely nothing is normal. Not even haircuts.


Anonymous said...

It is so ironic that as I just opened your email I am sitting in my car in the parking lot of my barbershop. My name is on the list and I await their call!


Anonymous said...

Outstanding! I loved it🥰 Keep it going👍