Don's idea of an emergency
Monday, February 15 2021
There was a sleet storm this morning producing enough precipitation to coat the cars with a thin layer of ice, forcing Gretchen to scrape her windshield before heading to her Monday shift at the bookstore.
My brother Don called me in the middle of a fairly busy workday to tell me that he had "an emergency" with our mother, Hoagie. That sounds pretty scary, but I was a little skeptical of Don's ability to judge such things. The emergency he was reporting was that Hoagie had refused her toothbrush when Don fetched it for her after she'd eaten a meal. She told him she was suffering from a toothache. Don asked if she wanted her to call her dentist and she refused. At this point in the story, Don launched into a monologue about how terrible it is for someone not to attend to their teeth, as though this her failing to do so meant certain doom. I got the feeling that the source of his dogmatism was something he'd read in one of his books. I cut Don's monlogue short to ask if Hoagie was still eating, and he said that she was. But apparently her toothache was preventing her from going shopping, so Don was, at the time, being driven into town by one of the neighbors (the patriarch of the Gaddy clan, who lives about 3/4 of a mile closer to Staunton). I told Don that, while I agreed that this development wasn't good, there was nothing much he could do about it. Hoagie is a grown woman and if she doesn't want to brush her teeth, there's nobody who can make her. I suggested he call Meghan, Hoagie's social worker to report the news. Before I could ask Don how he intended to get home from the shopping he would be doing, he told me he had to go and hung up on me.
At the end of the workday, I went on my well-trodden trail west of the Farm Road to salvage more down timber (all of it chestnut oak, I think). Salvaging firewood with so much snow on the ground results in a fair amount of snow entering the house, though I do my best to brush it off at every possible juncture in the process.
Powerful made a sort of chili with chewy homemade "prison-style" dumplings, and later I took a birthday-eve bath.
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