Sometimes our lives are funny and sometimes sad.
Sunday I'd asked Rich if he minded that I go to KVR [Kickapoo Valley Reserve] and take Charlie for a hike on the shorter trail.
He huffed and puffed over his morning coffee, as if I'd just asked him if I could cut off one of his arms or legs.
"How long will you be gone?"
Me: Well as long as it takes to drive there, hike, and get back.
"How long is that?"
Me: There is a sudden realization that now I have to give times for him. Just like this weekend when I walked along the north facing hillside while he was napping. I had the 20 questions. Of, How Long, Where, When, What are you looking for?
Me: Oh it takes about 25 minutes to get there and an hour or so to walk the trail, it is 1/2 mile long, straight out and back. I should be back before lunch and probably right after or at the end of your morning nap.
"I don't always take naps."
I nod, but don't answer and I wait.
He sighs and sips his coffee.
Me: Are you afraid of me leaving the house to do things?
"Well you always get to do what you want, you are going to do it anyway."
His tone was that of a petulant child.
Me: Well, what would you like to do? Want to come along for a drive perhaps? Would you like to drive to the river and check things out?
"No." He stares out the window and I see the blankness. He finally says to me...
I pack things up and head out the door. My hike is enjoyable and for a while I forget about all the things I need to do. I promise myself NOT to look at my phone to keep track of time and I hide it in my backpack. Charlie and I take our time walking the length of the trail and I pick up the pace on the way back.
On the drive home I think about Covid. I think about masks, I think about risks, and what I need to do to help keep him safe. I think about Rich's daughter and family who have decided not to keep in contact with Rich because we are adamant about safety and vaccinations. Besides, she is too busy. Too busy for a vaccination, too busy to call to talk to her father, too busy period. And I think a moment about that.
Then I hit the button on the dash for Pandora and enjoy the rest of the drive home with the music blasting and Charlie sleeping in his 'car seat'.