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Anticipation

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Anticipation

Ernie has a lot to look forward to at the Hawk's Nest

There is a lot to anticipate. The water for my potatoes is taking forever to boil and the old Carly Simon song “Anticipation” is starting to run through my head. I keep checking and checking but it does not boil. Linda said I shouldn’t keep removing the lid but the line “It’s making me late” from the song is loud and clear. The only thing I am late for is fresh mashed spuds with lots of butter. 

At the same time the salmon in the oven is taking forever to cook. I turn up the heat and open the door to take a look again. Linda seemed to be quite entertained by my antics. She said I should leave the door closed and it will stay hotter inside. 

Anticipation seems have surfaced and is quite prominent for me now. I know, and I tell others, to be “in the moment,” to live now as I can’t live in the future or in the past, given they don’t exist except in my mind. But right now several fun opportunities seem to be in my future. 

Even though it snowed yesterday, Spring is getting closer. Yesterday’s snow transformed the look here from a gravely, dirty, icy field back to white. It included a light frosting on the trees, much prettier now. I enjoy winter and all it offers and I always embrace a new season with anticipation and hope. 

The next several months are filling with exciting new opportunities. But I feel I’m not moving forward as I wait for dinner to get up to temperature. Linda is enjoying the moment immensely. That doesn’t speed things up for me. 

A few weeks ago we were Skyping with our kids, Ana and Noah. Alice, our only grandchild, was wearing a new t-shirt, a rather typical style we are used to seeing her in. It isn’t unusual for her shirts to have some cute saying printed on it. This particular shirt said “Big Sister.” 

Now that was an announcement that fired up a whole bunch of my anticipation electrons. One grandchild is definitely grand, so two must be grander, or more grand, or grandeur. 

As you might guess, it means there are plans being made for a trip to Virginia in the fall. It also meant we reprioritized some of our summer plans. That, of course, was done with the joy of getting to be with the young family as they expand. 

Interestingly for me, looking forward to being a grandparent again is as exciting as the first time. I will be able to get to know another wonderful personality and watch it make its own discoveries just is its older sister is. 

So as I anticipate having dinner sometime tonight I also have other things to look forward to. 

“Anticipation, Anticipa-a-ation,” sings Carly. That song is becoming an ear worm in my head. 

Before we go to Virginia there will be another stop. Linda’s right knee has needed more heat, or ice, or just plain care lately. Yesterday she visited with an orthopedist who said it was time for a replacement. She had her left knee done a few years ago and was hiking mountain trails without pain in six months. This time the initial test after recovery will be keeping up with a near three-year- old. While Ana and Noah finish another pregnancy and a new parenting project is started, the knee will have to be up for the grandma task. 

It looks like June will be the surgery date. That means making sure the house is ready for rehabilitation. The first floor bedroom will look like a nursing home room for a little while until the steps can be scaled again. Area rugs will be picked up for safer rehab walking and an exercycle will be prominent in the living room. 

It also means several short, slow walks as healing takes place and strength returns. We are hoping for warm enough weather so she can rest and recover while sitting outside on the porch or deck. 

I open the oven door again and Linda laughs, “Leave that closed, it will never get hot.” I’m thinking I should be getting an amusement fee from her. I wait for her to look away and check the potatoes. 

“Anticipation anticipa-a-ation it’s making me late.” 

Anticipating spring is a little different this year; as soon as the snow is gone there will be some pressure to get the yard ready for a big event in August. 

A close friend, who I first met when she was about three and got to watch grow into a lovely adult, wants to use our back yard for her wedding. That will mean doing a little extra around the place this summer. We want it to reflect the specialness of the day. And it certainly will be a special day for us all. 

So as Linda is being amused, and in the moment, I frantically try to get water to boil and salmon to cook, I reach for the oven door and she starts to laugh. Embarrassed, I pretend to be wiping a spot off the handle; she laughs harder. 

Suddenly steam starts to rattle the lid of the pot on top of the stove; finally, it won’t be long now. It is time to get the butter ready for the spuds and some lemon ready for the fish. 

One thing not lost on me though. Linda was simply being patient and enjoying the moment as I fretted and worried, getting dinner done. Maybe next time I’ll just sit with her and relax too, let it take as long as it takes. Of course, she won’t be nearly as entertained.

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Author info

Ernie Hawks Ernie Hawks is a former theater director who has branched into the creative fields of writing and photography. He lives in a cabin in Athol with his lovely wife Linda, and feeds the birds in his spare time.

Tagged as:

grandchildren, grandparents, cooking, Alice, The Hawks Nest, Anticipation, knee surgery

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