“You’ll get your reward in heaven, Suzanne”

Saturday, June 29, 2013
Today, as the atmosphere grew hotter, I totally forgot that everything is temporary. That nothing is permanent. I became irrational. In fact, I freaked out. Instead of hosing myself down with cold water and plopping on a yoga bolster, I fought to function. It’s the end of the month. Time for accounting, making statements. If I were rational I would do that job at 2 a.m., when the heat breaks, like in Indonesia. Even tonight my writing hovel is like an oven. But the temperature is dropping, whereas before I feared it would never stop rising.

So in the late afternoon, feeling desperate to escape the inferno, the dogs and I jumped in the tank my middle sister got me two weeks ago to better care for my old parents. We wasted gas and drove to Ventura. There the air was cold, and it felt like a foreign country. I did enjoy it. I could actually leave the dogs in the car for a few minutes and shop! So I went to Vons, got water for the dogs, cat food and cleaning supplies,  champagne and bubbly water, and stood in line with humanity. Stood behind a young couple buying a frozen banana creme pie, just like I once did. Read the headlines of People magazine. (Who cares about these people? We have our own troubles, our own escapades. Who decided to make these plain folk celebrities? And isn’t it fun when they fall?)

There was no parking at the beach, but I’m starting to get the hang of driving again. Honey was so excited to smell the ocean she hung out the window as far as she could without falling out. I promised her we’d be back during the week. So then we cruised home, turning on Creek Road. A lucky break—not a single car behind me, so we went slowly and enjoyed the green view. Stopped at Camp Comfort. I’d forgotten: No Dogs Allowed. One time we disobeyed the sign and got caught, so now we obey and leave.

Our little excursion out of hot Ojai is over. Time to check on my parents. My mom is wearing her bright pink-purple-red sundress from the 1950s and reading a book about Albert Einstein.

“Do you know Albert Einstein?” she asks when I walk in the door.

“Yes, I’ve heard of him,” I reply.

“His hair was messy –like mine.” Sure enough, she then tells me how messy my own hair is. “You must part it in the middle. You are still beautiful but you must do something about your hair.”

My old Indonesian dad sleeps in his easy chair. They’ve lived their whole life without air conditioning—just one slow overhead fan. I ask him if he’d like some cold water. After awhile he says, “You’ll get your reward in heaven, Suzanne. Don’t you worry . . . You’ll get your reward in heaven . . . not here on Earth.”

“That’s for sure,” I mumble to myself.HONEY HUG

Life is always changing —and yet some things never change!


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2 Responses to ““You’ll get your reward in heaven, Suzanne””

  1. Lyn Says:

    Thank you, Suza, for letting me know that I’m not alone in my misery. Remember when the heat didn’t bother us? (a million years ago, when we were kids?) I can’t take it now. I get a disabling headache and go comatose .. examining my life (brutally), beating myself up for not having money to put gas in my car and escape to Ventura, wondering why I moved to the blistering desert in the first place, blind to the fact that ‘this too shall pass,” unappeased by the promise of rewards in heaven. I need them *now!*

    I lie down in defeat, my little fan aimed directly at me, too weary to think straight or cry. Just then my big fluffy kitty jumps up on the bed, stares intently at my face for a few moments and then plops himself down and tucks into the bend in my knees. For a split second I think of the added heat pressed up next to my skin .. and then a calm comes over me, my mind is quieted, and I feel strangely content, optimistic and very, very fortunate to be right where I am, right now.


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