My First Drink Alone
Back to the Future

Look What I Can Do

In most households, husbands and wives, partners, or roommates have designated chores, usually reflecting their preferences or strengths. So it is in our household. For example, although Peter is definitely capable of doing the laundry, he doesn't. When I had knee surgery, I had to stand at the top of the stairs to the basement and give him step-by-step instructions. Of course, as soon as I could get down the stairs on my crutches, the laundry was my responsibility again.


So when Peter was away for five nights at the end of March, it was my turn to do some of his jobs. I wasn't concerned about taking the garbage out to the street because that is straightforward and I've done it before. And although he cooks most weeknights, I enjoyed making just what I like to eat and eating it whenever I wanted to.


But there were some challenges. Take the new bottle of balsamic vinegar, for example. Normally, after 20 seconds of trying, I turn a resistant bottle top over to his stronger hands. This time I had to resort to hot water to loosen the cap.


Unbelievable as this may sound, I had never loaded up our CD player. It was always Peter asking, "Mind if I put on some music?" But in his absence, I wanted some musical company. It took me a bit of fiddling around, but I did manage to push the right buttons, fill the five slots with some of our favorite music and actually get it to play. What a triumph!


And then the side mirror on my bicycle became loose (a result of biking over way too many potholes). It has always been Peter who handled this type of challenge. But there I was, Allen wrench in hand, finding the right sized key, and succeeding in tightening the mirror, to my great satisfaction. All in all I felt very self-sufficient, although lonely.


I considered myself very fortunate to get through that time with no computer crashes.


I know my limitations.



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Nancy Andreasen

My husband had his third back surgery in January, and I have found myself doing all sorts of things that he usually has done. Somehow taking out the ashes from the wood stove has been the worst. I am still the only driver, and of course he gives a running commentary on my every action. I have just learned to turn off and go on automatic pilot,doing what he says. It will be a relief to be on my own with this task!

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