The Golden Years and getting scatter-brained – Empty Nest by Curt Swarm

Curt Swarm - Empty Nest

Creative Writing Class: I will be teaching a creative writing class in my home in Mt. Pleasant this January and February. We will meet for six sessions on Saturday mornings for a couple of hours to discuss your writing. Ginnie may provide chocolate chip cookies, if I can sweet talk her into it. Class size is limited to six. If interested, my contact info is at the end of this column.
Speaking of Ginnie, I think she’s slipping a little, which isn’t anything unusual considering we’re entering what’s called the, ahem, “golden years.” But I’m still concerned.
The other day she left a stack of letters and bills for me to mail. Our mailbox is at the end of our driveway, which is about a block away from the house. On my way out the door, I grabbed up her mail. I usually walk to the mailbox, but since I was late for an appointment, I drove. I got out of the car, shoved her letters in the mailbox, and put up the flag. Something told me I’d better check to make sure all of her letters were stamped. I’ll be danged, one letter was missing a stamp. This is highly unusual because Ginnie is so meticulous and efficient. So, it’s back to the house, find a stamp, and out the door again. I sent her a text saying that she owed me one and that fried chicken would make up for her egregious error. She sent back a text asking, “Will chicken livers do?”
When I got home Ginnie was gone and the dryer was making an awful banging noise. I went to its rescue and found a box cutter rattling around inside. My fault, I had left the box cutter in my bib overalls from when I was cutting insulation for the chicken house. But Ginnie is usually so thorough about checking pockets before washing.
The box cutter sure is clean.
Over Thanksgiving we traveled to Ozark, Missouri to be with Ginnie’s dad and family. You can imagine the preparations and all that had to be packed and unpacked. Getting gas, I ran into a friend. Noticing the rear of the SUV sagging, he asked, “Gonna be gone for a spell?” “No,” I told him. “Just overnight.” Anywho, after the Thanksgiving feast was over, and we were packing up to leave, Ginnie couldn’t find her purse. We searched everywhere. No purse. It must’ve gotten packed up with someone else’s stuff. So, everyone had to search their vehicles. Still, no purse. It must be her sister’s car who had already left. Darnit! A frantic text went out. A message came back, “I’m driving.” Her sister has a new car with Bluetooth that receives and sends auto messages. (Was that her or the car? It was kind of rude.) As a last resort I checked our car. There was Ginnie’s purse stowed in the back in a box with chips, a Mr. Coffee, and a cutting board. Ginnie looked at me, I looked at her, she shut the hatch and didn’t say a word.
When we were ready to leave, I was fastening my seat belt when I realized I didn’t have my phone. I started to go back inside to find it. Ginnie asked me where I was going. I told her I didn’t have my phone. She said, “You mean that phone there in your hand?”
As I said, I’m kind of concerned about OUR slipping.
Curt says they have enough egg cartons! PS: Thanks to my cousin in Agency, we have plenty of egg cartons. Thank you, Pammie! So, no more egg cartons left on our door step, please. Have a good story? Call or text Curt Swarm in Mt. Pleasant at 319-217-0526, email him at or find him on Facebook. Curt’s stories are also read at 106.3 FM in Farmington.

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