But the best part is...I had a day off work! Yeah. It's not like the optometrist makes house calls. And because my appointment was in the morning, I had the rest of the day to spend with my best old ex-teaching buddy, Mabel. Don't ponder why altruistic Val did not return to work after that medical visit. She tried that one time, and was summarily dismissed. One is encouraged to make use of an entire "sick" day, not a half, because substitutes do not like getting dressed and hauling themselves to the education factory for only a few hours. Or something like that.
Of course Mabel and I saw the entire world pass by as we nursed our breakfast biscuits for two hours at Hardee's. And by "entire world," I mean people who know us and feel the need to stop by our table to talk, or nod as they're leaving, as if to say, "We know what you did this morning." Let's hope they don't keep appearing in a yellow rain slicker, with a hook arm, trying to scare the bejeebers out of us. Contrary to popular opinion, neither of us played hooky.
After catching up on gossip, I offered to take Mabel on a tour of Backroads. Some calls it Hillmomba. I calls it Backroads. Uh huh. Mabel was all for it. I think her mind was still reeling from purchasing her personal Val Thevictorian library. She thinks I'm a genius. Who am I to argue?
Anyhoo...we took off in T-Hoe to the far reaches of the county. I could not let Mabel inside my home. This was a spur of the moment offer. I could not expose her to my hoarder house. Not that she would have to climb up on top of six feet of old pizza boxes, adult diapers, mummified cats, and gas station chicken bones to get into the living room. We're just a clutter family. Like three folded towels laying on the couch, a stack of Pisa-esque books on The Pony's end table, a couple of weeks' mail on the kitchen counter. It's not like she would be entering the lair of the Alien where victims (and future meals) were cocooned along the walls.
Mabel met my sweet, sweet Juno. And saw the goats and the yard chickens and the turkey and the guineas. She was a bit startled by the scream of the guineas, but then declared she was fascinated by their looks. If only I could box them up and mail them to her.
Mabel saw all the sights, such as the original 7-year pony, the BARn, the sinkhole, Poolio, Gassy-G the grill, the compound of the guy who threatened to shoot Hick, EmBee the mailbox, the garage cast iron collection, and various other horrors too numerous to mention.
I hope she does not suffer from PTSD. After all, Mabel is the wind beneath the wings of my graduation Masters' robe sleeves. We go way back. Maybe some day I'll tell you that story. I hope she is not at this very moment changing her phone number and readying for a move to another county.
She thinks I'm a genius, you know.