It's done. Or close enough. I've emptied every packing box (except the books which must wait until I figure out shelving). I've put everything in its place. No pictures are hung, but that's the fun part – figuring out which goes where – which takes some living time to decide.
Sometimes, in short bursts and for what I think are good reasons, I get fanatical about a task, and although I had been moving forward with unpacking at a reasonable and steady pace since Monday, yesterday, it came upon me suddenly, was the day to be finished with it.
For six hours, from 5AM, I didn't stop except for a glass of water or cup of coffee for fuel. I emptied, organized, stored. The footstools finally turned up so I could fill top shelves in the kitchen and bedrooms. I even made the bed in the guest room.
Until six hours later, at 1PM, when I collapsed.
It is amazing how quickly old age appears. I recall getting from my teen years to mid-sixties without noticing much change in my physical capabilities. That's half a century during which, gray hairs and some wrinkles aside, I could tote boxes, climb hills, clean house, paint rooms and whatever else I deemed necessary without needing to rest unduly.
But the fatigue I felt at midday yesterday invaded every part of my body; back, arms and legs ached. My mind was empty except for the single goal of reaching the room where I could be horizontal. I don't remember ever being that tired.
So how is it that we toot along for 50 years of midlife, our bodies up to whatever tasks we put them through and then they rebel within a space of five to ten years? During all those midyears, nothing much changed in what I could do. Now, compared to the length of my life, it seems to have braked from high-speed to crawl in one sudden burst. I was expecting a slower downhill race.
A two-hour nap was enough to keep me going until dinner time yesterday and I feel fine this morning. The restorative power of sleep has not waned yet.
New photos next week, including Ollie the cat, possumlady.
At The Elder Storytelling Place today, Mary B Summerlin: Meghan Again