Dr. Vardakis was running an hour behind by the time it was Cliff's turn to have his procedure done. A very talkative nurse who was helping prepare him for surgery kept up a running stream of talk, mostly questions. Something that was said led to the question, "How long have you two been married?"
"Since 1966," I said. "You do the math."
The years go so fast, I never know right off the top of my head. It's the same with the ages of my children.
She seemed astonished, and told us what a great accomplishment that was. Another nurse came in and they were being all light-hearted about something and she burst into song, making up words as she went along. The poor thing couldn't carry a tune, but she was enjoying herself. When she paused, I said, "Don't quit your day job."
She and the other nurse laughed and laughed. I decided perhaps I might have hurt her feelings, so I said, "It's OK. The woods would be very silent if no birds sang except the best."
"Oh, that's good," she replied.
"I read that on Facebook," I told her. "You can learn a lot on Facebook."
"So you're on Facebook? How many friends do you have?"
I thought a moment, then said, "Four hundred-something, I think."
"Really? How did you get so many Facebook friends? Do you just go around asking people to friend you?"
"Oh no," I answered. "I rarely ask to friend anybody. See, I used to go to this Christian chat room that no longer exists; I'm Facebook friends with a lot of those people. And then there are people I interacted with in online forums for years, I'm friends with them. Like Tractor Tales, which is mostly a bunch of older guys that like tractors. Oh, and my blog! When I get a friend request, I always ask if I know them from somewhere, and a lot of times they say they read my blog."
"So you have a blog..." she said skeptically. "What do you call it?"
"Just me? What is it about?"
Since the Ipad was in my hand, I summoned up my blog and showed her what it looked like.
"Is that your farm?" she said, seeing the header picture.
"Well, it's only forty acres. It isn't a real farm, more of a play farm."
"So," the nosy nurse said, "you have a blog. Did you always want to be a writer?"
She wasn't going to stop with the questions.
"I am a writer," I answered. "I just don't get paid for it."
"Yeah, that's what I mean. Did you want to be a writer for a living? Shoulda coulda woulda? That kind of thing?"
"I love to write," I said, "but I wouldn't go back and change anything about my life. I love my life."
Now Cliff was laughing, and told her, "See how she is? We live in a trailer house!"
Finally the two of us had stumped her, and there were no more questions.
And to said nurse, in case she googles "just me" and arrives here: You should probably be a shrink. Do you see how all your questions led to my realizing how blessed I am and distracted me from the concerns I had about the procedure Cliff was waiting to have done?