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Just Send Me A Gift Card

Story ID:2781
Written by:Kathe M. Campbell (bio, contact, other stories)
Story type:Diary/Journal Entry
Location:Broken Tree Ranch Montana USA
Year:2007
Person:Kathe
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Just Send Me A Gift Card

Just Send Me A Gift Card
by Kathe Campbell

I'll be 75 years old this month, an accomplishment pulled off by the hair of my chinny chin chin. Don't kid yourself my fellow aging queen bees...there is hair on our chinny chin chins. I'm frankly surprised I made it to three-quarters of a century, for ages ago a palmists told me that 64 would be my cutoff date in a dreadful boating accident. Hence, my last 30 years atop a beautiful Montana mountain. Most of my old pals are gone and rather than permanently indulging some poor old geezer, I'm quite content batching it. And, since gifts are sometimes in the offing, it occurs to me that I'd just as soon receive a gift card- any kind will do.

Birthdays, Mother's Day, Christmas, or even just a care package, I admit I'm all giddy at the sight of that brown van driving under my big gate. We're all kids at heart contemplating the grand opening of wondrous surprises from family and friends. But anymore, I'm weary of engineering the unraveling of tape, scissoring, and box cutting, all with this severely crippled arthritic left hand, my only hand for that matter.

A few years back my darlin' daughter sent me a weighty box full of quarters with a cute poem asking me to guess where we were going on my seventieth year. (Story #886). It didn't take a genius to translate her surprise, but not before the bottom dropped out, dumping shekels over my snowy deck and beyond. I'll never be destitute, for quarters still emerge every spring when raking up the winter pine cones. I do stop and ponder my options at heavy stuff left outside my door though. Making better use of my crooked feet is always one bright thought.

My disability is small compared to many, for I suffer from spinal stenosis and rheumatoid arthritis, it leaving my loyal lefty listing at right angles to my wrist, more so every year. I'm not complaining mind you, for the drifting, as they call it in the RA world, is happening so slowly that I've got the old thing believing it's normal. Oh, it hurts like the devil when I round corners too sharp on my ATV, or land hard after jumping a snowmobile, but it's a good and faithful friend. Yes, I still live on life's edge, and wouldn't have it any other way.

So first things first. I whip off my shirt and toss on one of my faithful right arms, the one with the tough farm and ranch hook. Way better, I can get down to business. The miles of tape wound around and around impenetrable cardboard causes me to query if anybody ever gives thought to a dear old soul's slight impairment. Even looking askance at a cardboard box, it invariably slides off the kitchen counter. Scarcely lady-like, I've been known to capture a carton between my knees, risking cramped bowed legs, lest it catapult across the floor.

A mighty crate requires snaking it across the carpet with my feet, then holding it down with one foot while wrestling the strapping tape. Unseemly expletives under my breath occur when denuding a box, only to find it securely glued by some idiot store packer. I sigh, thinking they should be shot. And yes, God fearing old gal that I am, I've been known to titillate the grands with a few double whammys.

Further annoyances lie in nice easy light weight cartons, usually a cinch to open, only to find smaller packages all done up like nuclear secrets. What's worse than fighting with a tiny package that could collapse under pressure, spilling it's fragile innards? Oh dear God, I ponder, these little gems damn well better be worth it while someone in the cheaper seats yammers on, "careful, careful, Granny!" It's not that I don't appreciate lovely thoughts, I'm just way to worn out to wrestle with shattery doodads, or my favorite Estée Lauder scents done up like Harry Houdini.

Recently, it only took me 22 minutes to bare a large box, in which dwelt a beautiful big candle gift from someone I think the world of. A dear someone who still perceives me as Wonder Woman, capable of compressed cardboard, miles of tape and finally, enough angel farts to securely entomb a crystal chandalier. Lovely as it is, I say thank you, but the answer is no, old man. We shall remain friends, and that's all!

There are some things I do not do. Leery of shooting my foot off, I've hung up my .357 pistol for taking pot shots over the heads of pesky canines, foxes and coyotes. Too often I've found myself propelled backwards onto a deflated tush while gawking varmints seem amused. So if you must send me a gift, make it an eight ounce air horn that skedaddles those critters and tells neighbors a quarter mile away that Mrs. C. is at it again.

Meanwhile, if it's all the same to you, I'd be just tickled to death with a gift card, thank you.

*************

With my third Great, Teyla.