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Two Days in Purgatory

Story ID:619
Written by:Kathe M. Campbell (bio, contact, other stories)
Story type:Diary/Journal Entry
Location:Butte Montana USA
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Two Days in Purgatory

Two Days in Purgatory
by Kathe Campbell

It was June17, a day like any other day. (Forgive the Det. Phillip Marlow dramatics). Slurps and little growls from my big guy at 6:30 a.m., a cappuccino, a quick scan of the bluebird rentals. Check for does and fawns. I fired up the computer. It was sunny and warm - between 60 and 70 on my big mountain. Suited me fine, for I loathe the heat. I needed to empty the office trash that stood overflowing beneath my desk. Might as well empty the bathrooms and laundry room baskets as well. The wind was down, perfect for the burning barrel.

What's wrong with this picture? I'll tell you if you're interested in what old broads can cook up on weekends. In fact, I can almost say with certainty that you never have, nor ever will experience this scenario. So, at the risk of conveying lunacy, please give me leave to impart a blow by blow . . .

My guy, Corky, and the kitties were fed, milked, and litter scooped. The ducks and geese were pond lounging, and the donkeys were sprawled on their sides in their corral looking more like corpses, lest the flicker of an ear. Must have been a wild night in the boondocks I mused, while downing my meds.

I rushed up to the loft to relieve my desk of junk mail and pay a few bills on line. I reminded myself to hide the $4,000 cash envelope that was secured with a big clip from the bank. Don't ask why I'm brandishing that much cash - it was a plan to pay in full the guys who would be installing my new heating system. An unexpected windfall, and it felt great being independent since I have great difficulty writing a legible check. After all, I'm a smart, independent widow lady now.

The thoughts of several good hiding places whirled inside my head, none very original, all too obvious.

Oh, perfect, I've got just the place as I rushed upstairs again to grab the envelope. I'll not likely forget it in the big fireproof safe out in the tack room. But where was it? It was here in plain sight while bill paying. It couldn't have just gotten up and walked off. Oh yes it could, I surmised. Everything disappears in my antiquity, only to reappear making me look like a nit-wit.

The chase was on, through the house, my truck, and back again, over and over. My drawers and cupboards have never been so tidy as I pitched crap that should have been tossed ages ago. Holy moly, where did that cash go as I panicked, felt ill, and rushed to the bathroom to toss my dinner.

My tummy screamed in painful knots while settling down on the couch to think-think-think after the day's dead end. Exhausted, my body fell into a heap of fatigue until abruptly awakening just before dawn.

Oh - My - Gawd . . . could I have accidentally brushed the money off my desk into the waste basket? I tried hard to pooh-pooh such an idiotic thought as my heart pounded and tremors engulfed my body. Oh Dear God, don't let it be, while my silent prayer drifted off into unthinkable horror.

As a pinkish sun rose over the mountain, I rushed out to the burning barrel to hunt down the only evidence I hoped was only a bad dream. But as I dumped the barrel over, there it was, the big burnished bank clip that had held the $4,000 bundle. To me, a fortune. I sat stunned amid the ashes and morning dew.

I yearned to call my daughter, but I mustn't ruin Father's Day for my beloveds. Meandering about the house like a zombie, unable to eat or drink, I professed my stupidity over and over. Corky was visibly upset. He slurped my cheek with sweet kisses and showered me with nearly every toy in his basket as the U.S. Open droned away on TV.

That's it! I gave my kid a deserved hug while his curly tail did a jig atop his back, and then took a hot shower to recoup something of the day. I would call Molly in the morning, for she and I had talked about the plan for the monies. The kids and grands will surely advise moving this old girl into 'the home.'

Well, surprise of surprises. Mol laughed and said we'd get through this, that I wasn't to fret, that the family had already decided to pay for the furnace anyway. But she didn't quite get it, my Mol. I was half frantic that Alzheimer's moments were wreaking havoc upon this poor old soul.

"You're wrong, mom," Mol giggled, "or you wouldn't be taking the pot so often at Texas Hold 'Em."

By Sunday night I had managed to toss up two meals, lost a gold crown, and had torn into town to get Cipro for a looming bladder infection. Just what every lady in distress needs - her walking drugstore when sh_ _ hits the fan.

So here I sit, pouring out my troubles, as advised by fellow journalists, and thinking about nightmarish phrases. "Money to burn," "It's only money." and "Money is the root _ _ _," yada yada yada! My days in purgatory hadn't been half bad, thanks to a couple daughters who quickly saw an amusing side to the entire cash-cooking episode. Sure, easy for them, they're rolling in the stuff!

Yes, of course, there are much worse things in life and I bow to those who suffer beyond this pitiful little drama. So I've decided to end my rant upbeat with a no-nonsense motto and save my hapless weekend for posterity.

"Money is like manure. If you spread it around it does a lot of good. But if you pile it up in one place it stinks like hell."