Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Next Day...

Bess rose early, but a little later than usual.  With her eyes half-closed, she shuffled her way to the counter and found her morning medication. Then she filled found the coffee filters in the cabinet next to the coffee, and prepared the pot of java.  Strong.  She needed a  potent cup of coffee to get her motor running.

Then she made her way to the living room, glanced at the thermostat, and decided to stir the air with the ceiling fan. It was still hot and sticky in the house. In fact, it was probably cooler on the front porch.  When the alarm sounded on the coffee machine, she pulled her favorite mug from the cupboard, and filled the cup, leaving just enough room for her measure of half and half.  The woman picked up the mug, and decided that she'd take it to the porch, rather than follow her usual habit of watching the early news.

It soon became apparent that her  outdoor sit would be short. The sun was rising and it was shedding it's light and heat across the porch between the ceiling and the cement floor of the porch.  Things were going to be unbearable outside in just a little while, but by then, the AC and fan would render the house cooler. Bess sat in her rocking chair, sipping the hot coffee, and feeling the perspiration beading on her face.  She saw her best friend backing out of her driveway, about to drive off to work. She knew the time was eight o'clock on the dot.  Her friend was very routine in her leaving.  Bess rose and went to the door, turning to wave at Claire when she honked the car horn to bid Bess a good day.

Back inside the house, the temperature had dropped four degrees, and it was a bit more comfortable. Bess fought with the remote, until it finally yielded to the pressure, and turned on the news.  As usual, there was nothing good to report. There was the on-going Government argument of the debt ceiling, the never-ending blah-blah of political situations, the Iraqui conflict, the local vehicle accidents and traffic reports. "Why do I even watch this stuff?" Bess asked herself.  She flipped the channel to a no-commercial music site, and prepared to write out her bills.

Suddenly it occured to her that if the thread of Social Security checks being witheld were to come true, this would be the last month her bills would be paid, without dipping into their retirement fund. How long might that last, if the government could really rob them of their monthly stipend?  Then Bess realized that they were much better off than many, should something like that really happen. At least they had  a retirement fund!  What would happen to all those elderly people who don't have one? What would become of all the disabled who collect SSI? What about those fatherless children who receive the Social Security to help them to survive?  And how on earth can the government keep someone's money from them?  She thought Social Security was a private institution, not a government one! 

Just then, she heard her husband fixing his coffee, and her thoughts were interrupted. She pulled herself to her feet, and joined the old guy in the kitchen. She'd long ago learned not to talk too much when he first awakened, so she said, 'good morning', and then followed him through the sunporch to the rear steps, where he was in the habit of sitting while he had his coffee.  It was cooler there in the morning, as it was all in the shade.  She plunked herself down beside him, and, sipping from their mugs in silence, each tossed their thoughts around in their own heads.