Okay for Now by Gary D. Schmidt


You know how good an orange Dreamsicle tastes on a blue fall day when you’re full of grilled chicken and your mother is laughing a real laugh like she used to and once you look over and your father is holding her hand like they haven’t done in a long long long time?

Yesterday was terrible. We were all like plankton swimming in foggy water, waiting for the inevitability of the whale. And for no good reason. None of us has received any bad news lately, no one is sick, our bank accounts are reasonably healthy, there are no deadlines looming. Our combined horizon contains only benign landmarks, yet we could not escape the sucking miasma of an almost-rainy Sunday.

Were we just really bored? Days that contain no obligation are always attractive at the start, but as the nothing winds on it gets exhausting in its own right. I accomplished the grocery shopping, and I ordered a new bag, and I made dinner, and I went for a run, and I wrote a few pages, but my achievements fell well below usual. Maybe it was the fact that the kitchen was spread out through the rest of the house. We’ve been redoing the kitchen floor since Thursday and the obstacle course was getting tiresome. Or maybe yesterday was just the meat of a long weekend sandwich and just something to endure.

Or maybe it was the weather. Not quite rainy enough to throw in the towel and head to the movies, but not nice enough to engage fully with the outdoors.

Today—today will be different. If only because we learned yesterday our capacity for sloth is limited.

Look! It’s not even 8 a.m. and already I decided which refrigerator we should buy. Nothing beats back general malaise than online shopping.

I haven’t actually ordered our new refrigerator because Michael has to do research. This is how we buy big stuff: I choose the item, Michael does research, we buy said item. It works for us.

It’s not that our refrigerator is bad. It’s about 30 years old as far as I can figure and it’s super dirty, but it works, if you don’t put anything you don’t want frozen in the back six inches. We suspect, though, that our electrical bill will decrease significantly if we replace the fridge. Besides, it’s really, really dirty. Did I mention? It’s dirty.


It’s 12 hours later. We were not slothy and we’ve had a pretty great day. We walked/biked the rail trail, went to see Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and mowed some of the lawn. Most of the kitchen is back in the kitchen. Michael is reading stories to boys, and I’m on the couch with a dog, and a cat is meowing through the window at my back.

Poor Smoky the Cat. He is so sure he belongs inside, yet, alas, he is an outdoor cat.

This day was just a fine blue day on the cusp of fall.

One thought on “Okay for Now by Gary D. Schmidt

  1. I love your writing so much, I even like to read about your bad/off days, but I’m happier when your day is salvaged. And a new clean refrigerator, hey, that’s icing on the cake.

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