We do not often stop to think how important our senses are to us; how, although we have necessarily defined our world by means of them since we were first propelled from the birth canal, much of our sensory functions are semi-automatic and largely taken by us for granted. It is not until we are compelled to recognize that our senses may fail us that we devote some time to an analysis of how we are intimately impacted by their deterioration or loss.
It is never easy to realize that what was once a fact, such as the apprehension of high-pitched sounds (the sound of birdsong or the voices of mice), is presently but a sometime or never occurrence. It does lead one to appreciate more the sounds that one can still hear, especially sounds that carry a freight of emotional significance, such as we heard the other night, as we were drifting toward sleep. It had begun to rain earlier in the evening, and as time passed, became a soft and steady percussion of raindrops upon roof. That in itself would have been cause for reflection and the urging of primitive memories to the surface of the consciousness, but in this particular instance it was augmented and heightened by the haunting and lonely sound of a train whistle reverberating through the deeps of the night. It was a moment such as occurs infrequently, laden with phantoms of our primal beginnings and causing us to burrow more deeply beneath the covers and to offer thanks for all that which we have been given.
One of our visitors recalled to me, via her latest entry, what life was like a year ago, when things were different. Those who were reading then may remember that I was compelled to make forays to the grocery when Bonnie became incapacitated. It was my habit to do the shopping very late at night, after 11:00 pm, because the great crush of day people would have made it impracticable for me, depending as I did on my cane, to maneuver through the aisles with any degree of competence, and more likely than not, things would not have gone well. The comparative emptiness of a megamart at midnight was a more felicitous circumstance.
There was one occurrence with which I had not reckoned, however - that same emptiness that made my passage through the store easier, leaning heavily upon the handle of the cart in lieu of my cane (which rested in the cart alongside the groceries), made the appearance of a particular employee inevitable - the wielder of the floor polisher. This stolid gentleman would appear from the depths of the rear of the store, maneuvering a truly sizable and daunting device that appeared to occupy most of the floor space. When he was plying his machine in one of the wide horizontal aisles, it was nothing to worry about; we would pass as two ships, one in no way affecting the other. In the narrow vertical aisles, however, circumstances became much more chancy, as the polisher occupied more than half of the alloted space. More than once I was forced to scootch the cart right up against the shelves, attempting to retain my erect position as my legs clamored for nothing more than to collapse in abject surrender. It became such a common occurrence, almost as if the gentleman was intent upon causing me grief, that I began to listen avidly for the gentle but ominous whirring and whooshing of the enormous circular brushes and to go out of my way to avoid the contraption by moving to an aisle that had already been rendered spotlessly clean. I can look back now and chuckle at the ridiculous nature of those occasions, but at that time it was a source of certain distress.
Here is the second in our series of cryptocrostics - we hope that you enjoy it.
Happy Sunday, happy solving, and
Bonnie and Walt