Meredith Patterson is a neuroscience RN living in New Braunfels, TX [editor's note: she is also my mother].
I live in a neighborhood where whitetail deer run freely, sometimes impeding local traffic. In late spring several fawn are born, nesting in flower gardens and behind hedges. While walking on a warm evening, I came upon two newborns, twins just days old, staring at me and tottering on tiny legs. After a bit, we went our separate ways.
02 Object (old)
When I graduated from nursing school, my oldest brother presented me with a door stopper of a book, well over 1700 pages long. It was an old medical text published in 1916, Complete Guide to Prevention and Disease. I recently resurfaced it and found the chapter titles hilarious—among them, “Outward Enemies to Health,” “Sexology,” and my favorite: “Dropsy of the Brain” (hydrocephalus), treated by either “moderate purging” or shaving the head and rubbing with liniment.
03 Object (new)
As a birthday gift I received a cake of organic honey soap from France. It’s wrapped in tan paper which I haven’t bothered unwrapping.
My car was overdue for an oil change and I went to a Quick Lube, figuring I’d be in and out. A man named Steve escorted me to the waiting area which contained, of all things, a massive massage chair. Funny, it had never occurred to me that I might have my car serviced and, hey while I’m there, receive a seated vibration massage.
During my nighttime reading I stumbled across the mention of a name I recognized in The New Yorker – an old friend from high school. Turns out he had made a name for himself in music, had several records to his name, and a regular following in New York City. We made a connection by email and had a happy catch-up conversation.
06 Night Out
From a highway roadside we watched the evening sky unfold into dusk and then darkness in a West Texas field just outside of Marfa. Around us, children chased a wild cottontail rabbit and bolts of lightning lit up the darkness as a storm rolled in. I tried to capture some of this on my phone camera but no image can touch the experience.
07 Day Out
On the same road trip out west we made our way to Balmorhea, TX to swim in a large spring-fed pool at the state park there. The place had just opened and we shared the big pool with a few kids and their parents, and a couple of teenagers. The pool bottom was slippery that if you got tired of swimming you could “skate” along in the shallow section. Afterward we drove to a nearby town and had turkey sandwiches at a local grocer.
08 Time Alone
I love hours alone and usually find them late at night, when I often will spend lots of time online looking for piano arrangements of songs nearly a century-old, like by Gershwin, Cole Porter, or Fats Waller. Eventually I fashion them into something I like and take it to the keyboard.
09 Time With A Friend
A dear friend just landed a new job so I took her out to celebrate at our local wine bar. The place had no other customers and we talked nonstop for nearly two hours. We’ve run countless miles together during our marathon-training days; I’ve seen her through the birth of her son (now in college), a bad marriage, a divorce, a string of odd jobs, a bout of depression, a second happier marriage.
010 Movie / TV / Book
Three past issues of The New Yorker
The Opposite of Everyone by Joshilyn Jackson
How I Became Stupid by Martin Page
011 Creative Act
My husband gave me a starter watercolor kit, a little wooden case of paints and brushes and a tiny plastic palette. I have no idea how to be an artist but I think that makes the experience more fun.