Now, imagine me walking with Bruce in minus speed mode—not an easy feat. “Move your feet, Brucie,” I chanted. This had become our new mantra together.
“Lynne, how about we take a walk?”
“Okay, but what will you do?”
“Move my feet.”
Of course, now that he’d discovered the joy of walking, he also wanted to walk our greyhound, Brenda. Brenda is the smallest of our greyhounds, only sixty-two pounds, not a champion racer like the others, hence the name Brenda, and content to walk at a slower pace. But even she grappled with the lack of speed, sighing deeply, looking at me as if to say, “OMG, really?!” when Bruce got her leash for the walk. They had both learned to compromise. We ended up having to leave him behind by half a block which did make me nervous as Bruce would talk to anything and anyone, not paying attention when crossing the street. He was very understanding and had learned that he must wait at the corner where he could still see us upon our return to him. Brenda had learned that this was a shorter walk, only taking us to the next corner where we turned to come back. Then we hung out on the bench by the lake, feeding the ducks, which they both loved, listening to music on my phone.
Along with “long walks” and hanging at the lake, Brucie also enjoyed, to my astonishment, visiting the bookstore, Barnes and Noble. We had discovered his love of coffee while visiting Mom in the hospital all those months, so coffee was not a novelty, but reading at a bookstore for hours was another story.
A recent routine blood test had uncovered high sugar and cholesterol levels which, quite frankly, really ticked me off. For someone who consciously managed both of our diets, ran, paddled on a dragon boat three times a week, lifted weights, and participated in Pilates weekly, any tests with less than stellar results were unconscionable to me. Something had to be done, but the question was, what?
During one of our Sunday visits, I asked my brother to run some errands with me. “Sure, where are we going?” he said. Not wanting to confuse him with too many details, “To the bookstore for some health cookbooks,” I explained. “OOHH, cooking, Yes, I’d like those books.” Laughing, we left for Barnes and Noble not far from the house. Once there, I guided him to a large table filled with books. “Star Trek! Lynnie, Lynnie! Star Trek!” He shouted with excitement for all to hear. Sure enough, he held up a Star Trek book, the original, one of his favorite television shows. “Correct. How did you know, honey?” I asked knowing he could not read and curious as to how he knew. He shook his head, hand on his forehead. The obligatory eye roll and deep sigh one does when dealing with the feebleminded. “Lynne, listen to me,” pointing to the cover. “That says,” and he proceeded to spell, “S-T-A-R T-R-E-K, Star Trek—and that is the enterprise.” He had memorized the words having watched the show so often.
“Stay here and look at your book while I check these cookbooks,” I had instructed while becoming immersed in two Whole 30 books trying to discern the differences, forgetting the time and him. “So, Brucie. Are you ready to go?” No response. Looking up, Bruce was nowhere in sight. Not panicked but a tad concerned, I asked the people around the table if they had noticed where the young man standing with me had gone. Pointing to the couches, sure enough, there was my brother, one leg crossed over the other in the coffee/lounge area reading his book. I walk over, not entirely pleased with this, but before I could say anything, Bruce looked up and said, “Lynnie, how about we get coffee and you can sit and read. Go ahead. If you have trouble, I can help. You get the coffee. I want milk and sugar.” My turn to roll my eyes, shake my head, and sigh. It was impossible to stay annoyed. However, he did need to acknowledge my concern at his walking away.
“Brucie, I am a little annoyed with you.”
“Why? What I do?” his eyes wide with innocence. I am not David, so I just fixed him with a look. “Why do you think I might be upset with you?” That was the clincher as he did not like having me upset. “I walked away.” I nodded my head. “When you walked away, what could you have done so I would have known where you were?”
“I don’t know.” I continued my look.
Looking down, he grinned, “I could tell you.”
“Yes. Let’s practice what you will tell me next time.”
Barnes and Noble became our new home away from home, visiting so often that the ladies placed our order upon seeing us.
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