There's a water shortage;
they tell us not water the lawn—
not that we do that much anyway.
We're lucky because 
old Japanese Maple trees provide great shade,
so the grass stays green without watering.
Except now.
The trees are still green, 
but the grass is the color of hay,
and the places where it tended to be thin
remind me of old dust bowl photos.
Despite the drought there are spots
where weeds have thrived 
and mowing was required.
We can't complain;
it's been a month since the last time.

I was up early and decided to the good wife.
I volunteered to do the mowing 
if my husband got the mower started.
My ulterior motive was to avoid doing
the power walk video I've been 
doing most days since I retired.
Switching up exercise avoids boredom.
Like any intelligent person, 
my husband was happy to agree.
I threw on some crocs in case
I accidentally stepped into deer, dog, or cat feces,
pulled on my garden gloves,
and Hi-Ho, Hi-Ho, it was off to mow I go!

It's not unusual for me to mow the lawn,
though my husband does it most of the time.
I don't really mind it—like I said,
our yard is mostly shaded, and not too large,
but this time the heat radiated from the ground,
and the dust blew in my face.
If I'd been smart, I would've grabbed a mask,
(since COVID, I've got plenty of them)
but I didn't.
They wouldn't have blocked
the dust covering my glasses
and making my eyes tear,
even if I had.

Three quarters of an hour later,
feeling righteous at having 
multi-tasked a good deed
and my exercise,
I jumped in the shower
before heading up to Handy Pantry 
for some potato salad
to go with the ribs we were having for dinner.

The deli counter line was busy,
and the line to pay was slow.
It looked like people were doing
a week's grocery shopping
instead of grabbing a few items,
as you tend to do at convenience stores;
after all, they're convenient, not cheap.
As neared the checkout counter,
I noticed the rows of candy and gum
that mothers with small children hate.
Suddenly I spied something 
I hadn't seen since I can't remember when:
a Chunky bar.

My inner child started dancing
at the thought of that block of milk chocolate
with peanuts and raisins inside.
The gods were smiling on me!
I deserved to treat myself!
Potato salad and Chunky in hand,
I headed home, smiling in anticipation.

I showed my husband my prize.
He remembered Chunkys from childhood too—
I offered to share, but wisely, he declined.
I could hear the old commercial jingle:
Open wide for Chunky! 
as I opened the wrapper.
They'd updated my old favorite;
the two inch block of chocolaty goodness
was scored on the top to better
be able to split into quarters 
for sharing or saving—as if!

Before I could stop myself,
I'd eaten it all, 
moaning with delight at each bite,
and licking the melted chocolate
from my fingers. 
It was SO good.
I wish I'd taken a picture of it
before it was gone, 
but alas,
all I have left is the crinkled wrapper.

~Elise Skidmore ©2022

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