The Mad Walk

I will never forget the day of my mad walk. It happened one Saturday when my husband, Denny, and our oldest son, Dave, “surprised” me with a gift. They disappeared for hours and returned with boxes. I said, “Hey, you two…what’s going on here?”

Denny said, “Don’t ask. It’s a surprise.”

So, I pulled weeds in the garden while waiting for my gift. They finally called me inside, told me where to sit, watch, and listen. After a few seconds the TV screen exploded in bright light and a helicopter zoomed toward me. I ducked when it flew over my head and disappeared behind the sofa. .

Dave, said, “Mom, isn’t it great?”

“I don’t know. What just happened?”

Denny said, “We installed a surround system for the television. D’ya like it?”

I didn’t like it. Our family room was now a movie theater. I said, “It’s not cozy. How can I enjoy knitting while watching TV?

“Betty, you’ll get used to it.”

“How much did this cost?”

“Don’t ask.”

Resentment crawled over me like a swarm of ants. The guys knew I was mad but I had no words, so I got up and left in a huff to walk off my pissy mood. The farther away I got the madder I felt. I stomped up the hill on Daffodil Drive and just kept going. It was a new neighborhood and so quiet that it was eerie. I wasn’t sure which street to take next, so I took a left on Hyacinth Drive to see where it might lead. It led to Panorama Loop. I had never heard of these streets and it was beginning to look woodsy and not like the suburbs. But I had to keep walking. I didn’t want to get home too soon because they would think I wasn’t mad anymore. Denny buying something expensive without my input brought out the worst in me.

But my anger was turning to nervousness because Panorama Loop never seemed to end. I felt lost and worried and it was turning dark. I heard traffic in the distance and eventually saw car lights. It was Rose Boulevard. Then I realized how far I had gone and it was a long way from home. I followed the familiar street to Blossom Hill Road and then to Wood Road and finally to the street where I lived. I was relieved to get home but the guys must NOT know that. So I cranked up my pouty face again and walked in the front door.

“WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN? WE WERE WORRIED SICK.” My husband and son did look kind of scared. That’s when my anger softened and my manner got calm.

I said, “Okay, Denny; I’m not happy with you. A few days ago I wanted to buy a garden mulcher and you said it wasn’t cost effective.”

Denny listened like a puppy being scolded, knowing that he was in the dog house, so I pushed on.

“You said we could buy mulch for my garden cheaper than making our own.”

Still, silence from the guys, so I used an even quieter voice because “quiet” is scary.

I got up real close and said, “This thing you installed –we can go to the movies a lot cheaper than buying our own fancy sound system. Is it cost effective?

Denny sighed. He knew I was right and said, “Dave, do you want to go with me and buy a mulcher for your mother?”

“Yeah, Dad; I think we should.”

I like that long walk I discovered by accident, and I take it now for exercise; not for blowing off steam.

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  • Renee Ray

    Oh, did that bring back memories. The many evenings where the sounds blasted through that vent at the top of the family room door, coming right into our peaceful kitchen where we thought we had escaped the noise. I LOVE the drawing. I wish I could draw like you!

  • oscar case

    A good long walk calms the nerves and lends a different perspective to the problems at hand. Did the mulcher interfere with the Surround sound?

    • Betty Auchard

      Dear Oscar…Oh YEAH. BIG TIME!

  • Jewel Sample

    Oh the memories of similar moments are circling in my head. Mine wasn’t about a home theater, but about getting a frying pan and him getting some power tool. He started buying me jewelry after that. And soooo it goes. Thanks so much for sharing.

  • Sandi

    Well, that taught him! :-)

  • Robyn Engel

    This was a fun read, Betty, though I was fuming along with you. I hope you got the prettiest mulcher possible. “Quiet” is scary. You worked it well.