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by Alice M. Batzel


          It might surprise some people, quite a lot of people actually, that I once had a lean, sleek, tanned, bikini-wearing body. Today, I was reminded of that, and that it was a long, long, very long time ago. It's funny how a photo will spark a thought or cause a distant memory to flood back to us. Today I came across a picture and a post on one of my favorite Facebook pages inviting us to share what our successes or victories have been as writers during the past week. I had not done any writing; though I had often wanted to sit down and write, instead, my time became occupied with tackling life. Nevertheless, the photo caught my attention and brought memories of my youthful years filled with many days spent on the beaches of the Northwest Florida Gulf Coast. In those days, I was not unlike any other beach-loving teenage girl, and I flaunted my bikini on many beaches as I watched the surfers, swam in the ocean, and faithfully built the layers of my tan. But today, when I saw the photo with the caption, "Flaunt It Friday" the application was very, very different showing me how much time has passed and how much I've changed.

          Today, my "FLAUNT IT FRIDAY" is more like "ONE WOMAN'S DOMESTIC TALE," and it can easily be expressed with the exclamation, "Whew! I made it through another week!" In the past week, we've had our home's roof replaced (my ears are still throbbing from the constant pounding overhead), a Radon Mitigation System installed, and two plumbers replaced a split pipe that had been leaking water in our basement. I've climbed the ladder at 3:00 AM on two consecutive mornings to replace batteries in chirping smoke alarms, prepared and released a lengthy newsletter for my church congregation, and completed the computations on our taxes. I've changed the linens, marched up and down the stairs countless times for laundry duty, planned menus and prepared meals, cleaned the kitchen numerous times and mopped the kitchen floor. I've cleaned out the refrigerator and freezer, restocked our groceries, and done some major cleaning in the house. I think that's enough, thank you very much. My right shoulder, neck, lower back, right hip, and both feet are aching, plus, I'm wheezing a bit. But I ask you, how toned can a 65-year-old asthmatic body be when climbing a ladder at 3:00 AM on two consecutive mornings to replace chirping smoke alarm batteries?

          Yep, I'm "Flaunting It Friday" just by saying, "Whew! I made it through another week!" The bikini of my youthful days became discarded long ago, my lean and sleek figure became a distant memory, my golden tan evaporated from the pigment receptor cells of my skin ages ago leaving such pale skin that its glare could easily detach any onlooker's retina. The only surfers I watch anymore are the ones on the surfing channel of my television. It only took one photo on a Facebook page to resurrect memories and starkly remind me that the only thing I'm flaunting today is an electric heating pad, a bottle of Tylenol, and an asthma inhaler.

          If things slow down a bit at my home this coming week, maybe, just maybe I'll have an opportunity to do some of my writing and be able to share it with my fellow writers. Until then, I'll put on my support shoes, stretch pants, bifocals, use my inhaler, take a few extra vitamins, keep the heating pad plugged in and the Tylenol bottle handy as I face whatever each sunrise brings me. After all, at this time of life for this writer, domesticity calls, and there's not much time (or ability) for "flaunting" of any kind.

(copyright 3/2/2018 - Alice M. Batzel - all rights reserved)

(Photo credit: From the Facebook page of Authentic Women Author Entrepreneurs, post of February 2, 2018)

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