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Norm is in the VA hospital, having minor voluntary surgery. It was scheduled to occur late in the day today (though we had to sign in at oh-dark-hundred this morning), so he has to stay overnight.

I must admit I love the solitude here in my own home. Just me and the friends-in-fur and the sound of the neighbor's parrot, calling the flock together at eventide.

I can't remember the last time I had any extended time alone. I've been alone in the car during the commute time. And alone in the bathroom whilst engaged in the daily ablutions. But it's not the same as true solitude. It's quiet now (bird is satisfied that all is safely gathered in) and all I can hear in the distance is the faint barking of a dog and the ever-present hum of freeway traffic.

It's not just being alone. It's time to think, out of time, out of mind, out of the press and urgency of day-to-day demands. I find it deeply peaceful and restorative.

I would never wish a hospital stay for an opponent, let alone my husband or a dear friend. But I must say it's a great release for a few hours from responsibility and expectations. It has been years--quite a few years--since I've had a break like this.

I'm deeply grateful.

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