PILOT: PILOTING LIFE By Beverly Jones

Word: Pilot
Word Count: 464
PILOTING LIFE
By Beverly Jones
Some days my life is as placid as the end of the harbor on which we live. Some days are a little rougher. Today I needed a ship’s pilot, the harbor master, tugboat, GPS and Coast Guard to navigate. In other words, it was not a good day.
“Sweetie, you have dog breath.” I opened one eye. The warm body snuggling against me was not Steve, but our 120 pound Leonberger, panting and drooling at me.
“Oof.” I shoved him over the edge of the bed, peeled the cat from my head and sat up. I wished I hadn’t.
Eighteen hours at the hospital, an advancing weather front and three hours sleep triggered the onset of a magnificent, massive headache.
“Where is everyone?” I muttered. Oh yeah, Steve took the girls for the weekend to my sister’s where the kids would run riot around the back yard while the adults yelled at whatever team was playing football on TV.
The cat thundered down the stairs; the dog’s nails clicked on the bare rungs as I gingerly stepped, one cautious step after another down toward the first floor, where I stepped on a jack. Hopping on one foot, I yelped a most impolite word. Why can’t I have normal children who play video games and write on the walls? Instead, I have one who plays with jacks and the other who colors inside the lines.
Steve had undressed the paper from its plastic coat and thrown the wrapper on the floor. I stepped on it. I hopped and slid down the hall toward the kitchen, skidding around the corner. I finally smacked up against the counter, shoved the tea pod into the Kuerig® and reached into the back of the cabinet for my blessed pain killers.
I limped to the table, juggling hot tea, water glass and drugs. By the time I swallowed the pills, drank water and tea and stared at the neatly colored page which said “Momma, I love you. Feel Better” I was ready for a hot shower and bed.
With scalding water running over my head, I reached for the conditioner. It was just as foamy as the shampoo. I squinted at the label.
“Oh, expletive deleted. What idiot decided to put both shampoo and conditioner in the same shaped container? AND the same color label in teensy, teeny tiny print?”
I rinsed the shampoo out again, reapplied conditioner and finished my shower.
Towel drying my hair I wandered into the bedroom where the cat sat on my pillow. The dog peered at me with sad eyes.
“Oh, all right! Come on, dog breath.”
I crawled into bed. The dog snuggled against my back; the cat perched above my head; I sighed. My little corner of the harbor was peaceful again.

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