It used to be – back in the day, maybe last month – that Mrs. Smith always got home from work before I did. Now that I work in the basement of our Longmont dwelling rather than a basement office in Boulder, Red Dog and I wait for her return instead.
Red often waits just inside our front door, right by the little stool where Susan puts her bathrobe and a towel each morning on her way out. So far I haven’t curled up by the door with him.
When my wife gets home, she says a quick hello and sheds the clothes that will go straight to the washing machine. Then she steps into the shower in the bathroom just a few feet away from the front door. She is following the advice of her employer. The idea is to reduce the chances of sharing a virus that she may or may not have been exposed to while helping mostly elderly people rehab from hip replacement surgeries, strokes, and various other conditions.
So far she has not had to venture into the isolation area of the care center, where people who have been released from a hospital spend a week or so proving they are asymptomatic. I hope she can avoid that area, but if she is needed she will go there.
She is remarkably cheerful most of the time and brushes the fatigue away like a pesky gnat that comes around now and then. Somehow she has the energy to work out or do yoga upstairs, take Red Dog for long walks, and bicycle with me.
Susan is one tough cookie.