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Monday Morning Musings:

It was a weekend of possibilities and near misses,


Might have beens,

fitting perhaps for a month that can’t decide

if it’s March or May.

A promise to drive someone

lost in the mist of early morning fogginess,

Friday the 13th,

just a day, just a number,

but perhaps we should beware.

The day worked out,

just not as planned,

son-in-law made his train,

husband drove daughter to work instead,

an opportunity to talk and visit.

There was a chocolate tour planned for Saturday.

cancelled for lack of registrants.

We will go another day.

There was a play we were supposed to see

but we didn’t go.

In between the canceled tour and the play we didn’t go to

we ate Chinese food

and watched the movie The Lady in the Van,

which also explores possibilities.

What would playwright Alan Bennet’s life have been like

if he had never met “the lady,” and if she had not lived in a van in his driveway for 15 years?

What would her life had been like?

Is it fate that they encountered each other?

Bound together, an unlikely couple.

I can’t hariolate.

no powers of divination here.

Perhaps you’re wondering why

we didn’t go to the play?

(Nope, not one of Alan Bennett’s. That would have been too weird.)

Well, that is the rest of the story.

Chance, fate

an unfortunate bedtime accident,

an automatic gesture of placing lens in eye–

done how many times over –could it be four decades?

Automatic gesture

at the wrong time

with the wrong solution

so a trip to the ER in the middle of the night.

Thank you, Dear.

I’ve never had to go to the ER before,

not for myself,

but it wasn’t on my bucket list.

Perks of not living in the city,

it was actually empty at 3 A.M.

Corneal ulcer

flushed with saline

a trip to the pharmacy

fortunately open 24-hrs

although the computers were down,

causing the pharmacist to be creative.

Thank you, Pharmacist.

So drops every two hours,

set the alarm,

and a visit to an ophthalmologist soon.

And meanwhile

I’m sitting here with my face close to the screen–

So I can see it—

But only for limited stretches.

I suppose it could have been far worse,



A near miss.


And we’ll see the play another day.








37 thoughts on “Happenstance

  1. A whole bunch of cliches come to mind here: “The best laid schemes of mice and men” & “Life is all about how you handle Plan B.” I also had a contact lens mishap years ago resulting in my not having to wear reading glasses now, a good thing.

    • That sounds like something serious, Marian. I’m back from seeing an ophthalmologist . He said it was not a corneal ulcer, so I just need to keep up the drops and rest my eyes for a few more days!

  2. I feel so bad for all the near misses then the “direct hit” which had to change the whole course of the rest of the weekend, Merril. I hate when things go wrong, but going to the emergency room for painful wrong fluid in eyes, Yikes! Take care and sending hugs and some hope for a much better week ahead. Darn that Friday the 13th!

    • Thank you for the hugs and good wishes. Fortunately, the doctor today said it was not a corneal ulcer, just irritation from the cleaner. He said I should be able to wear my contacts again on Thursday.

  3. Sorry about your eye! I can understand why going to emerg would not be on your bucket list. Hope it heals swiftly. (The van movie sounds interesting…would like to see that)

    • Thanks, Janice. It turns out my eye is not as bad as the ER doctor thought. So good news. I should be able to wear my contacts again by the end of the week!
      The Lady in the Van is not the best movie, but it was enjoyable and interesting–and well, Maggie Smith. 🙂

  4. As a parent, I discovered the pediatric emergency rooms always take your child right away, even in the city…luckily I haven’t had a visit to one (with a long wait) for myself in many years. Glad all is Ok, and it’s great that you can turn your everyday experiences into poetry! (K)

    • Thanks, Kerfe! Fortunately my eye is not as bad as the ER doctor thought. It is a pain though to try to work at the computer without my bifocal contacts.
      The longest wait I ever had at an ER was when I went on a school trip with one of our daughters–and a teacher fell and hurt her leg. I went to the ER with her in Trenton and sat for hours there instead of being with my daughter and the other kids. 🙂

  5. Oh my gosh, Merril, your poem ( and day) played like a movie! ERs are horrible places to have to wait but at least it wasn’t crowded and you received the treatment you needed. Hope your eye heals fast and well. 😉

    • Thanks so much, Kathy. It could have been much worse, and I am mindful of people facing much greater challenges. It turns out that my eye is now as seriously injured as the ER doctor thought. I should be able to wear my contacts again in a couple of days, so it’s just an inconvenience. Thank you for your concern. I hope you are feeling well. 🙂

  6. The best laid plans of mice and men …

    I read this post early Monday morning and felt appropriately distressed at your injury, sharing your story with Woody who still wants to know what the errant solution was. Men! Then told him about my teenaged near miss putting clearasil on my toothbrush.

    I set all blogs aside to attend elsewhere and alas. … The image of you squinting over your computer screen was vivid.

    Hope you are healing well.

    • Thank you for your good wishes and kind thoughts, Janet. I’m still squinting over the screen because my old glasses are for distance. However, the doctor said the damage was not as serious as the ER doctor thought, so I should be able to wear my contacts again tomorrow. YAY! For Woody’s information, the solution was the contact cleaning solution I use for my gas permeable contact lenses (Boston brand). It is not meant to go in the eye.

  7. It’s days later now, so I hope your eye is better.
    I once laughed so hard and long when out drinking with friends that I lost a contact. I found it the next morning, folded over in the farthest corner under my lower eyelid. The damn thing kept waking me up!

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