“Abby, dear? This is a surprise.”

“Yes, hi, Maga!”

“Aren’t you a day early? Today is Monday and Tuesday is our day.”

“I am, but I have a work function tomorrow night and by the time I get home, it’ll be too late for me to call.”

“Well, this is certainly nice. Tell me about your weekend.”

I did, happily remembering the crush of crowds and friends and games and laughter.

“Oh, wow,” she said.

My ego bloomed at the praise because I’m not usually good with the oral storytelling.

“We’re having some big storms and that lightning was so bright it came into the living room,” she finished.

And now my ego was hanging out in the darkness the lightning left behind.

“Do you ever get tornados?” I said.

“Not really. The mountains affect them. Keep them from coming. Do you hear that beeping noise?”

“Not exactly. I can hear, well, the absence of noise. Like the phone paused or something. I thought it was maybe your storm interfering.”

“The phone has a low battery,” Maga’s caregiver said. And which I had to repeat 3-4 more times while Maga peppered me with questions about the weather in my neighborhood and why I was calling on a Monday night.

The weather and battery-drained phone were clearly more dramatic than the stories I was telling, so she begged off the call and I was left taking notes on stationary embroidered with her name.

(My mom and Aunt J were cleaning Maga’s house. They’re always cleaning Maga’s house. Maga never throws anything away. Because this stationary had her name/address on it, they put it aside to shred, but my “Maga genes” came into play and I couldn’t leave such grand stationary to a fate like that. Instead, me taking notes on it during our Tuesday calls seems like a much worthier life.)

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