Tuesday morning was windy. It was so windy, I mentioned to Paul if I was still living in New York, I’d think a hurricane was coming, but this is western Nebraska, so it was just windier than usual. It would also turn out to be a good day.

Living with PTSD means I can still have days which go sideways through no fault of my own. It happens and it’s something I will live with until the day I die. Over the past six to eight weeks, I’ve been feeling more like a human being than I have in nearly two years. So, when I have an absolutely fantastic day, it makes me feel like less of an outcast than normal.

After Paul left for work and I grabbed a shower, I headed out to run my errands. My goal was to be back home by 10am. Even before COVID, I had no patience for lines and bullshit, so I tend to go out and get everything done before I run into too many people.

My first stop was the DMV. I was sixth in line, so there wouldn’t be too much of a wait. The lady at the desk took my money to renew my plates and gave me my little “04 2023” stickers to place on my license plates. In the time I waited in line and got everything sorted – about 15 minutes – it had begun to rain, then snow, then stop precipitating all together. Nebraska weather for sure. I decided not to place the stickers on the car until later when everything dried out.

In the same building, but just around the corner, I had to also visit the driver’s license office. I had received a menacing yellow card in the mail telling me I had to change my address on my license. We moved last August and I had been hoping to put it off until my birthday in July, so I didn’t have to pay any extra fees.

I walked into the office and spoke with a gentleman who informed me if I waited until Friday, I could renew my license and change my address for just the one fee. Good news indeed and absolutely worth the $1 in gas for another trip.

I don’t typically go to Gering. Since I left the newspaper nearly three years ago, I have been to Gering less than a half a dozen times. I don’t have a need to go anymore and COVID eliminated any events I might have a desire to attend. Today, however, I stopped by the local grocery store. I don’t shop there because they are more expensive than the stores in Scottsbluff and the majority of the items they carry are processed and prepackaged foods, which I try to stay away from as much as possible.

However, it is the only one of four local grocery stores to carry Golden Delicious apples. They are my favorite kind of apple and always bring back fond memories of my grandmother who got me hooked on them as a little kid. Many stores have switched to Opal apples, but I find them too sweet. I purchased three 5-pound bags of my beloved Golden Delicious apples and headed off to my next errand.

Safeway is at the southern edge of Scottsbluff. When I was shopping a few weeks ago, they had Lemon-flavored Kit Kats. I picked up a bag to see if they were any good. They are, but they are also extremely sweet. The bag says four pieces are a serving, but two are more than sweet enough for me. They are specially made for Easter, so I picked up three more bags, which I will now ration until April 2023. It shouldn’t be too hard, since I don’t eat a lot of sweets and I will probably only eat one a week.

The cashier asked me how I was doing and I didn’t have to lie. No one really wants to hear how I am doing and, while I get it why, it still stings to know no one will ever truly know how I feel because they can’t, won’t, or don’t want to know. Today was a good day though, so I got to tell the truth.

At the checkout, I ran into an acquaintance I hadn’t seen in months. I believe she and I were the only ones wearing masks in the grocery story. We chatted for a few seconds, as much as one can when one is heading out the door and the other is trying to pay for their groceries. I forget to tell her to say hi to her husband from me, so, “Hi Rick. I hope you’re doing well.”

My next stop was to get a haircut. I have needed one for a while. There isn’t any excuse other than I remember either just before I go to bed or at 3am when I am at work. My last haircut was on November 30, 2021, so it was time.

Many people don’t know my hair is naturally curly because I keep it short. It’s only recognizable as curly when it grows a little long. This is how my hair looks after a shower. When I was little, I would only run my fingers through my hair and go outside with whatever the result was, mainly because I usually had a baseball cap on and I didn’t care. When I started combing it myself, I’d try to make it as straight as possible because I despised my curly hair.

After walking out of the hair salon, I saw a shiny nickel on the ground under the the driver’s side door of my car. It was also heads up.

At my last quick trip, I made an impulse buy. I can’t seem to resist anything Star Wars because my 7-year-old brain takes over and I have to purchase them. In this case, I purchased two, you know, for artistic purposes, so people could see the front and back of the packaging. You’re welcome. It also didn’t matter that I already have the biggest container of Goldfish available for purchase at home. I had to buy these ones, too.

Once I returned home and put the groceries away, I stretched out on the couch. I was a bit sleepy and it was nearing my bedtime. Keeping a set sleeping schedule is not only good for a person’s overall health, it helps me to alleviate the PTSD nightmares. In fact, I haven’t had one in almost a week.

My cat, Puck, decided to join me. He climbed onto the couch via the steps we got him. He only has three legs and he’s about 13-years-old, so climbing on things is getting to be a bit difficult. He staked out his claim and briefly looked out the window before settling in.

Puck likes taking naps with me and his routine seems to be the same each time. He climbs on my lap, wants to be petted, and then stretches out across me, so I am trapped on the couch with him. I didn’t mind so much. I was chatting with my friend, Katelyn, via text at the time and I knew I was going to doze off, which I did.

At some point Puck left, but I continued to sleep. A few hours later, I got up to run a final errand with Paul after he came home from work. Before going back to sleep, I decided to do one more thing.

It had been a good day, until I read the news. I tried to not let it ruin all the good things which had happened. A lot of my trauma is stuck in my body. I get horrible nausea and stomach pains as a result. Last fall, it was so bad, my doctor prescribed me medication. I don’t like taking meds, but sometimes I have to when the pain becomes too much. With time and a lot of work, the pains should decrease significantly and maybe go away.

I sat down and watched a few more episodes of Stargate: Atlantis with Paul before dozing off to sleep on the couch. Paul chose not to disturb me and let me rest. It was, indeed, a good day.