Last Sunday before church began I was scowling and making lists. Much of last week and much of this week were dedicated to the same.

Are you okay?

Pardon me?

Ratty, you like sort of upset. Are you okay?

Oh… I’m not upset. I’m just sort of stressed out.

About the church audit, dear? Or something else?

Yes, that.

I sighed.

After church that morning, this older woman grabbed her husband firmly by the elbow and towed him over to me.

You need a break. Why don’t you take yourself out for dinner and a movie, dear?

Her husband held out a little roll of bills, thirty dollars all in fives. She took it and pressed it into my palm.

I opened my mouth a few times like a caught fish.

Thank you. Thanks. That’s really–thank you.

I took myself to a movie, that one about Tolstoy’s last days, and met my sister for a pizza. I took a walk downtown in the chilly sunshine of not-quite-spring.