Archive for September, 2008
It started day before yesterday. That little tickle in your throat you can’t get rid off. The weird cough that comes out of nowhere. Yesterday a light, annoying headache joined the list. Today I have a full blown, gushing, cold. Since I’m not sick very often, I’m sure I’m sicker than anyone has ever been. If Pap loved me at all, he’d have a squad parked right outside, ready to resessitate (I know that’s spelled wrong, but I’m much to weak to correct it) me once I’ve started gagging on my own snot.
Despite my declining health, I spent some time in the yard today, attempting to tidy things up before it gets cold or covered with leaves. You might remember me telling you that my backyard was a parking lot in April? We planted grass seed and from a distance it looks like we have a lawn. Have you ever noticed that the bag of grass seed says “guaranteed to contain less than 5% weed”, or something like that. Well the 5% weed is the only thing that managed to root in my clay. I won’t be sad to see snow.
My writing group has spent our last two meetings discussing writers who are making a living at this craft. Not the bestsellers – the midlisters and those freelancers that are making ends meet at home with their writing. To fit into this category, you must be a prolific writer with teflon skin to remain unscathed by rejection. But even before you get to that point, you must be consistant. A story a week, 52 stories a year at minimum. Pages a day, a novel a year, minimum. So we’re trying it this month. A story a week, one for every week between our September meeting and our October meeting. I write books for children, doesn’t it seem logical that I would also write short stories for children? Well, no, that isn’t working at all. But what is working are quirky adult tales that involve second chances. Hmmm…never one to fight the muse, I’m going with it.
If money, family, jobs, or birth were not an object and you were told to select from the following, where would you choose to live?: Forest, Beach, Desert or City. I don’t know why I think about this all the time, but I do.
It is nearly time for my annual attempt to land a major part in the community theater Christmas Play. I have a plan that I can’t disclose now, but will be posting about if things fall into place sufficiently. A guarantee that I won’t risk being “third bush beside the nativity”.
There is a chance that I’ll be less scatterbrained tomorrow…let’s all hope so.
One of the best things about our new home, is this little copse of woods behind it. The neighborhood kids use it to ride bikes or 4 wheelers (when they can sneak them in), but during the day it’s occupied by birds and bugs and usually, my prissy house dog. Why is it that anything quirky or odd always seems to gravitate to me? If you look at the end of the dirt path there is a small white speck. That would be my dog. The one that’s supposed to be trotting gentily by my side, keeping his fur clean. The one that came to us with the ridiculous name of Whimper, and has since been renamed Walker…to a dog they sound the same and I’m less embarrassed when I have to yell for him in public.
My kids will confirm that while I might complain that I’m the keeper of the odd and rebellious, I ususally just go with the flow. Walker will not poop anywhere but in these woods. He’ll let his head explode before he’ll do his business in our yard. I don’t know why, everyone else’s dog poops in my yard or flower beds…but mine must have a spot that has never been touched by any other dogs poop. He’s also made it his personal mission to search out and destroy every cricket on the planet. The woods are full of them and he’ll eventually step on, lick or bark at every one of them.
My kids will vouch for the fact that I normally embrace the weird and odd, easier to go with the flow than attempt to bend anything to my will. Actually I’m just lazy…anyway. Walks through the woods are not speedy trips. There are way too many things to sniff, pee on and chase (the dog, not me) so Walker and I have come to an agreement. We will only do this once a day. Well, twice if the weather is especially nice. Okay, three times, but that is the absolute limit. In exchange for all this benevolence, he must act like a prissy house dog anytime he’s in view of any of the neighbors. The second part of the agreement is that he can run at will through the woods but he must keep his leash on. This is a temporary rule, in place to protect him. At two, with no early training, he has all the ADD that comes naturally to a puppy. Once he’ll actually respond when I say “come here”, I’ll let him run unfettered. Walker’s okay with this rule, because while he’s positively fierce with taking on a cricket, ground hogs and rabbits scare the tar out of him.
What, you may be saying, does all this have to do with exercise? Beyond the obvious, walking, This picture was taken at the edge of the woods looking back to my house which is hidden somewhere in that fog in the distance. This little woods, and my little dog are perfect interval training partners. Walker used to look at me strangely when our brisk walk suddenly turned into lunges, or I stopped completely to do push ups on a tree, but he’s catching on. Then there’s all the exercise I get cleaning the boy up after these healthy walks.
Chalk drawings on the sidewalk. Hot nights lit by moonlight, the silence broken only by cricket song and shrill, young voices yelling “ready or not…here I come!”. Bathing suits drying on the shower rod, dirty sneakers cluttering up the entry way, kool-air stains on the counter tops, the daily search for somebodies baseball glove or sombodies jersey. Fireflies twinkling on the bedroom ceilings (captured by sisters, freed by the soft hearted brother). These were the summers of my children’s youth.
The days passed so quickly, I rarely had time to savor them. There was always so much to do, so much to remember. I’ve often mourned the fact that we didn’t spend more time memorizing every moment of those magic days filled with the laughter and tears of our five small kids. I truly believed they were lost to me forever, but life is often about second chances and wouldn’t you know one wandered my way this summer.
Having looked forward to retiring for some time, I was surprised that I completely melted down when my computer was zapped by lightening in July. I wasted a week raging against fate; whining and bleating about my loss. How am I supposed to finish the book, how was I supposed to pay my bills, what would I do to answer e-mail, blog, blah, blah, blah…
Luckily I have a short attention span. By week two I had come to grips with my computerless state and remembered that when I started writing it was with a pencil, I still owned a checkbook to pay bills and the phone works fine once you brush the dust off it. It wasn’t until that computer was zapped that I saw how out of balance my life really was. I needed a computerless summer to remember that I create my own happiness, and how to make that happen.
If it’s not one thing, its another. How nuts is all this damage from hurricane Ike? My fellow Ohioans will back me up on how horrible those winds were. Down here in our valley, all we lost were tree branchs and internet connections. The cities didn’t fare so well, out of power for a week. That seems incomprehensible to me in this day and time. Why should it take a week to repair power lines? Why are there still power lines in the air when we have the ability to bury them? I’m much more interested in visiting with you today than writing, but look at what those winds did:
As promised, here is the completed patio. Ran out of time and season to complete the planting around it, there’s always next year.