There you have it. During all the trips I’ve taken, in the midst of all the traveling I’ve done, there’s been a part of me that was waiting, watching, and hoping. I’ve been on the lookout for that signal, that flare of recognition that would tell me I had finally found the trail that would lead me to my true home.
Yes, it’s true. We were discharged on Monday. Michael is looking good. He needs to gain back the weight he lost in the hospital, and he tires easily, but he’s in good spirits and that big grin is back. We’ve had to replace his ketogenic diet with a formula that’s easier on his kidneys. The nephrologist would like us to wait six months for full recovery before putting Michael back on the ketogenic diet. He’s now on one additional anti-seizure medication which seems to be working. He’s had a few very brief seizures, but nothing beyond the frequency and intensity he was experiencing before he went to the hospital.
I’m not good for much this week. I’ve been reading and sleeping and binge-watching the first season of “Grimm.” I’ve seen the occasional random episode of the show, but I’d never gotten the whole story.
Chris hired a new nurse. We need her, because we won’t be sending Michael back to school for at least two weeks. It’s always a little strange having somebody new in the house. On her first day, which was also our first day at home, the upstairs shower decided to just keep running no matter how I turned the faucets, even with pliers. I thought I was going to have to start bailing out the bath tub through the window, but Chris managed to get a plumber to the house within ten minutes of me calling about the potential disaster.
Never a dull moment. I think I might have that engraved on my headstone.
School is in, the neighbors are behaving themselves, and the cats are very happy to see me. Every night there’s a competition to see who gets to sit on my lap as I lounge on the couch watching Netflix or Amazon or Hulu. Now that I’m back, all is right in the feline universe.
I have two ten-page stories due by the end of October, then NaNoWriMo starts. I worked on two or three new short stories while I was in the hospital. I took a few big blank notebooks with me. If I wasn’t writing in my personal journal, I was making notes or writing some piece of fiction. I’ll have to devote a post to what happened as the hospital staff got to know me and word spread about me being a “real writer.” Even in this digital age, some people still have what borders on superstitious awe toward those of us who can make the words keep coming.
Tonight was the night my husband chose to venture out in search of my mother’s Christmas gift and everything we’d need for Christmas dinner. His madness must have been contagious, because I threw on my Santa hat and red Christmas light earrings and went with him, determined to hunt down the ingredients for the three types of “easy Christmas cookies” I’d chosen to bake. The last four hours were full of funny moments and grand adventures. I’ll tell one in the classic style.
Once upon a time, I went to market to buy flour and sugar and coconut and cream cheese and Heath bars and several other strange and wonderful ingredients. I wanted to bake Christmas cookies, three different kinds because three is a magic number.
The market was so crowded I had to move fast, dancing through the gaps between carts and whirling to avoid the people who appeared suddenly behind me. At last I turned the corner into the aisle beneath the sign that read “Spices.” Ahead of me, each with her list in her hand, was a woman wearing the same frown of concentration or lost look of bewilderment. I recognized them at once at let out a delighted cry. “Ah, so here we all are!”
The other ladies laughed. We made our ways up and down the aisle, some looking high, some looking low, all of us trying to find every last item on our lists. We made room for each other. We said, “Please” and “Excuse me.” We sent other lost shoppers on their ways to the aisles they needed. Soon we were calling out what we needed and someone would answer, pointing out the location. The call for baking powder came. I yelled “Here!” and pointed to the top shelf above me. The lady who needed it was shorter than me, so she never would have found it on her own!
Item by item and cart by cart, with smiles and best wishes for happy holidays, we all went our separate ways. For a few brief, wonderful minutes, a handful of strangers had joined forces to help each other find that special something that would make a holiday delight for our families. We knew how tired we all were, we knew our feet hurt, some of us were hungry, some could use a cup of tea.
We were the Sisterhood of the Baking Aisle.
I don’t know their names, and we may never meet again. I hope each and every one of them lives happily ever after.
Please, folks, join me in helping out a really nice pair of people. He’s a great cook as well as being a marvelous fencer. She’s a talented seamstress and the soul of hospitality. All you need to do is go to this page and click on the VOTE button. I know a lot of you enjoy good tea and the delights of cupcakes, scones, and other baked goodies. You’ll be helping two hard workers keep progressing toward their dream business.
On behalf of myself and these two wonderful people, I thank you for your support.
I just discovered Leanne Shirtliffe–Ironic Mom. Great observations on the daily absurdities that go along with being a parent. One of her posts called for suggestions to The Flippant Parent’s Guide to Optimism. Here, then, are my suggestions:
You know you’re an optimist if….
1) You take your kids to an event that involves hot glue guns.
2) You believe that at some point you’ll get through your insurance company’s voicemail and talk to a real human being.
3) You dream of getting your kids to eat the RDA of vegetables in a single day.
4) You board a school bus wearing anything other than a HazMat suit.
5) You keep insisting your mother and your kids don’t conspire against you.
Three months ago my husband and I bought a house and moved in. What did I unpack first? The manuscript, notes, notebooks, and other miscellanea involved in my current novel. Then I went into the garage and began the excavation required to locate the boxes that contained my Japanese reference library (the novel is set in Satsuma, Japan, 1867). Next came my favorite fiction, one whole shelf devoted to Terry Pratchett‘s Discworld books and another to Janet Evanovich‘s Stephanie Plum series and another to Jim Butcher‘s Dresden Files. I find these series to be inspirational. Not only is the quality of the writing great for recharging my word batteries, seeing the commitment those authors have made to producing novel after novel after novel gives me concrete motivation to do the same. I’m still looking for the boxes that hold my collection of ghost story anthologies. I love a good ghost story, especially from turn of the century authors such as A.M. Burrage and Marjorie Bowen. I’ll find them.
The point here is simple. Underwear and a toothbrush and caffeine and those other daily necessities can be acquired easily enough. The exterior space you live in affects your interior life. I now own the space I live in, both outside and in. I must take care to avoid unnecessary clutter. I must surround myself with all that is positive, nourishing, and uplifting, sights and sounds and smells and textures that will support me as I labor through each day, writing the fireworks and sword fights and love scenes as well as helping John with his homework and listening to Michael struggle to tell me about his day.
Beware unwanted clutter. Beware even more so unloved clutter that stirs up bad memories. Feng shui says such clutter gets between you and what you really want, slowing you down and sucking away your energy and sabotaging your dreams. I still have boxes to unpack and tchotchkes to deal with, but I shall be ruthless in the defense of the spaces where I dream, both in my office and in my heart.
I'm a professional writer living in Northern California with my husband and two sons. Fantasy in various forms is my reading and writing pleasure. I'm a history buff, a Japanophile, and I love to learn about language(s). I enjoy making jewelry, using natural materials such as wood, bone, semiprecious stones, and seashells. I collect bookmarks and wind chimes.