Back to the important things.
Yesterday I tackled some of the 40 pounds of apples we picked, and created three dozen apple streusel muffins and a glorious sour cream apple spice cake that I want to marry. In fact, I just had a piece for breakfast and I’m totally not sorry. Of course, the picture would have been more charming if the East Coast wasn’t experiencing a second summer right now, with temps expected to hit the upper 80’s. Really, Weather? Weren’t you done with these shenanigans in September? It’s October 2nd, for pete’s sake, and it’s just not normal to have such high temperatures while large brown crunchy leaves are falling. See to that, wouldja?
I also thought some more about writing. I have long wanted to create a series of books appropriate for middle-school aged children, and I have a couple of good ideas tucked away. But I also know that I have a long way to go before I even start a page with the words “Chapter One.” Mainly, I have got to get my house in order, both mental and physical, and that’s not as easy as shaking myself and saying “off to it, girl!”
The physical part needs cooperation from the resident dwellers. We have all been working at combining two households, purging 25 years of accumulated things (I didn’t say “stuff,” I was being somewhat respectful) and trying new ways of doing what we’ve been doing all along. Some of it is working beautifully. Other things, like having a new bed delivered, have been an exercise in patience. This is my third attempt with this bed, and today I have to stop in the store for yet another issue that has arisen. Is it really supposed to be this difficult? It’s a bed. It’s not building a house or shooting a movie or testing a cookbook’s 900 recipes, it’s delivering a frame, a boxspring, and a mattress. Not too tough, you would think, but apparently there’s a whole world out there of people who don’t work on Mondays, who don’t inspect boxes before they ship out and discover there’s a big rip down the side and all the necessary parts to connect the frame are missing, who schedule a re-shipment A WEEK after the first one, who deliver the SAME RIPPED BOX THE SECOND TIME, who apologize on the phone and say someone will be there tomorrow and can we offer you a $30 gift card for your trouble? Dude, I just want my bed and nothing in your store costs less than $75.
The mental part happens when I’m knitting. If I’m not watching something to distract me, I knit methodically and I try to align my thoughts that way. Invariably I start with the thoughts of “I should be at work. I don’t have work anymore. I left the job I loved. Did I love it? Yes, I did. Well, not everything. There was …..” and that’s when I notice I’m gripping the yarn tighter and my gauge has tightened and my teeth are clenched and and and …. okay, this is still an issue, time to think about something else.
It happens when I’m driving. As I’m running errands or hitting the highway to see Younger Daughter in college or heading out to rendezvous with friends I project ahead (as all the self-help books tell you to do) and imagine where I want to be this time next year. Then I tussle with reality and fantasy a bit, and come back to the real question that hasn’t gone to sleep: do I still want to be a teacher? I don’t know the answer to that yet, and that’s the part of my mental house that I need to get in order. Perhaps I’m too close to the situation that just happened to give it any real objective analysis and I should give myself a bit more of a break. Perhaps there’s too much pressure and my internal mind is saying “relax, there’s time,” which is why I tussle with my thoughts. Tussle is a cool word. Like a genteel fight.
Or perhaps there’s simply not enough apple product in the house. So when I return from my drive along the shore, there will be apple bread.