Monday, August 27, 2012

Potholders! Made 'em myself! Gonna make more!

I'm really too tired to write this, but I'm going to give it a try. It's Monday, an everyday, normal sort of Monday, which is to say a Monday that doesn't involve sleeping in or lounging about with a cup of tea reading a novel like a Monday in mid-July might. No, it's the normal sort of Monday where one gets up at 6:45 a.m. and makes breakfasts and drives boys to school and walks the dog and eats breakfast and sits down on the couch and goes to work making up stories.

Pretty rough, huh? So why am I so beat? Still getting used to the routine, I guess. By next week, I should be leaping around like a happy tree frog at 9:45 p.m.. Just you wait.

It's nice to be back on a regular writing schedule, that's for sure. I'm very deep into making up a fictional town (in Kentucky, where my parents live and my ancestors roamed the mountains a long, long time ago), which is quite satisfying. Have you ever made up a town? You should try it.

What to tell you? Last week I looked out of my bathroom window and saw a squirrel hanging upside down from a dogwood tree. I thought it was dead, and I spent many minutes wondering how it had died. It didn't look traumatized, like maybe the hummingbirds had finally taken revenge on it for sucking all the nectar out of their feeder. It didn't look like it had fallen and broken its neck. No, it looked sort of peaceful. I decided it had died in its sleep of old age.

And then I realized it was chomping away on the little dogwood berries and not dead at all. Stupid squirrel.

I had a glass of wine with my recently widowed neighbor on Saturday night. I was afraid going over there that I might cry, or say something stupid, or that it would just be so, so sad. And it was sad, and a couple of times I almost cried. But we also laughed a lot and talked about all sorts of things other than her husband's dying, but we talked about that, too, and what shape her grief is taking right now (exhaustion, mostly), and how everyday surprises her with some new realization about life without Adam.

This neighbor and I had only just started on the path toward a real friendship a few months before her husband was diagnosed with a brain tumor, and what surprised me most about Saturday night is that we're still on that path. I thought that given everything she's been through, she wouldn't be able to grow a friendship right now, that we'd have to wait a couple years and start over. But nope, there we were, talking and laughing and telling stories on ourselves. It was lovely. And sad. And good.

Will and the Man made an arrow with a real arrow head on Saturday. When I went on my walk on Sunday, Will asked me to look for a feather, and I found one. You don't find a feather every day. Why is that? Do they all get stuck in the trees? Like dead squirrels? Or maybe the squirrels eat them. Stupid squirrels.

Okay, time for bed.


Tracy said...

We were mesmerised by squirrels when we were in the US. My SIL thought they were a pest so I asked what they do. Her definition was that the eat the bird's seed from the feeder. I reckon you could make a comedy out of a squirrel's life.

Is your tummy any better? It's tiring when your body is busily betraying you.

Angela said...

I love the potholders.

We have huge grey sguirrels running along the garden fence. I am not fond of them.

I am so glad you are able to be a good friend to your bereaved neighbour. I cannot imagine the loneliness of waking every morning to find your beloved is no longer beside you. It is good to know you can meet and laugh and chat and drink together.

blessings x

Pom Pom said...

Frances, thank you for linking me to your book! It sounds fantastic, right up my alley. CAN'T WAIT!
My sixth graders are very sweet. I have many boys this year. They are very cooperative as we try to get ourselves organized.
What an act of love, going over to sup with your neighbor. Small kindnesses are underrated, I fear.
I'm so glad you are making up towns and writing and writing and writing. That means more good stuff for kids! (and teachers!)

Heather said...

The neighbor is lucky to have you nearby. Making up a town sounds like a lot of fun.

Gumbo Lily said...

We don't have squirrels out here so I enjoy watching their antics when I'm in town at my parents'. They have lots of bird feeders and the squirrels are always trying to get to them.

Your friend sounds like a very special woman -- and you must be too -- to be able to give her a laugh and a cry and your friendship.

An arrow built with a real arrowhead! Love it! My dad made me one with an arrowhead we found. He made it with a straight elm stick and a turkey feather. What kind of feather did you find?


debbie bailey said...

I've been really tired in the morning, too. I've been imagining the worst; that I have a disease or something, but then I remembered that I'm still getting used to a new schedule. Must be it.

magsmcc said...

Mourning is new to me. I keep thinking I should be writing it down. That's probably best left to those who can imagine whole towns...

Jo said...

I'm hearing you on the Monday exhaustion thing. It's really hard to gear up to a new routine, no matter how minor the adjustments. I like your pot holders, although I always find them too small, and use tea towels instead, then burn myself. I wonder if you could make tea towel sized pot holders. It might be difficult to find somewhere to store them..

GretchenJoanna said...

Just reading about your budding friendship with the neighbor is warming my own heart - terribly, achingly encouraging microcosm of the story of mankind.

Your potholders are darling. Do they match your own kitchen? I have made more potholders in the last decade than any other craft, but all too often they are an odd size or too thick, a result of me trying to ad-lib them and use up old sweaters and such like for the padding. Did you create your own pattern? Are they just the right size and amount of insulation?

The dB family said...

Ahh, it's so good to be back reading your blog again. I love your honesty and transparency. Amazing how friendships go. I'm glad you took that step to go over to see your friend. The potholders are lovely! There just one of the things on my to-do-this-year list.