Monday, May 31, 2010

Where Oh Where...

Noella mentioned that she missed me at Cummington this weekend in the comments. Unfortunately, due to the craziness on the farm that sometimes happens in spring, Barb Parry was not able to attend either the NHS&W or Cummington, so I was unable to sign. I debated attending and just roaming, but then the farm asserted itself here as well, and wisdom seemed to advise staying home and working.

I've had a bit of sore throat for the past few days, and had a bunch of chaos here between times. I will admit to taking advantage of the opportunity to stick close to home. There's been a lot of non-chicken related drama here too, and I am worn out, more or less. Maybe more. Besides. Wouldn't you take a day to hang here?
I wrote the first two books on a 13 inch MacBook I bought for 2-at-a-Time Socks, from a relatively comfortable recliner chair I inherited from my Great Aunt Blanche after her death, or from my Ikea Poang chair. I like the recliner better, sorry Ikea. It's a tiny thing and I fit in it properly. Not many chairs fit me. I am short, and my spine resembles a corkscrew more than anything else. I loved the portability of the laptop. When I was working on Toe-Up 2-at-a-Time Socks it was winter. Not a fan of the cold, the ability to move my entire workspace to six inches from the woodstove made me a very happy girl.
The book I am working on now doesn't allow the sort of laid-back slacker attitude in writing location. No laptop this time - instead a 22" monitor screen with a smaller 13" beside it. And a new keyboard. And it's not a Mac. So, the day after the book launch I set up the new PC in my office. In a normal office chair. Any notes I had made for this new book were safely stashed in my Macbook. I spent a couple of days just trying to transfer files, with a deadline over my head and malfunctioning USB devices, and you get the picture? There was swearing, there was whining (a LOT of whining) about the chair, my back, my shoulder, the stupidity of computers, the difficulty of adjusting to a new keyboard, a newer version of Word and the mental blocks that accompany writing projects. This thing happens where I just sit and stare at the screen as if I have forgotten American English, and then all of a sudden words come flying out of my fingers and poof, 7,600 of them appear as if by magic. Then I have to edit, sort, rearrange, fuss over and fix until at last I can shoot them off to an editor and patiently wait their return.
I am still not adjusted to this keyboard, really. I have got to get used to this thing. And the mouse. And the whole PC thing in general. I have not touched a PC for more than five minutes in about four years. When my office machine turned into a brick there was no point. But now, one capital investment later, I have to touch, have to remember, have to be the old dog luckily just relearning old tricks. Close the window on the right. Expect little warnings popping up. Don't delete anything with a .dll extension. And so on.
Today is Memorial Day, which always makes me pause and consider the sacrifice of the women and men who've died giving birth to and defending our freedom. Although there have been many active servicemen (yes, all men) in my family, none has been lost in the line of duty. God willing none ever will be. My son just joined the Army, and leaves for Basic training and AIT in September, I believe to Fort Jackson. This wasn't a sudden decision. It has been on his radar and in discussion for about five years now, maybe longer. Knowing that it wasn't an abrupt decision makes it feel alright somehow. Not great mind you. This is my only son, and the Army is not exactly known for keeping it's members out of harm's way. But then he could get killed crossing a street, or maimed with rogue fireworks, or who knows what. I am a fatalist, if you want to call it that, although really it's more a function of my spiritual beliefs. I believe we all have a time, and then yours is up, it's up. Joining or not joining the Army will not make that time come earlier or later. It's easier to live fearlessly if you believe this. It's how I get on airplanes. If God wants me down, then the sucker is coming down and there's not a darn thing I can do about it. If I don't get on the plane, he can just as easily take me out on the drive home.
Besides, maybe Daniel's duty post will be someplace terrifying for mothers, like Germany. All that beer and bratwurst. Scary times. Regardless of where he goes or how this all turns out, I am exceedingly proud of him. This is something I do not say enough to my kids, that I am proud of them. I am proud of who they are, of who they are becoming. I am proud to say I had a hand in their rearing. I am mostly proud that although I at times disagree with what they are doing (this is not one of those times, I am simply stating this as a point of reference) I am always and forever proud that they follow their hearts and their dreams. I like to think they get that from me.

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