Vacation Optimism, Reality Bites

So I just got back from clean air, lush grasses, and good friends. All the way back on the 12 hour journey from the White Mountains to LA, I listened to Return of the Native. These little ironies happen to me. I also–when not plugged in to my CD player–thought about all the stuff I wanted to accomplish when I got home: new stories down on paper, old stories reread and polished, submission mania, contests to enter; jewelry too with Betsy’s boutique coming up in a couple of months, supplies still virgin from Tucson and ideas popping out of my brain; and the painting. A little party in October at the salon of my very kind and loving hair dresser. Lots to do, lots to get ready for. BUT as always, the blush is off the aging sunburned cheek faster than I can say, “What IS that awful smell in the kitchen?”

First my dog. Reality bite #1. Cinder is amazingly alive and well. I’ve been worried–still worried–that one of these mornings I’m going to wake up and she won’t. I couldn’t imagine the stress that would be put on my mother-in-law if while staying at our house, SHE woke up and my dog didn’t!!! I put her at the vet while we were on vacation. The dog, not the M-I-L. By Friday according to the vet, Cinder was on an I.V. with–well, I won’t go into that. Let’s just say, I brought her home ($700 dollars later) and after a day, she’s back to normal. Her back end is wobbly with arthritis, but she IS 15 1/2 years old. That’s over 105 to me!

Second, the daughter—and her dog. Rodeo is a very cute puppy, a 10-month old rescue from Reno, part Australian cattle dog, part ???, and definitely part coyote. Rode is loving, sweet, and just emerging from the traumas of life on the street. I am so proud of how my daughter has nurtured this perky tangle of bones and fur. Having them both here the night we came home from the mountains, however, was a mixed blessing. Thrilled to have them–love that girl–but also difficult because Rodeo IS a puppy and a HERDER, and Cinder, old grand dame that she is, does not like to be herded!!! Plus daughters are distracting. I wanted her to see the last five episodes of So You Think You Can Dance (she doesn’t have TIVO and watches no regular TV up on the mountain) and of course, Project Runway. These shows appeal to both of us and our creative spirits so it is tradition to curl up on the sofa, skim through all those ruthless commercials and watch how passion can transform some one. Alas she went back up the hill yesterday. I miss her, but it is now back to reality.

Third, vacation ketchup!! making me bleed tomato sauce. Yep, laundry started, smells finally eradicated, to-do lists written and lost, new sneakers to buy (thank you, Rodeo, I’ve been putting that task off. Now I HAVE to go shopping!), and multitudinous loose ends to tie up including transferring photos to the desktop so I can send pix to all the people I promised too.

And of course there’s those teeth marks from the reality bites in my “creative life” too. Lots of writing deadlines I’d like to meet: Clapboard House, the Fish Anthology (thanks for the heads up, Sarah), Writer’s Digest’s popular fiction, and short shorts contests. New ideas are cooking up in the brain pan, but I need a week of uninterrupted work time to organize and get started. I hope that begins today.

I probably have more than enough paintings for the Masters Studio spot in October, but I have made almost no jewelry is six months except for the twenty or so bracelets Lynne and I cranked out for my son’s bride-to-be shower in June. Oh, yeah. I almost forgot. There is that wedding in October, weight to be lost, skin to be polished and I wish tightened (no way I’ll go under the knife: does anyone know a miracle cream for 59 year old skin?), and shopping for the M-O-G dress. MOG! What a great word to describe the emotion of trying to look good for wedding photos! I’m feeling very MOGGY today!

So my dance card is full and I’m feeling less optimism than I did toward the end of the week last week when all I had to worry about was washing my hands for dinner. But at least I know what’s on the agenda for the next couple months and that given this, I hope I remember to employ the word “NO” when REALITY BITES.

3 thoughts on “Vacation Optimism, Reality Bites

  1. Sarah Hilary

    I’m glad your dance card is full, and glad I popped over here – there is LOTS to catch up on, all good writerly stuff. And art! And you love Benjamin Percy’s story! (I’ve reviewed his collection, Refresh Refresh, for a future issue of Good luck with the subbing season. Hope you hit targets scores of times.


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