Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Tough Times

What a week! Went to a Memorial Day service at Lakeview Park in Minneapolis, where many famous Minnesotans are buried, people like Senator Hubert Humphrey and others whose names grace our streets and parks. I was disappointed in the main speaker, a grief counselor who tried to make us all feel sorry for ourselves because we’ve suffered losses or have been afraid we might suffer a loss, instead of invoking fond or proud memories of our deceased. But Robert Robinson and his three backup singers were in very fine voice as they sang with all the fervor and elaborations of the gospel singer. Meanwhile, I’m having a fight with my next novel. Yes, it’s possible to have a fight with a growing yet inanimate thing like a story. I keep finding new facts that have to get squeezed in, or finding that something I knew to be true isn’t true after all. Last night, falling asleep, I realized my sleuth wasn't as scared as she needs to be. Suddenly the huge pleasure I get from writing becomes a pain, and when I’m not at my keyboard I go about the house grumbling and complaining. It doesn’t help that we’re closing June 19 and moving June 26, and we'e still sorting through twenty years of STUFF to decide what we can keep and what we can sell and what goes to Goodwill or Disabled American Vets. I’ve been filling box after box with books to take along and hauling other books over to Half Price Books and even giving books away, and still the shelves seem filled. And clothes! I didn’t realize I have THREE raincoats! (Two are being given away.) Four swimsuits! (Ditto.) Two dozen pairs of socks – no, I’m keeping all the socks, I love my socks. So I go from patriotic pride to disappointment to frustration to frenzy, all in a few days. Whew!

Today I go to water aerobics. Although I go frightfully early in the morning – 6:30 to 7:30 – I try not to miss any of the thrice-weekly sessions. It energizes me, strengthens and stretches my muscles and joints, plus I’ve been going so long most of the women – and the two men – who come have become good friends. One thing about going so early is, it doesn’t put a hole in my day. I’m home shortly after eight, washed, dressed and ready to face the world.

I was going to make my first quilt to go on our bed in the new apartment. It is still mostly chunks of fabric, not even cut into squares, much less sewn into blocks. I’m so ashamed about it that this is the first place I’m admitting my failure. And I’m behind on my stitching, too. (So long as I’m confessing I might as well do a good job of it.) I have two drawers full of unfinished projects. Sometimes I think I’d like to take a year off writing and just concentrate on stitching. I love it when I set aside a block of time and get down to knitting or doing counted cross stitch or (my favorite) needlepoint. But there are so many other things going on in my life . . .

Oh, well. The plot will unravel, the move will be made, the angry note I sent to Lakewood will be read, and the quilt MAY be ready by winter. In a year’s time I may look back on this entry and wonder what I was so fussed about.


Deb Baker said...

I can't imagine moving! You have courage. I just read SINK REFLECTIONS, a motivational book on cleaning out the clutter. It recommends going through the house with a box and within 10 minutes throwing out or giving away 27 items that I don't use or don't need. The time limit is so I can't think about each piece too long before tossing it. You'll feel so dematerialized when it's over.

Monica Ferris said...

Deb, that is a terrific idea! Twenty-seven items, interesting number. But I bet I could do that just here in my office. LOL But "dematerialized"? Does that mean I turn into a ghost? lOL

Joanna Campbell Slan said...


I think it's the Chinese who say it's better to have a fire than to move!

You poor kid. All my best. (And Deb's idea works, except I threw away my husband's old Frisbee which he'd had since high school and I've felt guilty ever since.)


Linda O. Johnston said...

I really sympathize, Monica. If I ever have to move, it'll be a nightmare. I live for clutter! But I'm sure that, when you're moved in to your new place and organized there, you'll really have a sense of accomplishment.


Disney Mummy said...

I've been working on a quilt for our bed since last fall. Right now, it's in the collecting the fabric stage (it's a king size and it's slow going obviously!).

Take a deep breath, go make a cup of tea and relax even just for 5 minutes. It will recharge your moving batteries!