Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Happy Fourth of July!

Well, we’re in our new place. I think it’s going to be really nice, once we get the last of the boxes unpacked and the contents stowed away – or gotten rid of. I thought we’d gotten rid of all our extraneous material goods, until we found ourselves surrounded by boxes and no place to put a great deal of it. Funny what you’re suddenly willing to part with just to have breathing room.

Another thing moving did is uncover things so long stored away I’ve forgotten I had it. I’m finding old books, old collectibles, old stitching patterns, even old kitchen utensils. Some I spring upon with exclamations of delight, others I look askance at, saying, “What on earth was I thinking when I bought that?” Yesterday I put the last of the kitchen stuff away – and jut in time, because we’re having company for the Fourth, and there were potatoes to boil, soft drinks to chill, counters to clear to put out the buffet on. But my office still looks like a corner of a warehouse. At least my computer is hooked up and connected to the Internet, so I can now and again do a little writing or contact someone far but dear to me.

The cats have made their peace with the new place, at least so far as I can tell. One sigh: they have gone back to the evening whine for a bedtime treat, which had ceased for awhile.

I visited the old place yesterday, which is being renovated for sale. Fresh paint, new carpeting, even the railing between the dining room and sunken living room is being replaced. Already the place no longer looks like ours, so no pang of nostalgia was felt. My niece Reggie is up from Ft. Myers with a friend, Jimmy Ray (don’t you love southern names?), and they are painting the old place. Kind of a paid vacation. They are enjoying the weather, which they find cool and refreshing. (Me? I’ve got the air conditioning on full time! I don’t find eighty-three cool OR refreshing!)

I haven’t put needle into fabric for several days and I’m starting to get anxious about that. There’s a darling fox with his hungry tongue hanging out that is nearly finished and I want badly to get at it. Maybe tomorrow, in the park, waiting for it to get dark enough for the fireworks . . .

One thing I came across while unpacking is a set of sample boards with different kinds of yarn attached to it. Several are more like ribbon than yarn, and one of those is more than half an inch wide, overdyed in shades of cream, bronze and a pinky gold. I’ve never tried knitting with such a broad ribbon, and now I’m all intrigued. What would a sweater or vest look like done in that? Inquiring minds want to know. I may have to contact the manufacturer and find out who carries it locally. Of course, I also want to sign up for a class in knitting lace. And I came across a painted canvas that is partly a beautiful stem of iris, almost life size, and the rest divided into sections to be filled with different needlepoint stitches, white stitching on white canvas. I’d forgotten I had that. The iris is done, but I never got around to the stitches. I remember seeing a finished model of it, and how walking past it made the light shift on the stitches, highlighting first one, then another. I’d like to get back to that one. And there’s a Christmas stocking I’d like to work on, too. (sigh) I’d like to take a year off writing and just stitch.

There’s this one little problem with the idea of a year off: how would I pay for all the materials I’d use when our income would take this nosedive? It’s a sweet trap, writing. You wish and yearn and strive to get to where you’re earning some money at it, hoping for the day you can quit your regular job just to write. Then, when you succeed, you find you’ve given up one job for another. I worked in an office for many years and dreamed of the day when I could write full time. Somehow I didn’t notice that tricky little term, “full time.” In fact, I think I’m working more hours now than I did at that office job. But would I go back? No, no, no, and no. I think this is what I was born to do, and I consider myself extremely fortunate to have a job I love.


Camille Minichino said...

You're very brave, energetic, patriotic, Monica ... to have company right after moving in!

We all know what you mean about writing Full Time ... when you have a contract deadline it can feel like a job job. I still have a job job (2 in fact), but really have never wanted to be without one. Where would I get grist for my characters, a host of people I want to do ill to (g)?

Happy 4th to you, and everyone!

Camille Minichino said...

On cleaning up your old place for sale:

Every time I've done this, my thought was, why didn't I do all this for ME? Paint, new carpets, clean windows (maybe yours are always clean) ... some day instead of moving, I'm going to put all my things in storage, pretend I'm selling, then move back!


Kathryn Lilley said...

"Full time." Ah, yes. Writing definitely expands to fill all the available hours (and even the dream-time hours). It's a bit like that old saying, "Be careful what you wish for."

Congrats on getting semi-settled into the new place!


Monica Ferris said...

Camille, you are right on both your comments. Writing full time, I do miss the daily back-and-forth of an office, the fully-realized characters, their oddball, funny, touching experiences, the growth of personalities. I'm not sure how to fill that void, except to get out more (when I'm trying to meet that deadline, it's me and the cats for days).

And yes, watching the paint and new carpets come in, I felt a little envious of the new owners-to-be.

Kathryn, I knew I was pretty much at home when I woke up this morning and wasn't surprised that the window was on the wrong wall!