Friday, November 5, 2010

Time Out

Ah, Chicago weather. Need I say more?

I’m here to get to as many bookstores as possible to sign copies of You Better Knot Die. The plan for today was simple. We would head north and go to a Borders and Barnes & Noble in the Lincoln Park area then after a brief stop at Costco we’d head toward Evanston and beyond.

When we left L.A. yesterday the temperature was hovering in the nineties and the long sleeve tee shirt I wore felt like overkill. My new favorite thing to crochet is a gaiter, which also seems to be called a cowl. The one I just made is wool and looking at it in L.A. made me sweat, but I packed it anyway. Good thing.

While it was sunny this morning and the sky blue with puffs of clouds, by the time we left, the sky had turned steel gray. When we got to Borders, the wind had started up. I signed the books quickly and when we came out, there were a few drops of rain. It was drizzling when we headed for Barnes & Noble, and then just before I went in the door, the sky opened up and dumped sheets of rain. Inside, I was happy to see You Better Knot Die on the New in Mystery shelf, and like at Borders, copies of each of my other books.

Since the weather keeps changing in Chicago, I figured by the time we went back outside the deluge would be over. No. As we headed up Clyborn toward Costco, the rain turned to hail. By the time we got into the parking lot, it had gone back to merely raining. Even though it was dark, you could see this giant dark cloud hanging over us. The wind lashed the rain right under my umbrella and the giant warehouse style store was a warm respite from the weather. We were still planning to continue on with our plans, but the second time we heard the pummel of hail on the roof, we decided not keep on going to the further bookstores.

By the time we were back on the south side, the rain had moved on, but the wind was coming through in gusts that made the large branches of the old trees above us creak. Wet leaves fluttered down and stuck to whatever they landed on. We dropped off our packages at home and decided to walk two blocks to a restaurant. The wind sailed around us and swirled into every open crevice in my clothes until I felt like I wasn’t wearing anything. The only warm spot was my neck thanks to my gaiter/cowl.

Earlier this week Linda wrote about managing time and deadlines. I am on the opposite side of that, for a few days, at least. I have turned in the manuscript for Behind the Seams. You Better Knot Die is out and if the stores I’ve gone to in L.A. and Chicago are any indication, is on the shelves everywhere. I have set aside the proposal I was working on, and for these few days I’m going to let myself go where the wind blows me. No to-do list. Just eat, sleep, crochet and run around the city going to bookstores.

Uh,oh, I forgot heat goes off at night - the disadvantage of being a night owl in a condo with central heating. I wonder how the gaiter/cowl will go with my pajamas.

What about you? Do you enjoy having some time when you don’t constantly have that nagging feeling that you should be doing something else?


Planner said...

My fantasy life is one in which I wake up in the morning and decide what I want to do that day and then do it! Be it a bike ride, volunteer work, reading, crocheting, seeing a friend, trying a new recipe, or saving the world, it would be great to ditch my nagging to-do list and replace it with fulfilling spontaneity.

Monica Ferris said...

Sounds like a typical fall day in Chicago. They don't call it the Windy City for nothing!

I do enjoy the occasional day when there is nothing on my Must Do list. Two in a row makes me nervous, sure I've forgotten something.

Linda O. Johnston said...

I rather like having pressure every day about what I have to accomplish, Betty, even if it's self-imposed. Good luck with the weather in Chicago, and thanks for the description. I'll have to ask my son and d-i-l how they're surviving it!

Betty Hechtman said...

Yes, Planner, it is nice to just follow your whim sometimes.

Betty Hechtman said...

Monica, I know what you mean. After a few days of going with the flow, I want my to-do list again.

Betty Hechtman said...

Linda, hopefully your son and dil didn't blow away last night. No rain today - at least so far- but it's cold - in the thirties.

Shel said...

Betty, I'll be in Orland Park tomorrow; and will be thinking of you. A weekend in Chicago doing exactly what you described sounds great! Oh, and I got caught in that storm too - it made it all the way out here (about 100 miles west of the city).

Betty Hechtman said...

Shel, I've never been to Orland Park, but did notice there's a Barnes & Noble there. It looks like we both got some better weather.