Saturday, August 24, 2019

I'm feeling much more rested this morning. And the heat finally broke, so the air is cool and dry, and the sun is shining, the sky is clean and blue, birds are cooing and chattering and clacking and cheeping, and the day altogether promises delight.

I don't know what we'll do today. It's the boy's last weekend at home, so he may have an idea. Or he may not. The grass does need mowing; the house, as always, needs re-sprucing. But I'd be happy to go for a long walk instead. So far this week I've taken a 4-miler around Back Cove and a 3-miler to Hadlock Field, and with the weather so sweet, I'm ready for more.

I'm also ready to take an editing breather. My current project is complicated and demanding and very, very slow, and I'm looking forward to not thinking at all about endnotes for two days. Next week at this time I'll be on the road to Vermont, college senior in tow. Next year at this time I'll have zero children in school. What a strange notion.

Friday, August 23, 2019

After a morning spent editing in my room, and an afternoon spent walking around the cove with my son, and a dinner hour spent making summer rolls and potato salad, I went downtown with my family to listen/dance to the Garifuna Collective from Belize; and the day from beginning to end was dense and sweaty and sticky and hot. Today is supposed to be cooler but so far it feels just the same as yesterday. We are going to a baseball game tonight, which is the correct thing to do in this kind of weather. And I am going to a yoga class this morning, which is less correct weather-wise but undoubtedly good for me, though I wish I'd slept during the night when I was supposed to and not through the alarm when I was not supposed to. I've got that wild-eyed, jangled feeling common to people who almost miss dragging the trash out in time for the garbage guys to pick up.

Anyway, I'm awake now.

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Yesterday was one long thunderstorm: it started pouring midday and pretty much kept that up till well after dark. In the meantime, with Paul's encouragement and aid, I took the plunge and decided to make puff pastry. The project took all afternoon, and I was nervous, but all worked out well, and now I have dough for three shells in the freezer, and leftovers from a beautiful little free-form peach tart on the counter.

Tonight we are going downtown to listen to a Brazilian band. The rest of the day we'll spend being extremely hot. After all that rain, Portland feels more or less tropical, though I think the weather is supposed to moderate later in the week. I did waste a lot of time in the kitchen yesterday, so I should try to concentrate on actual paying work today.

I'm still reading Le Carre, still editing, still not writing poems . . . feeling the creep of this fall's teaching storm approaching, beginning to mutter to myself about next week's reading, staring at the insanity of our so-called president. My blood runs cold.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

The boys went to a movie last night, which meant that I was home alone for the first time in a while. I did nothing special, other than breathe the night air and stare out into the dusky street. Sometimes there's a spaciousness to solitude.

Days, I'm still striving to keep up with an unwieldy editing project, in between visiting with my kid and managing house and garden stuff. For the moment, poetry has taken a seat in the corner. That's nothing new: summers were always a writing dead-zone when I had children at home full time. So I'm not exactly worrying about poems, but I'm aware of their silence, and it makes me restless.

And the boy is restless too . . . happy to loaf and spend time with us; bored and impatient about not being where his own work is. It's a standard late-summer feeling.

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

We got a bit more rain last night, and today is forecast to be dry and hot. I guess that means I can hang laundry on the line for the first time in days.

Nothing much new is happening around here. The boy is working on plans for the play he's directing this fall, and interspersing that with watching Irish sitcoms. I'm editing and running up and down stairs doing house chores and chattering with the boy. Everything feels like it's a bit of a muddle, including the sentences in this paragraph, but that's home life.

This time next week I'll be annoying you by fretting over my 8/29 book launch. Be happy the future is not here yet.

Monday, August 19, 2019

Fog. The air is sodden, and ponderously still. Against the milky sky, the houses look like they've been cut out of cardboard. Somewhere, in the silence, a jay is screaming.

I'm feeling sad . . . the sadness of the world, dusting its wings. Lost children and melting glaciers. Truth and poison.

The rooms in this house are scattered with people I love. The vases overflow with sunflowers. My fortunes weigh upon me. I should never complain about anything.

Outside, somewhere, that jay is still screaming. Shriek. Pause. Shriek. Pause. His throat-song is harsh and relentless.

Sunday, August 18, 2019

I woke up in the middle of the night to the sound of crashing rain. Now, at first light, the neighborhood is shrouded in fog as thick as the spider webs in a barn. It's beautiful and ghostly and very, very wet.

Last night's downpour was the most rain we've had since June. My garden looks kind of slapped around, but I'm sure its roots are pleased. And I managed to go back to sleep, even after slogging up and down stairs closing windows at whatever a.m. the torrents began, and I woke up again at a reasonable Sunday-morning hour without a headache, so my roots are pleased also.

I don't know what we'll be doing today. I ought to wash some floors. I want to keep reading this Gothic Iris Murdoch novel I've acquired. I should probably try to figure out a couple of things about my new MSWord update before I try to use it for work tomorrow. I'm semi-immersed in sorting out various rising-college-senior family-event scheduling-hoohah this-n-thats, though I've passed along the "pick the Air B&B" project to Tom, who likes to look at pictures of other people's houses.

Today is my parents' 57th wedding anniversary. It's also the third anniversary of our purchase of the Alcott House. Three years ago today, Tom started ripping out a kitchen, and I started ripping out a weed garden. Things are much quieter around here today.