Wednesday, September 29, 2021

I write to you from the extreme comfort of my own shabby couch. I can't tell you how glad I am to be home again with my husband and my little habits. I have so much to catch up on here--housework, garden work, desk work--but yesterday afternoon I lolled and then Tom took me out to dinner, and this morning I feel ready to get back at it.

The best news, of course, is that my mom is doing very well. I left her with a number of pre-made meals; caught up on my parents' housework and laundry and a few necessary big jobs, like cleaning out the freezer; helped my dad cope with his anxiety; and was able to spell my sister, who lives locally so has been carrying the weight. A 24/7 job, but now they're ready to move forward into their own routine. So, success! I feel very fortunate that my sister and I are close and don't squabble or disagree about what needs to be done and what we each need to contribute to make that happen. And I also feel fortunate that my parents trust us to help them even as they want to be independent.

I've got lots to do around here, but I'm going to let myself dawdle through it. Having just spent the last week as a live-in housekeeper and invalid nurse, I feel I have the right to take plenty of reading and tea breaks, go for an ambling walk, and allow myself to enjoy hanging around in my own space without obsessively focusing on obligations. Not that the chores don't need to get done, but why all at once?

I barely had a chance to read a book while I was away, though I did take Sunday afternoon off and teach my chapbook class in my sister's basement while she assumed my housekeeper duties. It was the most relaxing three-hours in my entire stay: sitting around with six smart people; throwing in a word now and again, as the others talked and thought about a variety of manuscript experiments.

Today, among my other tasks, I'm going to work on a Part 2 scenario for this class: what are some next steps in thinking about manuscript creation, and how can I construct a useful session for this particular group, which has learned to work so well together over the course of the past three weeks?

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