Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The sun will come out tomorrow, maybe.

I am smiling in the picture even though if you look carefully you will see that the smile is on my mouth and not in my eyes. Someone in the room had just made a hurtful joke at my expense--entirely unprovoked-- and what I was really thinking was that I wanted to go home. I did soon after and fortunately the day got much better as it went on. I am smiling today too, even though I am feeling about at gloomy inside as Eeyore when he lost his tail again. There is no sun outside. Its on the cold side. I don't like cold weather. The newspaper today said that 2009 is pretty much a write off as far as fixing the economy is concerned and one article questioned whether Barak Obama will be a one term President if he can't fix the state of the union in four years. Poor Mr. Obama hasn't even been inaugurated yet. Gloom and doom, gloom and doom.

Its not helping that this week is full of tasks I dread doing but must be done. Yesterday, I spent all day on financial stuff: gathering things for the accountant for the annual income tax prep aration which he always does in February, gathering things for my biannual meeting with the financial planner on Thursday, filing mountains of papers from the basket under my desk. I made my quarterly estimated tax payment.

At the gracious request of my Monday night writing workshop facilitator I took a box of my books to the new group for perusal and sale to the group participants after the workshop. Of course, when Borders is teetering on bankruptcy, I didn't expect to sell many of my poetry books. A couple I supposed. Maybe. I never push anybody to buy my stuff. Never expect it.

But, the group didn't even look at the books and most left at light speed as soon as the workshop was over, heads down avoiding my body and eyes as if I was infected with plague. They had no interest in my books I suppose, from their super fast dismissal. Didn't exactly lift my mood, but I smiled. The one lady who waited and looked at them did buy copies of my short fiction books, God Bless her.

The reaction of the workshop is possibly a harbinger of the future sales. Some people have told me that they 'never read poetry' and so won't buy my book. Not surprising really. I didn't choose my genres, that's not the way writing works. Poetry isn't very popular in general. Fortunately, I never expected to actually earn a living with my writing. I say fortunately or I would be really thoroughly dead now and wouldn't be able to write this blog. I write because I can't not write. Read it or not. I'm going to shrug my shoulder and smile and keep on doing what I do. People can dismiss what I do unread if they want. My light will still shine even if nobody else see it.

Today I have to complete one of the last two tasks for my mother. I have to go to the bank and open her safe deposit box. I tried to do this after her death, but the bank (Bank America, by the way) wouldn't let me in the box despite my legal papers that said I was executor and heir. The rental is due on the box, so I must try again. I don't want to open the box. I suspect it is empty anyway, but I don't feel like dealing with the aftermath of death today.

Tomorrow and Friday I must clean out the guest room closets which are literally crammed floor to ceiling with stuff I do not know what to do with. I must clean them out because the 15 year old carpets are so nasty after two children and six dogs and just living that they are more spotted than the firehouse dog. Carpets must go. No point in tiling the floors and skipping the closets, so, sigh, I must do it. The tile guys are coming next week.

Thursday, as I said, I meet with the financial planner to see if something in my retirement savings can be salvaged. To do this I must drive all the way across the city. Going isn't so bad. Coming home is awful. Its one of those crazy things that you can't come back the same way...can't get on I-4 where you got off and I miss the turn about half the time and end up the wrong way in coming home bumper to bumper traffic. Have to turn around. Get lost again sometimes before I get it right.

But, once I get all that stuff done I can at least look forward to the week end with the annual Scottish Highland Games and a dog agility competition. Then, with most of the nasty tasks over, I can enjoy the sun which will almost certainly be out again by then. I will smile with my eyes and my mouth.

I have blogged a lot for the first two weeks of the year. Thanks to those of you who have dropped by to read them. I think I might take a blog vacation for awhile. Maybe a short while or a long while, I dunno. I may go to live on a remote island somewhere with a laptop with a long battery life and change my name and write novels about vampire chicks who Internet date with nary a rhyming line in the whole book. Or not. For now, here's a poem from Between The Lines whether you want it or not.

By Nancy Wayman Deutsch

Homeward bound on a two lane blacktop
giving the Caddy it's licence to fly
Dad Dad is driving with Mammaw beside him
little girl, in the back seat, don't cry.

All good stories have endings.
We're leaving your heart's light behind.
You've got to return to a life without magic.
You'll get used to it child, never mind.

In the blink of your eye you'll forget Wonderland,
the island where wishes come true.
The rabbit has padlocked the door to his hole
and hidden the passage from you.

Little girl, don't you cry
we're just taking you home
where things are exactly the same.
Where each day is a twin of the one that comes next.
Where fantastic gives birth to mundane.

And remember, my child,
in the land of your birth,
it's not safe to stand out from the crowd.
So, lock all the stories inside of your head.
Don't ever, speak any, out loud.

If you listen to me, you'll forget Wonderland.
Just focus on all that is real.
Never mind that the magic is fading away
and with it, the joy that you feel.

Homeward bound on a two lane blacktop
watching the road signs speed by
Dad Dad is driving and Mammaw beside him
little girl, in the backseat, don't cry.

That's all. I am out of here. Be good to yourselves. And, for Chrissakes, smile.

I actually did get the safety box opened. Took an hour for the process and the bank manager at first said no, the paperwork regarding my mother's death and my appointment as executor and the judges order of dismissal were out of date being signed last year in 2008. I pointed out that the estate was settled and there would be no further paperwork, I am the only heir, etc. Ms Mg.r said, "Well, I don't know, I will have to consult the legal department, these things are very complicated, I don't know if we can open the box for you." I remained patient and rational and somehow she changed her mind, opened the box, cancel the account, and waived the fee for my only having found one key to the box in my mother's things.

I was pretty proud of myself for finally getting it done. Second try worked. That was the next to the last task for Mother, the last being the trip with her ashes to the historical cemetery deep in the Pennsylvania mountains where all her family has been buried since the early 1700s. Still hoping to do the road trip in the early summer if all goes well.

My priorities became crystal clear last night when Abby got really sick. She threw up six times, requiring a trip to the vet, x-rays, blood work, I-v, and anti nausea meds. My first thought and fear was melamine poisoning from the new food I started last week end, but it looks like a 'normal' case of gastronteritus. I thought, who gives a rat's ass about writing unappreciated poetry or stained sofa slipcovers and thrown up on oriental runners, holiday grinchs and cruel jokes or financial caca...my little family of dogs and Danny, daughters and grandchildren and extended family of sons-in-laws, cousins, and Danny's clan are the only real important things!! Family really is everything.

Now, I really am off...sadly not to my desert island but to the dark continent of guestroom closet. I hope whatever is in there isnt hungry.

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