I’ve been away for a month. On vacation, at home. No travel was involved. It was mostly sharing time with friends over impromptu lunch and dinners that Charley and I cooked together. And spending precious time skyping with our friends Shengdong and Milanda in Xiamen, China and with Borja, Esther and Jose Luis in the Basque Country of Spain – remembering past years and holidays we’d celebrated together.
As a result of our own Jalabokaflod (Christmas Book Flood is the Icelandic Tradition of exchanging books at Christmas and then spending the cold winter months reading.), we enjoyed the first full weekend of the New Year watching a snowstorm from our little library window. We sat in front of the fireplace,with cats in our laps, reading books we’d exchanged on Christmas Day.
Charley and I also spent much of January together making an extra bedroom (better known as the dumping grounds) into an office for me. Having to take my notes, time lines, photographs, manuscripts from the dining room table every time we had guests was getting old fast. We decided it was time to listen to Virginia Woolf’s advise in her essay, “A Room of One’s Own” .
We removed furniture and junk, cleaned and scrubbed, painted and then moved in a desk and bookcases and a love seat for when Charley comes to keep me and Roxie company in my new office. (Roxie seems to think it’s her room and I’m letting her believe it to keep her appeased.)
Some of January was spent with the people who are helping with preparing my 2017 books for publishing. Final editing, illustrations and marketing. Unfortunately for Roxie D, neither of these books we’re getting ready for publishing are the long-awaited Roxie Dammit Book. She’s been watching me closely and seems to think her time in the spotlight is coming. Again, I’m taking the easy way out and letting her believe this for the time being. It will be bad enough around here when she discovers the truth. I’m not sure how well she’ll take learning I’ve written a book about a carnivorous pitcher plant who decides to become a vegetarian. We know how she felt about the “spitting alpacas” book.
Although I’ve not been writing and posting blogs, I’ve tried to keep in touch with my blogging friends by visiting their sites. I’ve fared much better with Facebook. There, in my messenger, I found two lovely surprises. The first was a friend request from Lynne who’s from the neighborhood where I grew up. I remember her as the little girl I used to babysit. And then last week a high school friend messaged me and it brought back a flood of nostalgia. It would seem that my 50th reunion is coming up this year and a Facebook page has been set up for Saint X Girls to re-connect.
I tend to be a person who moves on and doesn’t look back. Neighborhoods, elementary school, high school, college, jobs. I leave and move on and old friends invariably become part of my past.
In the fall, I happened to come upon an obituary for the father of one of my closest high school friends. I’d not contacted her in years. I saw that he was to be interred at the Veteran’s Cemetery near my house and immediately decided to be there the following day to give my condolences. But then I read the last line : “Mr. Allison was pre-deceased by his daughter Sherry” and I suddenly realized I wouldn’t have the chance to laugh with her again. We laughed all the time when we were together. She was carefree and loved to have fun.
So, I will try to be a better friend to those people from my past who send requests and I’ll make sure I’m at my reunion because there are going to be people attending who once were very important in my life until I moved on.
January is coming to a close. The first month of a new year and it’s already almost done. I didn’t get a chance to wish all of you who visit me and make me smile a Happy New Year. But today, Saturday, January 28, 2017, we celebrate the Chinese New Year. The year of the rooster. Therefore, I’m really not too late.
And so, I wish you all a peaceful year filled with joy and prosperity and I look forward to reading about all of your adventures in 2017.