Archive for the 'The Wednesday Letters' Category

The sky is a drama queen.

Dear Wednesday,

It looks like fall is finally peeking around the corner and cooling things down here. All last week, it was unseasonably warm, which I should say, isn’t really all that bad here compared to back east. The sun is strong, yes, and you feel the heat if you’re not in the shade, but it’s a dry heat, which is far more comfortable than those 90% humidity kind of late summer days you get back by you. Here, if it’s hot, you just stay in the shade, or go up higher into the mountains where it’s cooler. And no matter how hot the day, once the sun goes down, the breeze picks up and things cool down considerably.

The one thing this new house doesn’t have is central air conditioning, which would be a deal breaker back east, but here, it’s manageable. We keep the shades drawn against the sun during the day, and then open the windows to sleep. The house cools down over night with only a few fans running in the windows. The other night, we could hear coyotes howling somewhere close in the hills, through said open windows. It added an little extra chill to the evening, you might say. On Sunday morning, I saw a lone one trotting through a field on my way home from dropping E. at choir practice. Pretty wild.

But still, once you get to the end of September, it’s hard not to be impatient with the heat, so I was glad to see that the forecast was going to shift into cooler 60-degree days. Of course, to make that happen, we had to have one hell of a thunderstorm, which finally arrived on Monday afternoon just as I was driving to pick up the girls from Conservatory. Within ten minutes most of the streets downtown were flooded, and visibility was practically nil. Ugh. I made it, though, and the rain let up long enough for us to make the 20 or so miles up the highway to home. We saw quite a few nasty accidents in the clean up stage, including one flipped VW bug, which upset A. to no end. Once we got home, the sky opened up again, and dumped another ocean down onto us, but we were safe home by then, and once that storm blew away, the air was cool and crisping and finally it felt like fall. The cool weather has held all week, and it feels damned good.

Speaking of the sky, I have to say that around here, she’s one hell of a drama queen. Today, we stayed home and got a good chunk of school work done. Around mid-afternoon I drove down to the store for meatloaf fixin’s, and when I finished my shopping and came out to my car, the sky looked like this:


The darkest part is, of course, pretty much exactly where my house is. I was only in the store 15 minutes. 20 tops. And when I went in, the day was bright and clear. I guess she felt like no one was paying enough attention to her, because for the rest of the afternoon, she was all dark and moody-like.


I snapped a few pictures when I could as I drove home.


This one is my favorite, I think:


And the funny thing is, in the end, it never even rained. The clouds eventually just blew through and away and now the sun is out again, and the air is still cool. I guess the sky just needed someone to notice her.

She’s such a drama queen, isn’t she?

Well, look at that. I got all the way through this post without moaning about how homesick I am. But you know that I still miss you terribly.



I keep coming back to that, still.

Dear Wednesday,

I’ve been quieter than usual lately, and I’m sorry about that. I know I promised you I’d keep you updated, and this past month I’ve done a terrible job at it. I have no excuses, except for that whole we-just-moved-back-across-the-country thing, I suppose. I can milk that a little longer can’t I? ūüėČ

We’re doing okay. Not great, but okay. I would have written you last week, but it was the first week of theater classes back by you, and I knew the girls would be feeling more homesick than usual, so I downplayed the day. Not that it helped much. As soon as they were done with their school work, they got on their gadgets and checked their messages and heard how you were all there together starting another¬†great year of theater, and here we are, so far away from you and all the excitement…. By the end of the day, A. slipped into a bout of anger that I really couldn’t blame her for. Hell, I get it. I’m pissed too. But I’m The Mom, and I Set The Tone, so I kept my face and voice neutral and talked about all the good things we’re doing here (but it’s still okay to feel the way you’re feeling, and it’ll pass and everything is gonna be okay, and blah blah frickety blah blah BLAH!), because that’s all I know how to do.

She’ll be all right. We all will be. It just takes time, and it’s only been a few months.

We’re a month into our new school year, and the routine of it helps immensely. Our days have grown busy, especially now that all of the girls’ activities have kicked in. They are doing two drama classes a week, plus voice, piano and dance lessons at the Conservatory downtown one afternoon a week, plus the one full day out at the homeschool academy where they get art and music classes plus a smattering of other classes where they can have group discussions about history and books and such, not to mention the incredibly affordable archery classes we stumbled upon, and suddenly this year has just turned into this perfect blend of time at home working with me and time away from home. I couldn’t ask for a better set up.

Except for the fact that it’s two thousand miles away from you, that is.

I keep coming back to that, still. And it’s damned depressing. I can’t think about it too long or I’ll collapse into a fit of tears and misery, which would not jive well at all with my whole Setting The Tone Theme Song… c’mon, sing it with me: Everything’s Gonna Be Okay. Tra La La La La La……

So instead, I do the things that need doing. Like dishes. And laundry. I’m still mired down in those two chores. Some things never change, I guess. But I will say that we have the most cheerful washer and dryer set I’ve ever seen. It blips and beeps more gently than an elevator in a five-star hotel. When the cycles are finished, it plays these little tunes that sound like something you’d hear in church. It’s much more relaxing than the infernal loud buzzing sounds I had with my old set. Also: the washer on my old set was pretty much starting to die on me. Sometimes, it wouldn’t drain the water. It would just finish the whole cycle with all the icky water in it, and then BUZZ at me, like it was PRETENDING to have washed my clothes, like it was MESSING WITH ME. I’d hear that buzz and head down to the basement and open the lid and there the clothes would be: still soaking in that gray water. Bastard. It probably wasn’t serious. Probably something was just blocking the drain hose or whatever. That’s what RegularDad said, and he was probably right, because all I had to do was wait 24 hours and start the thing up again and it would work just fine.

Yeah… see… there’s something I don’t miss.

So, now I have this new house and all this new stuff in it, and believe me, I like it far better than the old beat up place we had. I have enough room for our things now, and the kids have a huge¬†basement to hang out in, and everything is finished and beautiful and properly furnished, and for the first time in 8 years, I don’t feel CRAMPED no matter where I go in my own house. When we had our first cold night last week or so with that little dusting of snow, we turned on all the fireplaces just because we could, and it was damned cozy in here.


So, I’ve got that going for me. Which is nice.

I’m also writing again, which is good. I’ve decided to¬†take advantage of these unexpected free hours I find myself with to focus more on my own writing rather than offering to teach a slew of classes or volunteer for some committee or other, or what have you. This is the year when I will master the Art of Saying No. Suddenly I’ve got a whole day and a half to myself! Can you imagine? On Mondays I write for about three hours at the library. Alone. On Thursdays, I grocery shop and run errands, and still get a little writing done. ¬†I don’t talk to anyone for hours at a time. Not even the dog. It’s unbelievably soothing.

So, even though this post is somewhat depressing, you mustn’t worry about us. Really, in the grand scheme of things, I guess I’d have to say we’re actually doing better than “just okay”. The girls are healthy and busy, and they’re making friends in their own particular ways. When I pick them up from the Conservatory or the academy and ask them how their day went, A. says something like, “I made a new friend, I think,” and then E. promptly says, “I got everyone’s phone number today!” Which is so utterly, gorgeously THEM that I can’t help but feel good inside, and relieved that they’re still them. Homesick as they are, displaced and lonely and sick of each other as they are, even when they get those far away looks in their eyes, the looks that say whoa… this isn’t what I had planned at all!

They’re still them.



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