As we come to the end of a holiday weekend with undeniably spectacular weather, I sit on my porch and reflect on what I didn’t do:
I didn’t mow the lawn
I didn’t pull the weeds that are taking over the back garden
I didn’t put away the towels in the laundry basket
I didn’t go to the beach
I didn’t go to a cookout
I didn’t invite anybody to a cookout (which, admittedly, would be challenging since I don’t own a grill)
I didn’t organize my disorganized office
I didn’t empty the dehumidifier in the basement
I didn’t exercise (my Fitbit tells me I’ve walked 2,174 steps today)
And then there’s the list of things I need to do before the end of the day, but still haven’t done yet even though the sun is going down: empty trash, take can out to the curb, empty dishwasher, refill it, feed cats (as I am periodically reminded by those on the porch with me).
But all these nonachievements pale beside what my most remarkable achievement:
Thirty-two years ago today, I came home from a temp job. Shortly after I got home, my parents pulled up, and my father put on a backpack as they walked across the yard from the parking area to my door.
Let me back up a bit.
Two days earlier, on Saturday, June 30, 1990, I moved my piano into my new apartment on in a three-family house on Main Street. The next day, my family and friends moved all my stuff from my apartment in Stamford to the new apartment. My friend, Scott, stuck around long enough to help me spread out the living room rug. Then, they all left, and it was just the cats and me.
Somewhat unbelievably, I did it. In spite of major personal challenges that offered me every reason in the world to quit—or simply not to start in the first place—I finished this year’s #1000wordsofsummer challenge.
What a difference a day makes. Yesterday, the temperature was in the mid-eighties, and I had the air conditioner on as I wrote inside. Today, it’s 64F plus a periodic strong breeze. I’m back to writing on the porch, but this time I’m wearing a sweatshirt and my tea has long since gone cold.
Ah, well. The writing is coming, and that’s what counts.
I instituted summer hours today. My plan for the summer is to shut down the office at 2:30 on Fridays. It’s nearly impossible to find people on Friday afternoon in the summer anyway, and inevitably I end up leaving messages for clients and their staff that nobody’s going to listen to until Monday, so why not join the crowd?
So far today, I’ve talked with a lawyer whose opposing counsel thinks jurisdiction doesn’t matter (spoiler: it does) and learned that I might need to quarantine after the friend with whom I had dinner last night tested positive on her home test for covid this morning. On the upside, she tested negative on the rapid test at the walk-in. Since she had a false positive a few weeks ago, and false positives are extremely rare, it’s been suggested that she might have gotten a corrupted batch of tests. So she got a PCR test as a tie-breaker. We’re awaiting the results with crossed fingers.
If it hadn’t been for this challenge, I probably wouldn’t have written today.
I have a lot of work to do. I lost most of yesterday afternoon at the doctor’s, including going back again when the x-ray technician called to tell me she hadn’t realized she was supposed to take additional images.
One of the best things about doing this challenge in June is that nearly every day, I’ve been able to work out on the porch. Moderate temperature, light breeze whispering through the trees, birdsong, and—since the porch is screened-in—the company of my cats dozing in the sunshine.
I’m now two days behind the pack. When I returned home yesterday after church, Mom, and errands, I settled in on the porch with wine, crackers, and the world’s best seafood and shrimp dip from a local market. I don’t recall what I was reading, but it had to have been something because after all, this is me. A client called about his newest project, and we chatted. All seemed fine and peaceful.