First order of business. I want to apologize for missing last week. No excuse, but I will explain that we were moving, and that weekend was the bulk of the move. I have now moved an entire household with a small SUV and a 4’x8′ utility trailer. I don’t remember how many trips I made that Saturday (it’s about a 15 min trip from the old house, to the new) and although I’d intended this move to be a slow, leisurely one, there was a point where external forces expedited it… On the other hand I’m happy to be sitting at the new house, in front of my big desk, knowing that the only boxes yet to unpack are the ones full of miscellany. Even had I remembered what day it was, and written something, I’m not sure it would have been coherent. It was late when I sat down and sent a message to a chat, making sure that friends knew all was well, when I was reminded I hadn’t posted here.
Routines are important. Disrupting them can lead to forgetting a little something, which can cascade into the whole situation we’re familiar with from the elementary school history lesson of ‘for the want of a horseshoe nail, the kingdom was lost.’ Order is also important. I was reminded of that, not only in my own internal pressure to get my house unpacked and organized (so I could actually find things like my socks, and my husband’s underwear, and forks in the kitchen), but as I told my teens that this weekend we will work on getting their room ship-shape. As soon as I said that, I wondered internally if they knew what ship-shape really meant. Living on a moving dwelling, one that doesn’t have much space to sprawl, dictates a whole ‘nother level of tidiness.
None of this, perhaps, is related to writing. Except inasmuch as the author wants to throw little obstacles at her characters, along with the big ones. I found myself perturbed at this move – it ate my time, it ate my brain, and I was desperately trying to keep up with homework (and gave up on blogging, sorry y’all) while we were undergoing the shift. It was really, really difficult. I found myself wanting to ‘play house’ and get the rooms unpacked, when I ought to have been studying (like now, when I have to memorize the dratted Krebs cycle, enzymes and all). I don’t know if it is because I am older – I was, after all, a military brat and we had moved a lot by the time I left home. Then, early in my marriage, there were again several moves before I finally settled on the Farm for 11 years of stillness. Something about being a middle-aged woman is different than where I was before.
Age really does make a difference, not only in writing, but in reading, I’ve noticed. Weirdly, this was not only part of my musing about the move, but listening to classmates present on a paper about aging in Drosophila and how it affects their ability to recover from environmental stresses. The study subjected the flies to a shock (elevated heat) and then saw that they were unable to fly again. However, younger flies (4 days. I’m not sure how that translates to a human lifespan, but they did say that the flies can live for up to ten weeks) would recover from the shock without losing any physical abilities. Fruit flies and humans are nothing alike, yes, but they are used as an initial model in studying humans (and then mice, and so-on). As we get older, we are less able to recover from shocks and changes. And as my knee and back are telling me this morning, we’re less able to lift and tote like we used to. I did have a giggle-worthy moment in this move, though. We have two furnaces in the new house, one propane, the other wood. I went to pick up a trailer load of wood, and was met by am elderly Japanese gentleman, who wanted to know how I was going to get the wood on my trailer. After a couple of minutes of watching me pitch firewood (unsplit) he mumbled ‘you strong’ and went back inside. I put too much wood on the trailer. Poor little thing won’t carry much in a load.
I’m rambling. It’s been a really long couple of weeks, and just as I’m looking forward to settling into a routine, next week is the Thanksgiving Holiday. For which I am giving fervent thanks. I’m grateful we found this little house out in the country with room for all of us. I’m grateful that I can write for this blog, it’s a good outlet for me. I’m grateful that while we were sitting around the table having family dinner night before last, my whole family was helping me plot a book. That was… I needed that. I’ve been really worried I’d never write again. But I’d had a flicker of story coming to me while driving, and when I mentioned that, my family ran with it. And while that story is not first in line, there will eventually be a third Children of Myth book, because my children demand it. And there will be a baby elephant in it.
What are you thankful for?