Tuesday, April 05, 2016

To Each His Own Playdate

Thought I should drop in here to reassure the dwindling faithful that I have not, once again, fallen off the cliff. Best excuse? Company. My sister-in-law's been visiting but she went home a few days ago. There was a twenty four hour period in which I wandered around missing her. You know how it goes.You're ready to be back to regular programming but you can't quite remember (after a three week hiatus) what regular programming entails. Just one more sign of impending dotage. The following day the OC had a play date with a friend to go chasing little white balls and driving fast cars. It would have been a shame to waste a house-to-myself day in moping so I pulled myself together and arranged a playdate of my own --- with my recently neglected sewing machine. Nobody but myself to please from first light to last. The bliss! I almost felt I could purr.

The laundry had all been done by the visiting uber-hausfrau, the dust bunnies banished to their burrows, the floors vacuumed to dust free perfection. It was as though my mother-in-law, may she rest in peace, had blazed through. I'd even planted the flowers we'd bought for the garden as per s-i-l's departing instructions. With ant bites on my ankles to prove it.

There were lots of "shoulds" making noise in my head --- phone calls I should make, projects I should finish, writings I should read, fabrics I should sort, closets I should organize, but I turned on Pandora and pretended not to hear them. Today I was going to play.

I went in my sewing room and built a house. Not just an ordinary house but a Splendid Sampler house.

Serious business, deciding which fabric to use for the roof, the door, the light in the windows, the walls. I should've been an architect. I stood back and looked at it. And was happy. So much cheaper than therapy.

I wandered to the kitchen for a second cup of coffee, and, while there, popped a loaf of soda bread in the oven. Domestic goddess, that's me, in the kitchen at least, if not on the dusting and shining circuit. I had an extra batch mixed up from last time, just needed butter, buttermilk, and bingo! Heavenly aromas. Mind you, the bed was not yet made and I was still in my pyjamas(at 3 p.m.!) but what are you looking for --- Martha Stewart?

I love having company but, after a few weeks, I get twitchy and want to sneak off to the sewing room to stitch a bit, or hide in the bathroom to read a few chapters of my current book (and it's a good one --- "Me Before You" by Jojo Moyes, recommended by the Little Blister who never steers me wrong), or plant myself in front of the computer and write a blog post.  I begin to long for time alone with myself; to miss my own sloppy way of doing things; to fantasize about letting the laudry pile up 'til there's a full load; about letting a little dust accumulate so there'll actually be some satisfaction when I do get around to it; to not feel inadequate because I'm me. We live hours by plane from most of our family so I really do love when company comes. But, no matter how fond I am of them, I also love it when they leave.

When the OC returned from his day's adventures he had a glow about him, the glow of a man who'd been hitting little white balls and driving fast cars all day (everyone has their own definition of bliss) topped off by plenty of nibbles and adult beverages so no feeding or watering required. He had a shine in his eye like a 16 year old. Fast cars and dimpled white balls will do it every time.

To top off my beautiful day I sat reading in bed long after my eyes wanted to close. Next morning dawned grey and dreary. Without even getting out of bed, I reached for my book again and read to the end.

And sobbed my eyes out. Not just a sniffle but serious sobbing.

There's the Pulitzer and the Booker and any number of other prizes for writers, but the one that's most important to me is the Molly Bawn prize for Riveting Fiction, awarded to any book that so absorbs me that I forget who and where I am and become part of the world the author has created. I won't even try to explain what it was about. Sufficient to say --- an unusual love story --- funny, sad, and heart breaking. Go read it and you'll understand. Fortunately there was fresh soda bread and marmalade in the kitchen for comfort.

Who could ask for a better day? Thus fortified, I'm ready. Bring on the "shoulds!"