It's amazing how much time you can waste when you are not working. I've reverted to the ease I remember from staffing the printer's house at Old Sturbridge Village where we cooked over a fireplace all morning, and then sat around sewing in the parlors in the afternoons. I'm not doing summer school because of my hip, and there are few concrete goals at the moment. It's amazing to watch myself ride in and out of the tide like a bunch of flotsam, never really going anywhere until I'm beached. Granted, my life is pretty limited at the moment, so what could I achieve, really?
Here are the details of my 19th century life. I just made coffee at noon, decided it was too hot to drink it, so I put it in the fridge, and then I grabbed fruit salad to eat in front of Julia Child. She seemed to be cooking a moose carcass. In the middle of the fruit, I heard a light rain on the sunroof, so I crutched out to the clothesline to grab my sheets, then I spent 20 minutes trying to figure out where to put damp sheets to dry in the house. One sheet mingles in the room with the catbox, and I was worried that might take the freshness out of my clean laundry.
Marcia's cat, by the way, has an odd relationship with her catbox. She will stay outside for hours, then beg to come in so she can crap in her box. Yes, it's good of her to use the appropriate facilities, but still...the great outdoors is an excellent port-a-potty, especially out back where the daisies are growing.
My grandniece, Melissa, Ollie the dog, and my great-grand niece, Paige, and my niece, Cheri, showed up yesterday for a visit, a sort of Little Women kind of event. One of the pleasures of being at my sister's house is being in the same area as my family. Paige is 6 months and I've only seen her a couple of times because she lives in New Jersey. She's this delicious chunk of a girl--what is this human inclination to suck on those cheeks or toes, or tenderly put your teeth around a plump little arm? Not that you would--or you'd wait until others leave the room--but it's a primal instinct, one I remember well. No worries--I never ate my kids. Paige is an extraordinary little girl, the queen of our affections when she pays a visit. While I often develop a strong connection with my students, there's no comparison to blood, that riveting attention you give to a new baby in the family. It reduces females, in particular, to their lowest IQ point, because yesterday we all sat around with gaping mouths, discussing the intense blue of Paige's eyes (her dad's), her determination (her mom's), and every tiny detail about this child that could make conversational fodder.
The other time waster these days is trying to think about what I want to do with the rest of my life. I have no adventures planned this time around, maybe because even the most outlandish places to live become marked by our own habits pretty quickly and, therefore, become like our regular life at home where we hang on to a particular coffee cup or way of waking up and thinking about negative things. I start to think that, as one meditation teacher once put it, the real adventures happen inside. I bought a book called "Unlearning Meditation", recommended by a couple of friends. My next big adventure could be a return to studying my own mind and how it gets me into trouble.