We have a friend who comes once a week to share her lunch with us. We keep our distance at the table. She listens to my apprehensions, worries, exhaustions…and then offer suggestions. The leaves above were a gift from her this week. I tied them together with string just to keep control over something and love how they dry and curl in this bundle.
After lunch I get Lee set up to be outside doing something while I vent to Barbara. Here are some of her ideas:
Start using the dishwasher again! Don’t rush through the meal and wash up while Lee is still eating…put the dishes for the day in the washer and even if it is no where near full, turn it on after dinner! It works!
Add another hour to the caregivers time and get five hours of free time. I talked to the caregiver and her employer and that idea goes into effect starting Monday. This way when I have toi do the shopping it does take up half my time, just some of it.
Use the apartment more to remove myself from listening to what is going on with Lee and the caregiver. What a great idea! I only used it once to write the text to construct books around before.
Speaking of which this is what I wrote the day before Barbara came that put me in a frazzle when she was here.
In Just Two Hours
In just two hours:
Left to do the grocery shopping,
had a car to car visit with neighbors
on the way back to my house.
Like everyone else when they see me,
I am told they think of us.
Can they visit Lee?
I tell them he may not know who they are.
We go our separate ways.
Groceries are unpacked and put away,
so is my coat and purse,
I am sweating.
The cold wine called,
I couldn’t just carry the bottle downstairs
past the hall where they would see me,
the caregiver and Lee.
And now I am here in the studio,
writing and holding the water glass.
Trying to make it last.
So yes the apartment works fine. I do not get internet there but the house phone can be carried over so the ringing will not upset Lee.
There are two trunks full of old memories I needed to look into and toss some out. Under a couple of trash bags I took over a bottle of wine. Yesterday I wanted to be ready to retreat here as soon as the caregiver came.
The first thing I did was fix a spot of herbal tea in my old favorite pot with the cup down below. Used a little of coffee raspberry flavoring to sweeten it.
Then I set up my pads, sketchbooks, laptop, etc on a table Lee made using sewing machine legs that is by the window and near the loom he made me in 1982.
The apartment also has old oil paintings I did in the mid 80s.
The door into the apartment and the counter tops Lee made.
And those two trunks stacked at the bedroom end.
And after facing the trunks, filling a large garbage bag, sorting letters and old photos for the kids to deal with, I treated myself. Wine in a glass that Lee frosted.
In looking at old photos of myself with the intention of just throwing them out, I was caught in a childhood I had forgotten about. Since I am the only surviving one of six children, there has been no one to say, “Remember when…?” The result is, you simply forget. I looked at an old photo book of me from 2 to 23. Then I met Lee and less than a year later our daughter was born. Those photos from that time on were packed up weeks ago to push off on the kids. My childhood, their report cards and drawings all kept in one of the trunks are now ready to go off with them. They get to throw them away. I just could not do it.
The last four days drawings of scarves.
Antique silk scraps
pieced together randomly –
Very drapey mesh
of rayon strings loosely knit
and knotted at ends.
A knitted tie dyed
loop of a nice colorful
band in pinks and blues.
Multiple knit loops
gathered and knotted
from Laughing Squid.
*Note: I tried contacting Laughing Squid this morning to order another one of these fun neck pieces that wrap three times around. They must be out of business now. It was an Etsy shop. I wish I had bought more at the time.
Is there anything like a belly full of extraordinary food and wine – then locked up in a single cabin first class on the Ghan swaying your way into the Northern Territory and listening to the anti war version of Waltzing Matilda” I think not!
I am washed, lotioned and propped up in a space that is pie shaped, 24” at the pillow end and six feet down it is panning to 48”. My door to the hall is across from my daughter Amy’s cabin. A wash basin folds up not six inches from my right foot. All I need is here in this space.
A wonderful dinner with Aussies – full of politics, wineries and family talks and a promise to meet at breakfast. Then there is the window- more than a metre and open to the outback of Australia. What is out there in the dark? I know it is wild, mysterious and beautiful – nothing less. I will sleep through some of this and be sorry that I did. But I am older now than the last time and can trust Australia to be hre when I wake. Good night.
And Anzac cookies made this week.
Til later….Lee just broke the leaf blower again….I will just buy another one on Monday. There could be another leaf somewhere.