16 November 2004 by Published in: writing No comments yet

I dropped Sophia off at school. I will have to pick her up earlier than normal, because I do not have enough things on hand to provide her with the lunch I would have needed to send her to school with so she could stay through the noon meal and playtime. I was talking to Sergei as I walked out the door, assuring him that although he was not coming with us, that I would be right back. Sophia turned to me and asked “You are coming to home after you take me to school?” Yes, yes I am. “But you need to go to work, mama.” Well, I explained, I don’t actually have a place to work right now. “Why don’t you have a work to go to, mama?” Well because I moved here with daddy when he got his work, but I don’t have one yet. I might get one later. “You need to have a work, mama.” How about if I do work around the house? There are lots of things to be done here, like unpack all those boxes and things. Sophia remained largely unconvinced. Going to work is what people do : daddies, mamas and Sophias. I’m sure in time it will seem normal to her that I don’t go to work, but right now it’s as weird to her as it is to me. This is really the first day I have felt at home and unemployed. This is where it begins. Right now is the time I’m supposed to be using to write, and so I am purposely staying away from the boxes and the laundry and the dishes and the lists and the grocery store. I will tackle those later, with Sophia at my heels. It will slow me up a bit, but the only way to write is to write, and I have to establish the routine and the habit as part of what I do here, or I will never do it. Today I am taking it easy, just hammering on the blog. I’ve got plenty to say here with all that has happened in the move and not having had access to it for a few days. Tomorrow, maybe (hopefully), I’ll take my first steps on a story that’s been knocking around my brain, something that requires a little more structure and discipline. I’m excited about this prospect. I am sure it will have its pitfalls and disappointments and difficult moments, as any work does, but its good and worthwhile work, and I’m looking forward to doing it.

Both my camera memory sticks were totally full and so I didn’t get any pictures of the house while it was empty, or of the movers unloading furniture. I kind of wish I had taken some photos, but then that’d be just that many more pictures that I’m behind in processing for the database, so it’s probably just as well.

Gah, I can’t wait to have DSL so that I can sit somewhere else in the house to write. Not that this room isn’t lovely (it’s actually one of the best rooms in the house), but sitting on the bed with the laptop on my legs isn’t the most ergonomic way to write. It’s comfortable for brief periods, but not over the long term. When I got up a moment ago my legs were incredibly stiff. I really need to do some stretching. Both the cats are sitting with me on the bed, with their backs to me, looking out the window. I wonder if they find the view as lovely as I do. Maybe they’re just ignoring me while not letting me out of their sight after our weeklong separation.

In closing, here is an incomplete list of things I already love about my new (old) house and the town its in:

  • our local public radio station. It’s fantastic. It’s talk radio all day long, including a BBC noon newscast at the crack of dawn, Talk of the Nation, Fresh Air and more. They give worthwhile weather reports, with a real meteorologist, and meaningful traffic reports also.
  • the bay window in the front room of the house.
  • the for real sidewalks all over my neighborhood, and the sight of all the children walking down them to the elementary school down the street this morning.
  • the old fashioned, turn the knob to make it ring doorbell that sounds like a bicycle bell mounted on the center of our front door.
  • the serious water pressure and the speed with which the water turns hot here. Although our old house had great water pressure, it’s something I always appreciate. The water took forever to kick into hot there, though, which was always kind of a pain.
  • the small, local, specialized, storefront shops all over the place, and the fun I will have exploring them. I’ve already seen two bookstores I want to go into, a butcher, a camera shop, a couple of pet supply stores, and more.
  • the things you find in the supermarket that give you the local flavor: half an aisle of spaghetti sauces instead of just one shelf hinting at the Italian influence, fresh bagels in a dozen flavors in the bakery section giving away the Jewish heritage, heaps of Provel next to Cheddar and Colby reminding you that you are in St. Louis.


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