A few weeks ago, after years of saying no to my dermatologist’s recommendation of a two week efudex treatment on my face and upper chest, I said yes.
It isn’t pretty or fun. And you don’t get a picture here. Look it up – effing efudex.
The fact that I couldn’t go outside made my world even worse. Yes, Dr. May, I know it’s for a good cause, fighing skin cancer and all. After all the skin cancer I’ve had, I’m ready to try something different. All the same, all I could think about was all the things I couldn’t do.
Since I couldn’t go outside anyway, I started on my planned home remodel project. Bathroom first, then bedroom, then the rest of the house. I painted the bathroom in shades of white and lavender, adding new window and shower curtain treatments and finished it off with artsy faceplates of irises and lillies.
Prettiest room in the house now. Here, you can have this picture.
Next I started on my bedroom/office. You know the first step – clearing everything out. Paintings, books and journals before taking down the desk, bookcases and bed.
After going round and round with myself about whether to really clean out the stuff on my desk, or just procrastinate and put it in the basement to go through later, I decided to tackle now the stacks of journals, letters, and notes, transcribing them into computer files so I can throw out the journals themselves. I figure I won’t be really going anywhere for the next several months, so I’ve got plenty of time and I work on it every day as long as I can focus. When I can’t, I stop and write. Like this. Or I go read some more Moby Dick.
One thing I noticed while reading and transcribing is how much more emotional are the reading of words and lines – and between the lines – in the handwritten version vs type on a page. I actually paused to consider keeping the journals. No, I am not keeping them. Well, maybe bits of one or two of them. We’ll see.
It’s entertaining, discovering things I did years ago, some of which I’d completely forgotten about. Re-reading and transcribing notes written in fits of happiness, anger, love and despair, looking back on good times and terrible ones as well. Life. Nothing too extraordinary, really. Just life.
Sometimes I’ll throw in an addendum, with the current date. I’m thinking I have a few treasures here for various upcoming writing sessions of yarns and tales. That’s for you, Peggy.
Something like this note at the beginning of a month-long train trip across the country with my two boys, Rob and Tom when they were 11 and 8, 1979:
Set-up: We were visiting friends in L.A. (and going to Disneyland!), and while my friends went to work one day, we took a bus out to a little lake in some canyon somewhere or other.
The boys had a great time swimming, rolling down the grassy green hills and watching some guys with their sons running a remote control boat on the lake. Each time the boat would nosedive, one of the kids would paddle out on his little raft, retrieve the boat and they’d do it all over again. Everyone laughing and having a ball.
An ice cream truck came by, exciting the heck out of us. The truck driver, I suppose he thought we lived around there, asked Rob if he wanted a job helping on the ice cream truck. (What? – I ask myself now).
It was time to get back to Bill’s house, and we started our little trek to the bus stop. It was hot and sunny and we felt lucky to stumble upon a little market where we grabbed a couple of beers, crackers and soda pops.
Outside the little shop, we found this.
Now, there’s a little history for you. A stamp machine and a mailbox on the wall of the shop.
Just one of the unexpected and sweet conveniences that made our entire trip so enjoyable. And kept us, for the most part, in good spirits.
Okay, I’ll leave you here.
I’ve got more work to do. A lot more.