Thursday, December 20, 2018


It’s thundering outside. I love how one hears the rain when one had a tin roof. I love the permission that comes with rain to stoke the fire and to plan a day indoors—a very short day.
I washed two rugs on Wednesday! I’ve never done it before. I feel like I should get a Good Homemaker badge, just as I did when I washed my first blankets, for taking it on. And they look fabulous—the colours are back, bright and snappy, and I’m absolutely thrilled. I washed them in cold water and air-dried them so … no guilt. 
I always took things to cleaners or had cleaners in when I lived in the city. I love doing these things for myself. Next I’m going to wash the sofa. 
Come summer, I’m definitely getting a clothesline so I can dry my laundry outdoors and get that great smell in my shirts—and reduce my hydro bill. (Remember: My hydro bill was $4,500 last year!)
I washed the toilets and tub, dusted all the wood furniture and swept the deck and courtyard.  Plus … I vacuumed all the cushions on my sofa and chairs. Badge please!
My house sparkles and … wait for it… I shaved! It’s something I do rarely now. And then, just as I was finishing up, the phone rang. It was Tawny. She and her friend, June, wanted to come and see my ladies. As pooped as I was from all the cleaning, it was fun to see how impressed and excited they were. 
It’s interesting to be seen as “an artist.” It’s a title I’ve always declined. (I don’t like the word; it has no meaning.) But I enjoy being accepted as a peer creator by those who do call themselves artists here.
They left just past 3:30 and by 3:45 it was getting dark. After all the day’s work, I just wanted to chill on the couch with Her Highness.
When I was a kid, I was fascinated by the story of the Pied Piper. I was forever pondering what happened to all the kids. 
Another thing about when I was a kid was the prevalence of stories about hermits. It was a time when homeless people were called hobos. The media was full of illustrations of men, with a stick over their shoulder and with a kerchief tied to its end wherein, presumably, were the hobo’s worldly possessions. 
Hobos rode the train and convened on the edge of cities, but hermits lived in wild isolation. All these terms disappeared.
I recalled by fascination with hobos and hermits after the Vietnam War when returning American soldiers with PTSD fled to live in the most remote parts of America.
And here I am—not isolated, but certainly withdrawn from a social life.
The staff at the hospital where my mother lived used to differentiate between “her” actions and actions driven by her illness. “That’s not your mother saying that,” they would say.
So I wonder: Do I want to live in isolation or is it my illness that makes me want to be here? Am I my illness or am “I” something separate from it? This is the kind of thing I ponder as I do my housework.
Today I’ll go for a short walk this morning with H.H., and after that, I’m meeting Jay for breakfast. Then I’m cleaning the fridge and tidying up the pantry while I ponder some more and earn another badge.

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