Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Grateful for the sh**!

Today, Tuesday, November 13, 2012 was my first opportunity in what seems weeks to sleep in. I know that’s not true, but it seems so.

It all began in mid-October.

The rains began on Friday, Columbus Day, the Fiftieth Anniversary of the Big Blow, ending a record dry spell.

I left Eugene on Monday under cloudy skies. Rain swirled at the crests of what I call the Four Bumps before Medford – Canyon Creek, Smith Hill, Stage Road and Sexton.

I spent the first night in Medford in a cozy bed at the best bed-and-dinner in town, lulled to sleep by the patter of rain on the roof. Best price, too! (Thanks, Jerry and Ben.)

Next morning, immersed in thick moisture, I skittered past ghostly semis and slipped over the Siskiyou Summit. The clouds parted. Welcome to California!

Rounding a bend near Yreka, I burst into song. “She’ll be comin’ round the mountain . . . ”

I chortled at the second verse, galloping on in my white, 6-cylinder coach. Drivin’ six whites, indeed!

And then things went downhill. I realized I had a sinus infection and battled it through the next ten days of travel. My intentions to write along the way, waxing poetic about the warm, windless day in San Francisco, evaporated; the sinus infection did not.

Back home on October 25th, I prepared for a critique session the next morning. Once through that, I collapsed.

On Monday, I dragged myself to the doctor, who confirmed my self-diagnosis. I started antibiotic treatment. I expected the sloshing in my right ear to disappear. It didn’t. The next Monday, November 5th, the ear doctor prescribed prednisone to dry up fluid behind the ear drum.

Today, my ear is almost clear.

And today I was ready to begin rewriting my next novel. I’d had a wonderful flash of insight based on the critiques and had written a bare-bones outline that felt right. I plunked myself at the computer and began. My break would be a shower before my noon yoga class.

About an hour before the class, I took a pair of muddy shoes outside to clean them. A squirrel had dug into the dirt in a pot on my patio. As I rushed to sweep the dirt, I nearly slipped in the raw sewage spewing from the cleanout pipe under my deck!

Yeah. My day went to shit!

But I have to say I’m grateful. I’m grateful I didn’t get into the shower. Who knows how much worse the mess could have been? Something, maybe my Virgo-ness, maybe The Force, guided my feet out the back door to the patio.

And I’m grateful to the plumbing company who initially scheduled me for eight o’clock tonight, but got here at two this afternoon and had it done by three. Wahoo!

But most of all, I'm grateful to have perspective. Earlier this month I got a call from a friend whose house had burned down. Not the way she'd planned to downsize, but she and her cat survived. A little shit on my deck? No problem.

The clothes I wore while mopping up are in the washer now. I’ll put them in the dryer and take a bath.

Then, I’ll get back to writing my novel.