The Great Divorce

I was going to title this post "A Trial Separation."  But it's more than that.

(I hope.)

So I stole the title from C.S. Lewis (the mark of any good writer...plagiarism) as it was a more accurate description.

(I hope.)

Towards the end of summer, I allowed myself during brief moments to think about the long, yawning hours of quietude and solitude that were coming.  I thought about going back to school.  (Nursing, I thought.  After all, motherhood has prepared me in the arts of blood and vomit and, especially, poo.)  I thought about going back to work.  (Teaching, I surmised.  But only part-time, as I still have a full-time gig here, only the hours have changed.)  I thought about volunteering.  (But then I remembered my whole life has been volunteer work.  I needed a change.)

And then I thought about the one thing that I haven't allowed myself to think about.

The little dream on hold. 

The writing dream.

The little dream I thought I'd never really get to.  (Perhaps even hoped I'd never really get to.  Excused out of failure, see?)  

And in an act of supreme courage and wild daring, I bought a writing table.

And this week I separated Berni and O'Dell.

In order to make my intentions loud and clear.  (Mostly to myself.)

Now there's nothing for it but to try, and Berni and O'Dell have resorted to yelling across the room.  Right now they're both hoarse and more than a little ticked off at me, but I told them to give it some time.  It's only the first week after all.  It's new for all of us.

I also told them on the plus side now they can roll their eyes at each other when I start losing it.  I can already hear the "I told you so's",  but, for now, I am firmly ignoring them.

For his part, David is trying to restrain his curiosity.  (Which he has never been good at.)  He keeps walking by the room, wondering what's happening between these two and hiding his mild interest at their apparent separation, but also being wise enough not to ask too many questions.

As for me, I am trying to remain hopeful.  (See the first four lines.)  However, I don't really think too much of a writer who uses this many parentheses in one post.

(11, including this one.)

(By the way, if you ever bring this post up in real life I'm going to pretend I don't know what you're talking about.)

(13.  Damn.)

O'Dell Feeds Berni's Martyr Complex

Quilt Retreat is only nine days away.  (Can I get a hallelujah?)  Not that I'm counting.  Or crossing days off on the calendar.  Or gleefully removing links from my paper chain.

And that means that O'Dell and Bernina have been spending lots of time together again.  The gossip has been flying over egg salad sandwiches and fresh lemonade.  Between sewing seams and proofing invitations for the hospital benefit, they're busy swapping plans for new curtains in the family room and recipes for chicken pot pie and figuring out the Easter dinner menu.

This morning O'Dell told Berni that she looked tired.

"I was up late last night.  It's like this every year.  A mad dash of sewing before quilt retreat."

O'Dell harrumphs loudly.  "Well girl, don't wear yourself out.  You've got quilt retreat next week.  You've got to get some rest before then."

Berni just shakes her head and sighs dramatically,  "I just have to survive the next couple of weeks and then she'll ignore me for the rest of the year."  Berni loves to play the martyr.  Overworked or ignored, it's impossible to make her happy.

We all survived our first day back to life.  Last night we ate dinner out on the porch and listed our grievances:  Fractions and decimals and the upcoming standardized testing were all vociferously maligned.  This morning I planned out our day like we were going into battle, coordinating troop movements and checking supply lines.  It turns out that today is the busiest day of the year (I had no idea), but we all have plans to meet back here around eight and share O'Dell's fried chicken and dumplings together.  I may even whip up a lemon pie just to celebrate our getting through the day.

Spring break already feels like a very long time ago.

Regretfully Yours


I put a ribbon in my hair this morning "for extra beauty," as Olivia says, and to lift my spirits.

This morning I asked Olivia how our mutual friend, Anne, was doing.  (I get an update most days while I'm doing her hair.)

She said ruefully, "She got her temper up.  And now she's got to apologize."

Poor Anne.

I know just how she feels.  We had similar nights apparently.

For a person who hates having a hard heart, I sure seem to hang on to mine tenaciously.


My laptop keyboard is covered in fabric lint, as it has been stationed right next to my sewing machine for the last couple of days, with me intermittently sewing between blogging and working on my hospital benefit project.  (Will I finally get something to the printer today?  Let's hope so.  I've got my fingers crossed.)  It's kind of a nice tools of creation sharing a table.  Imagine the conversations they could have over lunch.  The one shaking her head (the laptop is new here) and the other shrugging her shoulders (the bernina has been here a while and knows the drill), but both of them with worried frowns creasing their foreheads.

O'Dell: Is she always like this?

Berni: What this?  This is nothing.  You should have seen her in May of 2007.  Now that was crazy.

O'Dell:  Really? 

And then Bernina would tell O'Dell about every meltdown and maelstrom and molehill-turned-mountain she ever had the horror of witnessing.

And that would be a very long lunch.

And after that, every time I got on my laptop I would hear O'Dell tutting her tongue and mumbling things like, "Some people just don't want to be happy," and "Girl, don't get me started," under her breath.

Do you want to know the worst part?

I can't even remember why I was mad in the first place.

But don't tell David.  This morning I was still pretending to be right.