Wednesday, August 23, 2006

I knew going into it that this would be a lost summer, a series of sunny, beautiful weeks clouded by the constant overwhelming understanding that a very big deadline sat at the end of it -- and that every step I took along the way needed to contribute to my getting there.

Still, I don't think I quite anticipated what a beautiful period of time it would be.

The garden has never been more beautiful. The peonies and delphiniums, the hollyhocks, the roses, the lilies, and now the eupatorium and phlox. In the lower gardens, the vegetables continue to produce faster than I can eat them. Cucumbers, green beans, tomatoes, basil, dill, chives, zucchinis, lettuce, spinach, radishes, asparagus, even okra. With three rows of plump onions following close behind.

The current objects of my affection are these Italian Rose beans ripening on the bush. At the end of the summer, if all goes well, their contents will be collected and poured into a glass jar that will be lovingly coveted and slowly, tenderly consumed throughout the winter months.

The same abundant rain that created a stunning garden this year also helped produce one of the best blueberry crops in at least a decade. Which is pretty important in these parts, since a lot of people rely on the sale of their blueberries to put oil in their tank for the wintah.

You know what happens when you have a good blueberry crop?

That's right. Pancakes. Lots of 'em. Slathered in maple syrup and accompanied by crispy bacon. (Reminds me of a story: Apparently a friend of a friend of a friend of get the idea...named his child Christopher Paul Bacon. Only a few months later did someone point out that his name was Chris P Bacon.)

But I digress.

Life has otherwise pretty much consisted of this, from morning till night. Sitting at the laptop staring at words, reading words, thinking of words, typing words, muttering them, deleting them, shuffling them... I'm starting to feel like a short-order word cook. "I need two paragraphs, over easy, with a side of sidebars!" Coming up.

Welcome relief has been in the form of Don and Robert, two dear friends who occasionally sneak up to the house to ask, "We know you're busy..." (if I start to cry at that point, they know to turn around and get back into the car) "but maybe you'd like to go sailing?" On goes the sunscreen, down I go to the dock, off we go into the sparkling waters, and by the time I get back home, I feel like a completely new person.

The other occasional distraction would, of course, be this. For some reason Casey has decided that the best spot is directly behind my screen. It's actually a very effective way to keep life in proportion. When I start tearing my hair out about something (just how would you define semiworsted yarn anyway?!?) I glance beyond the words and see this guy. And everything returns to its current state of abnormality.

Along the way, I've consumed far too much of this. Marks & Spencer Gold tea. A hearty malty assam that I dilute with far too much milk and sugar, far too many times per day. I find that the more elaborate I make the tea tray, the more time I buy myself to think about something other than words. But I know it's been stressful because I've gone through a three-month supply of tea in only eight or so weeks. (This won't let up for another month, so I've sent to England for more provisions.)

Time marches on, and we're already nearing the end of August. Even writing those words sends a note of panic down my spine. But what a beautiful time it's been. I hope it's been so for you as well.


purlewe said...

I hear you!!!! and I KNOW you are doing great. I can feel it.

CPAknit said...

Clara- I LOVE blueberry pancakes, the way the blueberries burst when you bite into the pancake! Hang in there and the words will come.

Clara said...

Hey Cindy, hey Anj! Thanks for the words of encouragement. (Although Anj is cheating. She has to say those words because she's involved in the project...)

Martha said...

Honey bun,
Big yummy to the blueberries & the pancakes, all the veggies, Casey, the tea, the sailing, your computer writing & you.
Sending you lots of light & tho'ts of inspired, articulate writing & XOXO.

Laura said...

I gotta' tell you that when I read your words (oooh, there's that W.O.R.D. again) it's just like being there and gazing out the window at your breathtaking view.

I just hope that you plan on listing Casey as a co-writer and give him ample space on the credits page of your wonderful book to come.

Serena said...

Casey is so funny! It's like he's the new Trinkl & Leap team, nagging you about deadlines... It will be your cat editor who will pull you through this--we know you can do it. Take care!

diane said...

Have you tried tea from The Grace Tea Company in NYC
The english breakfast is fabulous