Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The Many and Varied Uses of the Common List

Many years ago, back when I was young, I came down with a very bad case of broken heart. It was awful; I was only 22 or 23 and I had no idea I could hurt that badly and still breathe. The fellow in question had been part of my life for more than three years, and he left our apartment because he was done with me; he had found someone new, someone better, someone else.

When I was done crying, I cleaned. I cleaned every inch of that little apartment; I scoured the hardwood floors every week with hot water and bleach, I dusted every available surface, the Easter-egg purple bathroom gleamed. There was no clutter in that apartment; even the linen closet was tidy.

When I was done cleaning, I made up a Good Riddance list, in which I detailed every single thing about the man and the relationship that I would not miss. Toenail clippings in the living room? No more! Dirty socks on the floor? Begone!

It was very therapeutic.

So now I find myself, many years later, with my heart unbroken, alone without my son. And because I miss him like all getout, I cleaned the house to within an inch of its life today, and now I am making a list of the good things about having this time by myself:

1. Food. I can make any dish that pleases me, no matter what it is. The boy does not like macaroni and cheese, so the other night I made a big dish of it and no one, not a single person (or dog, even) said "ewwwwww, it's slimy, I'm not eating THAT."

2. More food. Raspberries. In season. All for me. No sharing. Enough said.

3. Time. I can get up whenever I please, go to bed when I like, and no one will come into my room and say "Good morning, sleepyhead!" when he thinks that I am rested enough.

4. More time. If I want to have breakfast at 11:00 and dinner at 7:30 (because that is when I am hungry) and no lunch at all, then That. Is. What. I'll. Do.

5. Ditto going out: the other night I walked the Wonder Dog down to the library in the cool of the evening, spent a lovely half hour not looking at Asterix, Geronimo Stilton, or Hardy Boys books, and browsed contentedly for a bag of discards (for two bucks!) afterwards. Then I strolled on home, under the shady trees, as the sun went down, in the quiet.

I think it's kind of like the first weeks (or months, even, ahem) after you move out on your own. You go a little crazy from the freedom, and do things like reverse the days and nights to such an extent that getting to your 11:00 French class is almost impossible (not that I ever did that. Oh no sirree, not me. It was an 11:30 German class, in fact.)

The truth is I miss my kid like crazy, and I'll be glad when he's home.

But in the meantime? I'll be eating raspberries while reading a book. Don't try to stop me, either.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

In Which Our Intrepid Reader Has a Rather Smelly Mishap

Please note: this image is not representative of how I look while on a horse.

Had a riding lesson this morning- I am glad to say that, while I may not be improving, I am not getting any worse either.

After the lesson I was brushing the horse off in a stall. She moved a little sideways, and stepped on the toe of my boot. I was stuck, moving backwards, and off balance when she moved around towards me. I lost my balance entirely, and fell backwards, boot still under the horse's hoof...

... and landed, oh gentle reader...

... right in a pile of horse shit.

It was actually quite funny; I was soaked right through my jeans, and had to put a blanket down on the seat of my car for the drive home. The minute I walked through the door every stitch of clothing went into the washing machine, and I had a lovely warm shower with lavender soap.

When my boy has swimming lessons I'm surprised he doesn't swallow the whole pool, because he can't stop smiling. That's the way I feel when I'm riding - I grin like a fool all the way home.

With the windows open, of course.

Monday, July 27, 2009

I am a bad, bad blogger.

So it's summer vacation, when every day seems like a Saturday (except without the laundry). I've been reading like a fool, but not much in the edifying department, more along the lines of the Complete Oeuvres of Maeve Binchy and J.K. Rowling and random choices from the paperback racks at the library. I've knitted up the entire Central Park Hoodie, but it's too hot to wear it. I'm knitting a sweater for the boy ("black and yellow stripes, mummy, like a bee"). I am avoiding the site where my wishlist lurks, tempting me while I try to save money.

Speaking of the boy, he went off to camp yesterday, leaving me with the vague feeling that I should be doing something useful. But no! I am updating my iPod and looking forward to my next riding lesson.

I am tidying my office and organizing it still further (I tend to keep things in my patented Piles of Crap system, which requires periodic maintenance. You know, where I go through the Piles of Crap and throw things out that I should have thrown out before they became a part of the pile. It works for me, people, or I wouldn't do it.)

I am cleaning out the boy's room - he also uses the Piles of Crap system.

I am not freaking out when I get letters from the bank saying "You owe us $1200 in property tax, how would you like to pay?"

I am trying to keep the wonder dog cool, even though she insists on wearing that silly fur coat wherever she goes.

I am making jam, and going swimming, and worrying about my boy, far away from me for the first time, and (also for the first time) without his beloved Teddy.

And that, dear reader, is why I am Too Busy To Blog.

Pity me, please.

Friday, July 10, 2009

George! You didn't jump in the river after all! How sensible of you.

The title of this post is brought to you by the movie the boy and I watched yesterday, while the rain poured down and while my muscles gradually stiffened into long strings of pain as a direct result of another riding lesson.

I love learning things, I really do, but I'm a smart cookie (if I do say so myself) and learning things is easy for me.

Book-learning things are easy, actually. I am not very coordinated, physically speaking, because of a tendency to view my body as nothing but a slightly awkward, unreliable, and poorly-designed transportation system for my brain. But no, I am going to learn to ride this horse, or die trying.

My sympathies are actually with the horse.

And, in case you haven't noticed, I have been so busy doing nothing that I don't want to write anything on the blog.

If you're looking for something to read, though, Sarah Dunant's new book "Sacred Hearts" was fantastic.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

O, Canada

I have not been in a blogging kind of mood lately.

I have been reading pulp fiction, and drinking beer, and finishing school (it's done!), and hanging out with my boy, and making jam, and making plans, and making a mess. I have been having nasty arguments with people, and worrying about things that are out of my control and which will more than likely resolve themselves in the next while, anyway.

Also, I have been learning to ride a horse, which is going better than you might think.

I have been eating nachos in a bid for emotional comfort, and spending money on my dog (who is much better now, although she remains very high-mileage and in need of some work on her transmission).

I have been not answering the phone, and meaning to buy a bike, and watering my plants every morning.

I have been knitting the right sleeve of the Central Park Hoodie and wondering what to do with a boy for two months of holidays.

And then I remembered two things: I started this blog a year ago, and I am loving it; and it's Canada Day.

When I worked in the funeral home, I once commented on the number of people who had July 1 as their birthday. Strange, I thought, that so many people from Asian countries were born on the same day...

Not so, said my boss. Sometimes people coming in to Canada know the year they were born, but not the day. They get to pick a birthday, and so they choose either January 1 (because it's my gramma's birthday, of course) or July 1. I find that fact extremely touching.

So happy birthday, Canada - go have a beer. On me.