Putting out brush fires


My day started with a bang—literally. The bang of drums. Sophie woke me about seven-thirty, and as I let her out, I heard this strange, rhythmic noise. Finally dawned on me this morning was the annual walkathon to raise funds for the elementary school across the street. The children walk a little over a mile to raise money for special programs and supplies for the school. The marching band from Paschal High School plays—yes, beginning with seven-thirty warm-ups, the Fort Worth Mounted Police come out along with officers in patrol cars to direct traffic, and neighbors line the sidewalks to cheer for the kids.

Talk about a nostalgia moment. It’s been eleven years since Jacob did his first walkathon. For all the years he was at sweet Lily B., his dad walked with him, and I sat on the front porch where I had a bird’s-eye view of the proceedings.

After that the day dissolved into a lot of fighting brush fires. I have a friend who used to say his day kept him busy putting out brush fires. Tonight, I really know what he meant. Among the problems I dealt with today were finding a seasoned professional pet sitter for a possible brief trip out of town when I cannot take Sophie, ordering some Christmas presents, finding out why my computer doesn’t print full color but only yellow, determining why one of my books is on Chirp, an audio book site, when I’ve never authorized an audio version of that particular book, calling the yard guy to please again do something about the decorative grasses which are no longer decorative. It’s called dealing with the stuff of life. I think some folks assume that since Jordan takes such good care of me, she manages my life, but that’s not true. I do it, from finances on—and some days it’s overwhelming.

Tonight, I can report some successful Christmas shopping and an arrangement with a pet sitter, but otherwise I’m swimming upstream. I went through the self-help online steps for my printer, but it’s no better. I have “chatted” with Chirp, Audible, and ACX about the surprise online book—each refers me to the other until I feel like a tennis ball being bounced about. And the yard guy hasn’t called—I told him I’d pay my bill when he solves my problem. Actually, he’s a friend and he’ll know that’s a bluff.

So tomorrow Jordan and Christian are entertaining friends for a potluck in the evening, and I am bringing the salmon dip she has always loved and the Reuben dip Christian loves despite its sauerkraut. So there goes a chunk of the morning. Another chunk will go to visit a friend who is moving out of her house and wants us to look at some items before she disposes of them. And maybe, just maybe, I’ll get to read a bit.

But it has been a good week: I held the first copy of The Most Land, the Best Cattle: The Waggoners of Texas, and I must say TwoDot (Globe Pequot) did a great job of production. It’s a book that feels good in your hands, slim but well done. And I sent Irene in Danger to the formatter, so it’s essentially out of my hands. I submitted an article about Berkely to the Fort Worth Report for their “Where I Live” series, and I blogged daily. I worked some with that collection of Dorothy Johnson’s letters—I hope to get an article about her ideas on the craft of writing and her acerbic comments on some of her contemporaries. And in the middle of one night, I had some great ideas about another Irene in Chicago Culinary Mystery. It hasn’t all been a week of brush fires.

Now I’m ready to curl up with a book. I have lots of thoughts about politics, particularly our current governor, but I’ll save them for another time. I’ve been trying to avoid politics in this blog, but I may get to the point I’ll burst if I don’t vent. Meantime, sweet dreams, y’all.