As Thanksgiving approaches, I am reminded of holidays of the past. The collage above features some of those moments.
I am sipping my third cup of coffee this morning and thinking about the food, the fun, and even the Christmas holiday right behind this one.
Today is a day of errands, house cleaning, etc. I had been pondering giving my kitchen a Deep Clean…and I ended up dreaming about the process! Now that’s annoying…I only want to do it once, not during my sleep, too.
But if there is one thing I know about how much I hate this kind of housework, I also know how I tend to think through every process, breaking it down to little manageable tidbits. As if the activity will become as automatic as rote. As if I can slide right into it mechanically and it will be so smooth that I can think about other things while I’m doing it.
When I was a kid doing chores, I used to spin stories in my head. Fully developed plots, characters, etc. Afterwards I might even write some of these things down.
Who knew that I would grow up to write a few books (Six, so far), an activity that constantly reminds me that stories can take us out of our daily grind and even help us leap over life’s hurdles.
Here’s a brief excerpt from Chapter One of An Accidental Life, picking up where I left off with the last snippet:
On the city bus, Bridget sat with her backpack at her feet. Seeing the unfamiliar faces, that ever-present anxiety hovered in the form of a lump in her throat. A quiet girl, Bridget had a small group of acquaintances, and only one really close friend. That friend, Fawn Holleran, also fifteen, was now spending the whole summer with her father who lived in LA. When Fawn had announced her summer plans, Bridget had felt the beginnings of the now-familiar anxiety. Even though she was attending summer school everyday, that only used up the mornings; every afternoon, she would be all on her own for the first summer for as far back as she could remember.
She and Fawn, who lived in an adjacent apartment within the same complex, had always hung out at the mall, trying on clothes and sipping slurpees or sodas. Their days had been crammed with lazy activities and they had usually ended up in one or the other’s apartment, watching TV or listening to the latest tunes. So now what was Bridget to do? She couldn’t think of any of her acquaintances to share such moments with, and couldn’t imagine that same closeness with any of them. Of course, she could go to the mall alone and see what happened. Maybe she could pretend she was waiting for someone and then none of the other kids would realize that she had nobody. She tried to take some kind of inspiration from her mother, who was used to being alone. Karin often went off to the movies or the mall, completely solo, and seemed so blasé about it. Maybe she was only pretending too!
As she tentatively planned out her afternoon, Bridget closed her eyes. She felt her body thrown slightly forward as the bus lurched over the potholes in the road, and when she breathed, she smelled the noxious fumes mixed with the body sweat of the passengers. The temperature was already at 90 degrees, very hot for so early in the morning.
Trying to imagine she was at the beach, Bridget could almost feel the ocean’s breezes and smiled to herself. It would be so great to have a beach house. She sometimes watched those entertainment channels on cable, the ones portraying the lifestyles of the rich and famous. She pictured herself walking down the beach in front of her own elegant home, calling out to neighbors whose lives were equally glamorous. Maybe someday. She was jolted back to reality by the grinding brakes of the bus. When she opened her eyes, she realized that they had reached the campus. Struggling to a standing position, she collected her backpack and moved to the front of the bus.
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To read the whole chapter, click HERE.
What do you do to while away the boring hours of chores, errands, etc.? Come on by and let’s chat.