So, I’ve been on a writing retreat at our house trailer on Little Green Lake for two weeks. Fabulous scenery, fabulous quiet, fabulous writing progress. I should be fine, right?
I sure thought so. But I realized today that something was wrong. The problem became clear to me when I discovered that I had two rolls of film to take in for developing (stifle the sniggers). It occurred to me that in order to get the pictures printed, I’d have to drive from Little Green Lake to the bustling (not) burg of Ripon, Wisconsin, to get to a Walgreens photo department.
I felt elated! Elated to drive 25 minutes to Ripon!
On the way to Ripon, I almost hit a limb on the highway because I was somewhere in dopey land. I think I had so slowed down, living those two weeks at the lake, that my normal level of alertness was gone, baby, gone.
My much put-upon husband will be the first to tell you that I complain mightily about traffic. “I feel nauseated when I see a long line of cars,” I tell him repeatedly. And it’s true.
And yet, today, traffic was what I needed. I felt exhilarated amidst other cars. And I can’t describe my lift when I saw a long congested line of ugly stores: McDonalds, Subway, Pick n Save, Pizza Hut, Big K-Mart, a car dealership, and yes, my much-needed Walgreens.
Something more about being alone for two weeks: I find I have extremely meaningful conversations with anyone whose path I cross… like the librarian where I go for my daily Wi-Fi fix, and the check-out clerk at the Piggly Wiggly grocery store. It happened again today with the pharmacist at Walgreens… Would you believe we both have November 3 birthdays? And her son too? He was her birthday present. November 3 people really understand each other, I’ll tell ya… and on and on, yammer yammer….
Wednesday afternoon, I finished my new screenplay (working title, “Don’t worry, baby”). This was cause for celebration, so I drank a Summer Shandy and walked my dog in balmy darkness along the lake. Beautiful. But in spite of the good news and the serenity, I was beginning to feel just a bit lonely. Maybe it was because I knew Mike wouldn’t be joining me this coming weekend – he’d be in Aberdeen, South Dakota with his mother for a Stoia family reunion.
Then Wednesday night - perfect timing - my “adopted” daughter (my own daughter’s best friend) Colleen called and asked if she and her girls could come up for a visit on Thursday. I said sure. I was at a good stopping point, and I needed some company.
Their visit on Thursday was a lazy day of relaxation, laughs, and joy. I need kids like a junkie needs smack. Alaina and Bella were a great fix for me.
But today, instead of working on the novelization of “Don’t worry baby” (which was the main goal of my writing retreat), I spent the whole time writing a story about my day of fun with Alaina and Bella. I want to put the words into a little book with the photos I took (and which are at Walgreens getting developed as I write this).
I’m not sure if I’m just been trying to avoid digging into writing my book (I have started it – I’m all of 683 words into it), or if it was a way of feeling less lonely, but I sure did enjoy writing the story for Alaina and Bella. I can’t wait to give it to them. Writing makes the best gift!
Tomorrow is Saturday. I plan to give myself the gift of writing. On to the novelization of “Don’t worry baby!” Or else!