Writing keeps me sane-ish…

Good morning blank page that is staring me down threatening to stay blank and thwart my efforts. Good morning crazy mind that rambles away down the path of dissatisfaction and concern. Good morning cool basement that is an oasis from continuing heat in the Denver area. Good morning happy dogs who sprawl out on the floor after a somewhat satisfying w-a-l-k down the Highline Canal trail (still marveling at this trail system in suburbia! It’s amazing).

The interesting thing about writing my blog has been that I don’t know where I am going. It’s like wandering in a car. Sometimes I head down peaceful country roads. Other times, I buzz down a highway at 90 miles an hour in a convertible eating bugs. Still others, I honk and swear as I am stuck in gridlock in sweltering city heat. I never quite know where I will go, how it will end up or how it will all come back together (or if it will). I have been willing to trust and to keep my fingers clicking away. 91,000+ words later, I have developed a small amount of faith that I will keep writing about this journey – for a while anyway. The new plan of one morning of blogging and the next dedicated to my re-write hasn’t quite launched as planned. Yesterday, I took the day off from all writing and celebrated the 4th with David by going to IKEA to plan our kitchen. I am so happy that he enjoys the design process as I do not. It is daunting and I don’t have strong opinions about the kitchen not being the gourmet chef and all. Does it have a coffee pot? Then we are good.

I found myself relaxing more deeply the last few days in this cool basement. We have the dogs together again and the ease of coming and going. I have already mentioned the retail mecca all around us in which we have barely begun to partake. Einstein’s for breakfast (the Santa Fe wrap grilled!) after the dog park was a perfect beginning to the day. As we drove down the highway to begin some retail therapy, David realized he forgot his shoes. A perfect metaphor for our ‘unheeledness’ that remains. We were half-way to our destination (which for town-dwellers isn’t that far) but instead of turning around I proposed we go to DSW, sneak him in and buy some shoes. I promised to run block and if confronted by the shoe police, I would pull the fire card. Don’t tempt me. I will pull that card. Unhindered, he wandered the aisles and bought a much needed pair of Keens which he wore out. The closest we got to being busted was when the cashier said, “Do you want to put your old shoes in a box?” His simple retort: “No, thank you.”

In this cool basement, it is almost easy to be lulled into forgetting all that needs to be done in the next month before we shift gears into vacation mode. I simply must honor my plan to write first thing on my book. We simply must finish the daunting inventory. We simply must price everything for our new house so we can have home on the horizon. The list goes on but I am pacified by the constant drown of the fan that draws more cool air into this space. I even get chilly down here and wear socks and a sweatshirt. Not so much outside. There were rumors of the heat breaking but at 8am this morning on our walk a break was no where to be found.

Have you noticed that life goes on even in the midst of our own personal chaos and troubles? It does. I am trying to keep up with some of it. I take on what I can and let go of what I can’t. Taxes? Hmmmm. May not happen before we go. Thank you notes? Carrying them around with me and never seem to be able to write any. Bills? Don’t have the right postage so I carry those around for a while too. Brushing the dogs teeth? Every time I get a wet stinky kiss I pledge to begin the routine and then never quite do. Returning phone calls? Please be patient with me. Answering emails? The same, please. Grocery shopping? Sounds like a good plan but even in retail heaven can’t quite get there. Checking in with friends? Sometimes…

I do take the time to stop and glimpse at Tigger who absolutely knows his home is on any bed in sight. He raises an eyebrow as he catches us looking. We are so smitten by this dog we drop everything to kiss his sweet-smelling head. Roscoe, the “good one” sleeps on his dogbed, doesn’t pull on the leash, plays nicely with others, will do his business in the small courtyard. Tigger pulls like a drafthorse, crouching his 90 pounds of muscle low to the ground, will not use the courtyard so must be walked for all of his business, meanders instead of eating his meals, gets up on couches and beds everywhere which doesn’t always go over well depending on whose home we are visiting, and sometimes just doesn’t like a particular dog for no apparent reason.

These dogs and their shenanigans bring us continual joy (even amongst the occasional frustration). Tigger almost ripped my arm off yesterday going after a rabbit. He bolts so quickly one can’t prepare. Walking the two of them by myself is not a pretty site. We observed dog pairs out jogging with their people never falling out of step or out of line. Not our dogs. These are mountain dogs, raised to roam, unused to the leash. And, they are sight hounds so anything that moves is fair game. They will roam again. They will have the dog door to exit and enter at whim. They will always be allowed on the bed (don’t tell my husband) and on the couch. We moved from fabric to leather as our final act of surrender to this fact. Big, strong, muscular, independent and loyal, these lion hunters are our precious babies.

Now I begin to shift gears as I near 1000 words which seems to be my sweet spot. I have said what I want to say for the moment and become ready to face the day in a way I wouldn’t otherwise. My release valve, my outlet, my sanity, my expression. My writing has become all of that and more. It readies me for human consumption… mostly.  I am free to be me here.  I am able to tell you what I need to say, learn who I am becoming and witness the ebbs and flows of my energy level.

Now I will dash out to Einstein’s to get another Santa Fe wrap for breakfast because I can.

But before I exit this cool basement and re-enter the world of sunshine and heat, I want to thank you for reading.  I truly, absolutely, for real, could not do this without you.

  • Valerie Baker-Easley
    Posted at 00:58h, 07 July

    Keep on “wandering”… of such journeys, wonderful books of are born.

    Love the new site!

  • Sandy Golnick
    Posted at 02:31h, 07 July

    Thank you for taking care of all of us, Kristen. As you know I got a little “funny” when I couldn’t find your blog. I read, I relate, and I learn from you. Thank you for caring for all of your readers. xxSandy