Today was the battle of the wasps. No, not like Jonathan Franzen, not in my writing, but in literal wasps invading the sitting room of the cabin. They aren’t exactly wasps, but are blue mud daubers – navy blue and metallic with an articulated thorax just like a regular wasp. Apparently they dine on black widows, but they were all over the place today and distracting as hell. About one an hour would make an appearance. And no, I did not gently carry them down the stairs to release them into the summer heat. But my confessions will stop there. Just don’t check my waste basket.

Good progress today for a day that got half eaten by work meetings. I am working my way through the book’s chapters and trimming and reordering everything. I don’t hate it. That’s good, right?

What has been so pleasing/surprising is that I have the discipline to write or work all morning. Long, four hour stretches at the work. Jotting down things I need to write about ensures that I will do it. I’ve just never dedicated all my brain cells to the task before and find it so pleasing.

Famished at lunch, I went over to the farmhouse kitchen and ate my last salad. I had one more meal in the fridge so knew I’d have to go back to the Publix. I don’t mind because the driving around here is so gorgeous. Undulating ribbons of road through emerald fields, the pastures contained with tidy fencing that just looks like horse fencing. This evening, as I drove to the store, I rounded a bend and there was one black stallion in the pasture, and about 20 deer grazing, calm as could be. I thought my friends at the reservoir would be excited to see them all.

Pandora has decided to play Tennessee Whiskey in my ear as I write this – further proof that we are being tracked all the time. Especially with those vaccine chips. 🤣 Sorry, couldn’t resist. My sister in law apparently thinks it is entertaining for me to read about anti-maskers at a school board meeting in the county where I currently find myself. She sends me messages to torture me, I think. Love you, sis! She hates it when I write about her.

I went into the nearby town of Franklin yesterday to get a COVID test. I’d arrived here at the colony and everyone else who had been in residence for two weeks was maskless. I felt overly cautious in my mask, but I also had just flown across the country and didn’t want to be the typhoid Mary of the writing colony. I wouldn’t probably have gone to get tested but a friend back home let me know he’d tested positive, so I thought I’d do the protocol. It gave me a task and a reason to explore the area more. The urgent clinic folks were very efficient and kind. My concerns were more or less alleviated by describing the circumstances but the consequences of a positive test while I was out of town were worrisome to consider. Once I got my negative test result, I was practically giddy, and skipped up the stairs of the farmhouse, bursting into the kitchen with a beaming smile. Three of the other writers in residence were there, waiting for some cookies to emerge from the oven. Happy timing. I ate my one remaining dish, truly dreadful, but capped it off with a few cookies before heading to the store.

No anti-masking mob waited for me in the parking lot, and I went to do my minimal shopping. This was a different and much closer store than I had been going to, and I recognized the cookies that the other writers had been describing in tantalizing detail – chocolate chip in chocolate dough, crispy on the edges, dusted with pecan. I picked up a box to bring back to leave on the counter in the shared area. I’m glad those cookies are far enough away that I can’t find them tonight.

When I emerged from the store, the clouds above were performing a Tiepolo painting, golden and pink. I half expected a flock of saucy putti or stallions to come down and alight on the street light in the parking lot. I stopped in my tracks, holding my camera up to capture the exquisite sight. A scornful teen watched me, then looked up. As I got in the car, I looked back and he was standing with his phone pointed up. Instant validation.

The roads on the way back were shiny, slick with recent rain, and plastered with the leaves. Off in the distance, the flat bottomed clouds seemed heavy with the weight of more rain to come. I thought about the idea of living in a place where water wasn’t as precious as it is in California.

It’s freeing to travel. Productive and liberating.

One thought

  1. Dear Els

    Glad you are having fun with your vacation reprise!

    We had two lovely dinners out this past weekend thanks to Cosimo!

    Love Dad

    Sent from my iPhone


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