Diary of a High Country Lady
Special to the Daily
(With sincere apologies to the superb E.M. Delafield, author of the ‘Diary of a Provincial Lady’ series from the 1930s, which, if you haven’t read, you should)
Decide to sleep late today ” very late, as it turns out, since I turned off the alarm and immediately fell asleep again. Fortunately I wake up at nine ” awoken probably by stricken conscience ” and immediate feeling of regret that weekend is over is compensated for by sheer exhaustion, and the realization that, had weekend continued, I wouldn’t have been able to.
Struggle to the kitchen, and find, to my agitation, that French press is nowhere to be found. After trying to pull myself together for several minutes, suddenly remember that Tim might have put it in the dishwasher ” which is indeed locked, indicating recent wash.
Open dishwasher, pull out French press, now sparkling clean ” and nearly fall over in gratitude.
Very, very tense moment ensues when I return to computer and find that it is Out. Call service provider, who is sympathetic, but definitely non-committal when I ask when it will return. Operator suggests it is the high winds, and it only occurs to me hours later that all the cables are underground.
Make a list of all the other things I need to do, and then decide to indulge in a quick game of computer solitaire, and am disgusted with myself when I realize that I have been playing steadily for 45 minutes.
Just as I am about to despair at being Behind in my Work, computer service returns. I go to e-mail and try to read new assignment. Realize, to my horror, that I can’t make heads or tails of any of it. Resort to more coffee, which I drink as quickly as possible.
Return to e-mail, and worst fears justified. Newest assignment involves calling 12 people, all of whom are on early lunch and don’t get back until 3 p.m., after which they’re in meetings for the rest of the day. While I make fruitless phone calls, three more assignments come in.
Solace myself with eBay.
Manage to reach local people for story, all of whom commit themselves, more or less, to an interview for the paper, just as long as I don’t think too many people will read it, with everyone being out of town right now anyway.
Practice harp for two hours, and realize that I am heartily tired of “The Ash Grove,” a song I used to like. Resolve to start learning stuff like “The Prayer” as soon as possible.
It having stopped snowing, Tim suggests a bike ride when he gets home.
Tandem bike removed from garage, and once helmeted, we pull out. Two minutes later we return so that I can get my heavy coat, due to high winds. We pull out. Two minutes later we return so that Tim can get his goggles, due to high winds.
Trip to Lake Dillon against the wind the entire way, but we promise ourselves that the wind will be at our backs on the return journey. Just after we start back, wind changes direction, and trip home is against the wind the entire way.
We tell ourselves that we’re just out of shape, and it will be easier once we get back into it.
Tim sees current eBay Buyer Credit statement online, and suggests I find less expensive distraction from work. No attractive alternatives present themselves at the moment, but I promise him I will bear this in mind.
Practice harp, but distracted by sight of three dogs sitting outside in truck waiting for owner to finish paying social call. Dogs catch sight of me and begin rather melodious, if somewhat mournful, chorus, which goes well with harp and “The Ash Grove.” Just as I mentally decide which dog I would like to have ” if I could have one of them ” owner suddenly reappears and spirits them away, making living room seem suddenly empty. Tim and I spend the evening watching DVDs of shows we saw when they originally ran in the early 1970s, and Tim once again questions the rationale of paying for cable, except for the NFL Network. I agree, with the exception of Turner Classic Movies. Rather pointless discussion ensues as to whether or not it’s worth it to keep cable for the sake of two channels and Bill Maher, since we know that it is.
Peace of morning shattered rather unexpectedly by 7 a.m. phone call from Mother, who wants to know if I’ve been calling her since 6 a.m., Atlanta time. I in turn ask her if she’s been sitting on the phone and making it ring, and she admits that in all likelihood, this was probably the case.
She then asks if it is still snowing, and long discussion of the weather ensues, punctuated by her questioning me as to 1) Whether Tim is still at the bank, 2) Whether I am still Writing, 3) Whether I’ve been to the doctor lately, and 4) If that was me calling her ever since 6 a.m. Conversation takes on repetitive aspect, and I extract myself with difficulty.
Tim says nothing, but silence, in this case, eloquent.
Spend rest of morning writing three features that were due yesterday. Realize by 5 p.m. that I have not stirred from computer desk in six hours, except to make two more pots of coffee.
Last e-mail of the day is from annoying, but well-meaning, relative in the Midwest, who says how lucky I am to live in the mountains, and she supposes I just spend all day outside in the fresh air hiking and biking? Decide not to answer this until it becomes rude not to.
Tim suggests evening grocery run. I decide not to bother to put on makeup or do my hair, and as a result see three of my acquaintances and four of Tim’s colleagues from work. Query: When going out, is amount of time NOT spent in getting ready always proportionate to number of people I know who will see me? Answer most decidedly yes.
Finish three more features for the week, as well as emergency rush job for editor.
Celebratory mood prevails. Prohibitive gas prices prompt Tim to suggest that we spend weekend at home, with biking as an option, since it probably won’t snow.
Unless, of course, it does.
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