Washing a Lot of Dishes

In a few weeks it’ll be the seventh anniversary of my grandma’s death. For those of you who do not know, my grandma pretty much raised me and was the mother figure in my life.

After she died I remember there being a lot of covered dishes brought to my grandpa’s house. There was chicken, casseroles, vegetables and a ton of other stuff. The fridge was full for a few days.

Thinking about it now, I think that the way people in the southern United States deal with death is by washing a lot of dishes.

September

Do you remember the 21st night of September?
Love was changing the mind of pretenders
While chasing the clouds away

Back to Normal

The last week has been full of interruptions. Places to go, people to see, things to consider. I turned 37. My wife was in Newfoundland as part of her Grosvenor Teacher Fellowship thingie. Now she’s home. Now I’m a year and a few days older.

I don’t like the days before or after a birthday. I spend the days before thinking “my birthday is coming up, I’ll be _____” and then I spend my birthday trying to decide if I actually feel older. I still don’t know. But I am glad that I don’t have to think about it for a few days.

My wife was gone for eight days. Not a long time, but time enough for the house to appear empty and the quiet of being alone to begin to feel oppressive. Package that alongside the solitude of having a birthday and nobody to really celebrate it with and it was a strange few days for me.

But things are back to normal. As I left the house today, she was on the bed surrounded by our pups. Things are back to normal, and I couldn’t be happier.

Home.

My favorite time of the day is when the sun starts to go down over the big mountain that faces the double windows in my living room and the window light against the far wall makes everything look awful and dusty, covered in an impossible no-you’ll-never-effectively-dust-this-area-enough-because-the-sun-is-gonna-come-in-and-shine-all-over-every-imperfection-in-your-home-and-you’ll-have-to-learn-to-live-with-it sheen of dust. The fan in the living room (and later in the year, the heating vents) then make a sound like a distant parent “shhh-ing” me when I speak up. When it starts to get dark out and the afternoon traffic dies down on my street the shhh-ing and the fans and the vents just quietly vibrate and I am thankful to be living here and sometimes I’m so thankful to be living here and living in general that I almost forget all of the crap that I made up in my head about why I shouldn’t be thankful to be living. And everything like that.

And so it begins again, for the hundredth time.

This is an attempt to break up a bit of the mental inertia that has plagued me in recent years. I used to like writing, but now not so much. I could fire off a thousand words on what kind of fork that I like. But now thanks to my own inherent laziness and the instant gratification of social media anything longer than three sentences has become a chore.

I used to blame work. I was tired after a long day spent communicating the needs of the organization that I work for, but the same inertia and procrastination is starting to seep into my work life. But I have to fight it.

It’s amazing, really. Over the course of the last year I’ve developed an ability to be more physical – lifting weights, running and even some light yoga, and the motivation to do these things are there inside of me, constantly gnawing away at me. I have better control over my body than I ever have in my life. Knowing what food goes in and making conscious choices about what I should or shouldn’t eat or drink. The outside of me is starting to become taken care of. I won’t be so bold as to say well-taken care of, but it’s getting there. But the inside of me is not even close to what it used to be.

I’m turning 37 years old this week, and I have to challenge this mental inertia. This is the first try at that. With any luck, I’m going to post something here every day. Hopefully it’ll help me. If you stumble upon this site and the words that are on it, hopefully you’ll like them. If you don’t it’s cool. This isn’t for you anyways.