On grocery carts

I arrived at the grocery store the other day ready to run to pick up a few items needed to make dinner for a friend. I knew it would be a quick trip as I had a very set list and was purchasing nothing for us; we were heading out of town and I had been engaged in a desperate attempt to consume everything perishable before leaving. I knew my foray into the market would last twenty minutes, tops, and would be quick and painless. This was reinforced by there being only two or three other cars in the lot; the store would be virtually empty and I’d be able to sail through.

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Mitey Fine

It’s a long story about how I found myself in Home Depot at 9:30 on a Saturday night looking for air filters, but that’s not important. What’s important is what I learned while I was there.

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Finding myself. Again.

It’s been months since I’ve written. Amended: it’s been months since I’ve written anything beyond an obituary, and that particular piece needed the courage that a bottle of wine provides. There have been a variety of reasons: I’m too busy and there’s crap at work and my mother is dying and the house is dirty, blah blah blah. I should have been writing through all of it and instead I’ve written through none of it. I’ve written plenty in my head, sure, but nothing made it to the fingers and onto the page. I have a novel ready for heavy editing. A flash non-fiction piece ready to send out for hopeful publication. A creative non-fiction book in the early stages of interviews and transcribing. A million short stories and essays backlogged in my brain, all fighting for air.

• • •

Watch out. She’s writing again.

I finally, for the first time in well over a month, have time and space to write. It feels amazing. And yet, I sit here and struggle to think of some topic worthy of committing to paper. Or screen, rather.

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Nosy

Before Christmas I got sick, and then I got mostly better, and then right before New Year’s I got sick again. Even sicker than before. This time was so bad that I finally agreed with M that yes, I should probably go see a doctor. I called the office of our ENT, a brilliant doctor who doesn’t accept insurance, charges a clean $45 co-pay (cash, check or charge), doesn’t take appointments, but always seems to be there when you need him. Patients call his office line to hear the daily message from him, to learn what time to be there that day or, if calling at night, the next day, if you want to be seen. He usually holds office hours first thing in the morning and/or later at night. He has twice seen M the evening before international trips, getting him in and out with much-needed meds and saving what could have been incredibly uncomfortable intercontinental flights. He even leaves his cell phone number on his answering machine, so on the off-chance he’s not there when you need him, you can easily reach him to set something up. We love this man.

• • •

Goodbye, 2016. Hello, 2017.

On the face of it, 2016 stunk it up, and so many of us are happy to see it go. 2016 brought a torrent of cultural and political pain from which the country is still reeling. On a personal level, it wasn’t exactly a banner year, either. As I reflected on the past year over the past week, I found myself scowling and angry, and frightened for what’s to come.

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