Thursday, August 20, 2009

Piddling Days

I don’t know about you, but I must occasionally have time for piddling days. (Some call
this leaving margins in your days’ plans.) This week has been that way for me. What
can I share with you or with Gerald at the supper table to explain my worthy use of day?

Somehow bragging that I sent two belated birthday cards, one sympathy card, and one thinking-of-you card sounds like a slight participation for a day. Yet that was all I could come up with one day this week. I have fixed left-overs and light meals for Gerald and me, superficially cleaned the kitchen afterwards, but have really done no housework.
Oh, I have checked email, Facebook, Red Room, and read the newspaper. Does that count?

One day I coordinated the upstairs and downstairs calendars and tried to figure out what days would be best times to ask for some upcoming med appointments, but I didn’t get any made. I called my brother to find out how his med procedure went yesterday, and that was comforted to hear he was not one of the tiny percent of people who might be left paralyzed, etc. I ran over to the village library to see a friend who used to work there who had come “home” from South Carolina to visit her siblings.

One interesting thing that happened this week was a phone call from a new friend I made the other day in the baby department at Wal-Mart while looking for a baby gift a couple weeks ago. I was looking for cloth diapers, and no clerks were in sight, of course. She was browsing the baby things while waiting for a friend to get off work. She helped me, and we became acquainted. Her daughter, whose husband has just gotten home from Iraq, is expecting. This first time grandmother-to-be had collected an array of baby clothes. Many just like new from a high-end consignment shop (Melise’s).

Now that they knew her daughter was having a girl, she did not want to store boy baby clothes for some future pregnancy. When she heard me say this single mother that I was shopping for needed boy things, she had gone home gathered them all up and phoned me to meet her in the parking lot of a local restaurant when she got off work. I received a huge tub of tiny masculine items, and Katherine and I had so much fun looking at all of them.

“Oh, that little suit with dark green velvet top would be perfect for Christmas!” “Look, this little dress-up suit with tiny tie is six months and should work for Easter!” “Oh, these little shoes remind me of Sam’s!” “There are enough socks here for two or three babies!” “Of course, you can’t have too many of anything.” We oohed and ahh-ed, day dreamed, and reminisced over the adorable outfits and pajamas and countless items—with dinosaurs, basketball, football motifs--before Katherine phoned the expectant mother and I took the clothes over to her. That was the funnest thing I did this week.

I need to be filing in my office. It is on my to-do list daily. Sometimes in big letters! Yet I don’t get around to it. Many years ago my sister and I had an agreement that if either of us died, the other one would fly to her home and get the house/fridge/whatever cleaned up before the funeral guests arrived. I think age has excused us from that duty now. Our kids will have to do that if anything is necessary. But when I survey my office and haven’t the faintest idea how to ever get through all the accumulated papers myself, I know my poor kids will need a big wastebasket. I could use a few days of piddling to straighten it up, but I probably won’t let myself get around to it.

I did finish a novel this week and looked through a couple of new magazines and a catalog that arrived. That does not take care of all the novels not even started nor the half-finished nonfiction books floating around in various rooms. I did spend an hour or so on the phone helping someone else’s research on the Trail of Tears—and I made a list of people I want to call myself on the same subject.

Tonight I am picking up a friend in town to drive over to the Critique Night at Southern Illinois Writers Guild. I may not share, but I will enjoy listening to others work even if I don’t get around to choosing something to read. Two more days and I will be through this piddling week. Maybe next week I will get something done. Or maybe not.

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