Sunday, October 14, 2012


I was talking to my colleague last Monday as we watched our kids in gymnastics. His daughter and my daughter are in one level, his son and my son are in another level. Strangely, we never hang out with these people socially. (Perhaps I will fix this.) We were talking about how busy we had been with grading and etcetera but that our lives were in general pretty sweet what with the good jobs and good Flagstaff but that we still had too much work to do. I had had a guest writer in town the weekend before. The guest writer left on Sunday morning, meaning the rest of the day was mine (and ours, as weekends are). What did I want to do to relax? I asked my colleague. Not really read because I have to remember stuff to teach from it or remember stuff to write about it. Not really watch TV because TV is getting stupider. Not really watch movies because they cleave my heart in two. The only thing I find truly relaxing is writing. I can't tell if it's my dad's workaholic sickness that says unless I'm being productive, I'm not happy, or if the puzzle of writing is more fun than Scrabble or that I just do it enough that it's my comfort space, but it's true. That Sunday, I didn't do any writing. Zoe, Erik, his parents and I (with Max on my bike seat) went on a 9 mile ride out to Fisher Point. That was relaxing in that exhausting way.

We have company coming for the next two weeks so today was the only day where I had nothing planned or scheduled. So I should have relaxed. But instead we (we means Zoe in most cases) woke up at 6:45, made oatmeal, went to the Farmer's Market where I couldn't stop myself and bought another case of tomatoes so that when we went to Fry's for a few more groceries I could pick up Mason jars so when I got home I could run the dishwasher with the new jars in it to be sterilized so while the dishwasher ran we went on a bike ride (not 9 miles. More like 5. With Max and Erik) and came back to find the dishwasher mostly done so we could boil the skins off the tomatoes and plunge them into ice water and peel the tomatoes and house them in some super-hot Mason jars so that we could boil the jars and the tomatoes (again) forever at our high altitude. During our forever, we had to empty the dishwasher so we could fill the dishwasher so we could have room to make pumpkin bread and pumpkin muffins which I had promised Zoe I would make her all weekend long. The muffins were good. The bread fell apart (too many extra chocolate chips?) but still tasted good enough to give us the energy to go to World Market where we bought new drapes (20% off!) to hang upstairs before my mom comes since the old blinds tore the drywall and Erik, the ever-drywaller, could re-drywall and re-texture and re-paint so we could hang new blinds from World Market. We also bought him a gigantic bottle of Chihula to thank him for his efforts.
This was not exactly relaxing. I did not write anything except for copying a script from Wikipedia about botulism. But my plan is coming together. 14 jars of tomatoes. A pile of pumpkin muffins. A fridge full of farmer's market goods and extra stuff from Fry's. Drapes to be hung. Monday may, after my meeting with the dean (for which I've been summoned), allow me to actually write something about botulism and the end of the world which will be as relaxing as can be.
Also, my sweet in-laws invited us over for dinner and my sweet friend invited us over for pizza on Tuesday. I may not see the kitchen again for a couple of days.

1 comment:

Lisa B. said...

TV is getting stupider? Do tell. I do think the question of what is and is not relaxing is a vexing one. Things that are supposed to be relaxing often aren't because you know you're supposed to be relaxing, maybe? I like the idea of writing being relaxing. Honestly, I can feel relaxed when I'm grading, if I get in a groove, partly because I know I'm getting something done that weighs on me.