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Someone might assume I have company, house-guests outstaying their welcome while I oversee a couple kids—it would explain the Play Doh at the edge of my desk and the plastic Jack-o-lantern crammed with Bertie Botts Every Flavor Beans, spider rings, and foil wrapped chocolate Easter eggs.
They’d be wrong.
Those odds and ends are an archaeological accounting of my life over the past months.
The unpacked suitcases are from my last two trips and the duffle bag stuffed with camouflaged sweatshirts is from my guy’s last fishing trip. The overflowing hampers are because I’m taking my sweet time coming off a vacation high, and unpacking only after catching up with bills and email and writing.
The floor length gown draped over the back of the sofa is from a June wedding and on its way to the dry cleaner, in good time. Piles of pillows beside the guest room bed are a reminder that I did have houseguests about six weeks ago, before I abandoned my life, tossed fifty pounds of writing utensils, clothes, and books into a suitcase and ran off to Greece for a month.
All the stagnant coffee cups littered throughout the house are testimony to habit. Normally I gather up Dear Hubby’s leavings when he goes to work in the morning. I wasn’t here to do it, and I think he suffers from coffee cup blindness.
Those stemmed glasses neatly lining the kitchen counter are from old June wedding toasts. They’re clean, but they’re too tall for the cupboard shelves.
That glass container full of smooth stones perched on the edge of the kitchen island is a stand-in for a bottle full of grainy sand and tiny seashells with “Alonissos” hand painted in gold lettering. It would have been perfect there and I planned to set it there when I bought it. I paid the ridiculous amount of €17 for that bottle of sand, but my suitcase was overweight and I took it out and left it on a chair in a mosquito netting draped room at the Aretousa Hotel in Skiathos, Greece.
Right in the middle of unpacking and cleaning up, I put everything aside to make an emergency trip to Hobby Lobby and purchase stuff to help create my own ‘Alonissos Beach in Glass Masterpiece’. Unpacking and messes can wait when inspiration strikes. That is my new motto.
That, and breathe.
In the midst of all the piles of stuff to be sorted and put away there is a delicious warm smell permeating the house, because I did clear the dining room table of Amazon packages and receipts. I polished the wood and laid out a linen table runner, placing an apple crumble scented candle in the middle of a large decorative candle holder. I keep it lit and it reminds me about the breathing part.
The house also smells of quinoa stuffed peppers that I put in the crockpot earlier today. They’re simmering with a jar of tomatoes I canned last summer. It isn’t likely they’ll be finished by dinner though, because I slept too late to get them cooking in time.
I’m still adjusting to the time change, and I stayed up really late last night.
Yesterday evening I had so much energy I went for a late hike and took that large wooden staff that’s leaning against the wall in my cluttered office. Coyotes come out early this time of year, and I like to think I could use that staff to frighten them off—like Gandalf against an army of Orcs.
After my long hike I went to a late movie and didn’t get home and to sleep until close to 3:00 a.m. on account of the dinosaurs in Jurassic Park still flitting through my mind. They didn’t bother me for long though.
When I finally did fall asleep I dreamt about snorkeling in the Aegean—going deeper and deeper—swimming with starfish, sea urchins, black fish, flat silvery fish that caught the light, dolphins, and an occasional whale.
Have you ever had the kind of dreams you float through? I highly recommend them. Go ahead and make all the assumptions you want about company, priorities, or bad housekeeping. I’m busy living, breathing, and floating.
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