Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Taking Shelter

Seriously bad weather rolled into town here just after my family visitors left. Why this always seems to happen whenever I put people I love on planes I can't say, but fortunately they got home safely. Several power outtages later the heavens opened up and the Memorial Weekend deluge commenced.

While we didn't spot any arks floating by, there is a certain Biblical quality about finding yourself at the mercy of the weather. Here in our little town the phone lines and the cable always take a dive right after the power does, and it can take hours (sometimes days) to get everything back on. If we can get a signal on our mobile phones -- something that is forever dicey here -- we call our bosses and our kids and let them know we're out of commission for the duration. Then we light candles and try not to open the fridge too much.

In between lightning barrages, I sat on the back porch with the dogs to read and watched the rain come down. That was how I got this pic of our resident, camera-shy cardinal; during one of the worst downpours he took shelter in one of our bird feeders. I guess he figured if he was going to be stuck somewhere, might as well be where the sunflower seeds are.

While I was playing candid camera with the cardinal I realized just how insanely busy my life has been over the last two months. I starting sacrificing things back in March to have more time to work and promo while still taking care of the house and do for my guy and the kids and the family.

I stopped writing in my home journals and posting pictures on my photoblog. I resigned from my guild challenge and put three other sewing projects on hiatus. I hurried the dogs through our walks, made quick and easy dinners, folded laundry and put away dishes while making calls and waiting on hold. I combined my errand runs and multi-tasked my chores list and cleaned the entire house from top to bottom. This while hosting family, taking a road trip, maintaining the blog, giving interviews, writing guest posts, launching one e-book and a print release, final editing a second, and finishing the manuscript for a third. Somewhere in there I wrote up three proposals for new projects and subbed another three for reprints, too.

I'm always busy, but even for me that was a lot. No wonder I can't remember most of April and pretty much all of May. Now here's the kicker: all that, and up until the rain came I still felt as if I hadn't accomplished anything. I can tell you why: I'm not 100% prepared for our annual termite inspection (today) and a friend's graduation ceremony (Friday) and the online workshop I had planned for last week (cancelled that one due to visitors.) I get up every morning at six a.m. and stay busy until I go to bed at one a.m., but it doesn't matter. I'm never done.

The laundry I had finished three days ago? Has again assumed Everest proportions. The dogs? Have to go to the vet for shots. The closets? Are a mess. The roses? Need pruning. I can't find my sneakers. I have to get me and my daughter over to get our teeth cleaned. I ran out of tea on Thursday. We won't talk about e-mail; I'll just start crying all over you. And somehow, while my back was turned, an entire carton of perfectly good eggs expired on me. On May 9th, for God's sake. I'm surprised they didn't hatch.

There were a hundred other things I hadn't done, and thanks to the weather I still couldn't do, but at some point I stopped internally auditing the kick-myself list and did nothing but watch a cardinal take shelter from a storm. The dogs at my feet, the camera in my hands, and the rain keeping everything else on hold for a few hours.

Today I'm going to write, because I have a book due to my editor in eleven days. I'm also going to scale Mt. Laundry, and deal with the termite inspection, and make dental appointments, and dinner, and do my best to keep up. But I can tell you this: when it all starts to blur again, I'm going to take shelter out on my porch, and sit with my dogs, and watch the birds.

And if it's not raining, I might just pretend that it is.


  1. Anonymous12:35 AM

    Bingo on your last line, Lynn.

    True, the weather can be disruptive sometimes. In my corner of the patch, it can be downright scary.

    But rain? Nothing kicks my muse into gear quicker.

    Wishing you success with the deadline!

  2. Dang, girl. Every time I feel like I'm overwhelmed and about to go under for the third time, I need to read this post and remember that I am nowhere near as busy as you. Enjoy your peaceful moments whenever you can.

  3. Take a deep breath, Lynn. Watch the rain, listen to the birds. It's good for the soul.

    Thinking of you.

  4. Keita Haruka11:27 AM

    Little micro-vacations for the win! My days don't come close to yours for sheer number of things to do...and yet I still can't fit everything in...

    Methinks I'm maybe a bit too disorganised..:p

    Good luck! I'll keep you in my thoughts!

  5. Why is it that no matter how much gets done, there's always more that doesn't and that somehow seems to outweigh the "done"? Glad the rain gave you a break and cheers for taking more of them.

  6. Oh wow - good luck with the weather. The last weekend we had snow. It is supposed to be better today.

    Take care. Cyn

  7. I think elves bring laundry from other people's houses and leaves it at mine to be washed.

    There could be 50 hours in a day and things still wouldn't get done. Sometimes a rain shower to relax by and watch the life around us is the best thing you can do.

    ps: I know you said your email is out of control, but I did send you one today.


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