IT'S MY OLDEST CHILD JOSIE'S **18TH BIRTHDAY**!!! confetti! massive carrying on! Until recently, I did not look old enough to have an 18-year-old--oh, who am I kidding! Happy birthday, sweetheart! You are more than I imagined a daughter could be. I love you!!
An update: I am walking without a cane inside my home. Yes, we are home! Freedonia is filled with boxes, heaps of belongings we're getting rid of, and love. We've been home nearly a month.
The changes John and the builders made--all without the stroke-affected me--are wonderful. They've opened up the kitchen beautifully, and placed the freezer, washer and dryer all on the main floor. I don't have to venture down the steep (now-dangerous) basement stairs to reach either. I can use the laundry whenever I feel like it, which is daily--no more waiting. I can use the big freezer as my actual freezer.
There are drawbacks. We have no personal storage. Our old bedroom on the top floor now belongs to one of our daughters, and we live on the main floor in a girl's room. Our clothing is a fraction of what it once was, and a good thing, too. I lost about a third of it in the fire, and a third more to smoke damage and general wear-and-tear. Out of what's left, I've gotten rid of most of it. I have three or four drawers and fewer than twenty hangers in the closet, including stuff I only wear a few times a year. As I discovered in nine months of living with far, far less, that is far, far more than I really need.
Now, here is the hardest part: I am finding as I write this report--and this is the most I've written in some time--that I don't like the sound of my language. Words no longer come easily to me, and words have always come easily to me. I have had to labor over this. It is new, troubling territory.
The next book is going to take some time, and I don't expect to start until after the year is up. I'm not happy with what I've done to date--not surprising since it was a first draft, but I'm truly unhappy. I'm not going to make any decisions right now for obvious reasons, but you can guess my mind: troubled.
That said, I am determined--determined, I say!--to remain cheerful.