Tuesday, March 30, 2004

Rethinking #45 (1 of 2)

45. I love living where I live. That said, I would move back to Eugene in a heartbeat if it was at all feasible.

After spending a weekend in Eugene with my family, I feel I really need to amend this. It's only when I've been away from them for awhile that I start to think it would be preferable--or even possible--to live closer than 100 miles away from them.

A little background is in order here. My parents had one unshakable theory about raising a family. This was that all the children were to be treated absolutely the same. There was never to be even the slightest hint of favoritism toward any one daughter at any time. Both my parents, especially Dad, had suffered through childhoods where one sibling was obviously favored, and they were determined not to make that mistake with their own children. This seems like a sound and laudable child-rearing theory, no? And it is, but it did produce in each of us a desperate desire for individual achievement and recognition. Our adult lives were about shaking off the chains of being anonymous daughters of our parents, and struggling to establish our identities outside and beyond our family. Though the family remained a place of comfort and rest for each of us, its role was to be there for us to go back to if we needed it. It was a wonderful place to visit, but none of us wanted to live there any more.

When my dad became ill, we were forced to "implode" back into the confines of the family. We all believed that we could do what needed to be done, and that we could do it willingly and cheerfully. We were unprepared to learn that we had all grown so far away from the nucleus of the family that we couldn’t go back. Our years of struggling to be individuals had made us ill fit to cope with the responsibilities of Dad’s illness. Suddenly, we were spending our days intensely together and under tremendous stress, and the reality of our incompatibility hit us like a freight train traveling at the speed of the Concord. We cracked. And who was there to lash out at besides…each other?

Rethinking #45 (2 of 2)

I was profoundly hurt by the experience, as we all were. We all retreated into ourselves, and what was once the family that had always been there when we needed it, just disappeared. Before Dad died, we used to get together nearly every week for barbecues, dinners out, even renting big houses at the coast and spending entire weekends together. Now, I felt fortunate if I saw my sisters once a month. And when we did get together, there was always this elephant in the room with us…the big hurts that no one would talk about, but lurked just below the surface. It was tearing my heart out. Finally, after more than two years of suffering with this estrangement, living only on the other side of town from my sisters, yet feeling like I might as well live on the moon, I decided that we needed to move away. My husband had been commuting to work between Eugene and Portland. It became obvious that the thing to do was to move north, ostensibly to be closer to his job. In reality, I had to put a physical distance between my family and myself that made the emotional distance make sense.

It’s been five years since Dad passed away, and we’ve been away for almost three years. I get along with my sisters well enough now…and they have actually been a tremendous help with my business. So it’s only natural that I would think that what I’d really like to do is to move back "home" to be near my family again. But then, I spend a long weekend with them, as I did last weekend, and I realize that while our relationship has improved, it is by no means healed. Do we fight? No… Do we sit together in stony silence? No… But are we the family we were before Dad left us? Definitely not. And that emotional distance---the one that sent me packing—is still very much in evidence. After two or three days in the midst of what remains of my family, I’m climbing the walls, longing for the physical distance that matches the emotional one. It’s not them…it’s ME. When I’m with them, I’m looking for something, and not finding it. It irks me, because life is too short to be wasting time on stupid, childish expectations of What My Family Should Be Providing For Me.

But, still….I’m glad to be home.

Wednesday, March 24, 2004

100 Things About Me...The First 50

I'm leaving town tomorrow morning (actually later THIS morning) and I thought I'd better put in the first half, for those of you who are waiting with baited breath (as if!)  The formatting is really annoying, and made this TERRIBLY long, but it's the best I could do.  Perhaps I should sign up for a beta journal...

1.I love campfires.

2. I’m starting a collection of (cheap) diamond jewelry.

3. I wear rings on six fingers. Thumb rings sometimes, too.

4. I love toe rings and ankle bracelets.

5. I paint my fingernails in the winter and my toenails in the summer.

6. I HATE going barefoot.

7. I’m starting to suffer from major night-blindness.

8. I used to belong to a Pentecostal Church.

9. I was born and raised Catholic (Catholic school, nuns, confession, the whole nine yards,)

But wait...There's More!

10. My biggest non-achievement was being selected as a National Merit Scholar in high school.

11. I never went to college.

12. My husband knows the stories of all the men I’ve slept with besides him (all two of them.)

13. I know the stories of all the women my husband has slept with besides me (all two of THEM.)

14. Every time we remodel a bathroom or build a deck on a house, we move.

15. I have about thirty pairs of shoes, but I only wear half a dozen of them most of the time.

16. I buy plants, then keep them in pots for years.

17. I ultimately plant about 60% of the plants I buy.

18. My dad taught me to fish when I was 6 years old. I got pretty good at it, too.

19. I don’t fish anymore.

Halfway Thru The First Half...

20. I belonged to various bowling leagues from the ages of 13 until almost 30.

21. I don’t bowl much anymore.

22. I love Celtic music.

23. I redecorated my living room last year for under $1000 (not counting the flooring.)

24. I’m a home improvement show junkie.

25. I AM alpha dog.

26. I love cats. I have six.

27. Not a day goes by that I don’t clean up a pile of cat puke somewhere in the house.

28. I still love cats.

29. I love quirky garden art. I used to own a chain-saw sculpture of a heron.

Are You Still There?

30. I water my house plants faithfully once a month, whether they need it or not.

31. I’m a little hazy on the God/heaven question.

32. I am an entrepreneur…though not a very good one.

33. I hate working for other people.

34. I generally don’t get along with other women. I used to get along better with men. I don’t get along with much of anyone anymore.

35. I enjoy a good fart joke now and then.

36. I hate The Three Stooges.

37. I would never kick Richard Gere out of my bed. (What’s up with Diane Lane, anyway?)

38. I love ice cream. They could make ice cream out of anything (short of liver and bananas) and I would eat it.

39. Same with soup.

The Last Part of the First Half

40. I drink…wine. Sometimes a little too much.

41. Champagne and chocolate are my idea of heaven.

42. I cry at the end of "The King and I"…every time.

43. I was totally in love with "Star Trek"-the original series—before the reruns. I was 14 when NBC cancelled it.

44. I miss the hot, muggy, summer nights in the midwest.

45. I love living where I live. That said, I would move back to Eugene in a heartbeat if it was at all feasible.

46. I am a fan of the Chicago Cubs.

47. My favorite spectator sport is NFL football. I can actually carry on a fairly decent conversation about it. Thanks to my husband and his Sunday afternoon addiction.

48. I love rhinestones, sequins, glitter, velvet, and anything sparkly during the holidays.

49. I can never have enough Christmas ornaments.

Monday, March 22, 2004

100 Things About Me...First Part of the Second Half

I saw this list in Karen's journal, and decided I should do my own.  Doing it in non-beta format has proven a challenge.  I started putting the list in from the bottom up.  So this is the LAST 50 things I came up with.  I'll print the first fifty in a couple of days once these have been digested.... 

50. We had a thirty-foot maple tree in our front yard when I was in high school. I used to climb as high into it as I could …scared the crap out of my parents.

51. Snow is very pretty, but I haven’t gone looking for it since we moved to Oregon 20 years ago.

52. NPR is my radio choice. My favorite NPR show is "Car Talk." Followed by "Wait, wait, don’t tell me."

53. I tune out of NPR four times a year when they beg (fundraisers.) I DO support it to the tune of $25 a month, though.

54. I buy things from QVC.

55. I AM a bleeding-heart liberal.

56. As a general rule, I don’t discuss my politics or religion (or lack thereof) with anyone outside my family.

57. The smell of burning leaves takes me right back to the first home I lived in. We had about ½ acre, and my dad WAS Mr. Green Jeans. We had the big veggie garden, the leaf burning barrel in the back yard…very bucolic for suburbia.

58. The smell of English Leather aftershave will always remind me of a certain guy I ALMOST went out with in high school.

59. My "good" china was handed down to me by my mother. She bought it from the "Jewel Man." --A door to door shopping service offered by the Jewel Tea Co. (grocery store) in Chicagoland in the late fifties and early sixties. The pattern is called "Cameo Rose." Its value is in the memories it evokes.

Next Part of the List

60. I hate spotty bathroom mirrors, and mold growing in toilets and/or showers.

61. I brush my teeth faithfully twice a day, morning and night.

62. My teeth are a mess. Somehow I cracked one of my front teeth, and it is in the process of turning black. Yuck.

63. I’m hoping my next trip to the dentist will result in at least a partial upper plate. It would be the first time I’ve had straight teeth since my permanent teeth started to grow in forty years ago.

64. The inside of my microwave often looks as if a small animal had exploded inside it.

65. Short hair on men is a turn-off to me. I think at least 90% of the men (boys) who shave their heads look like crap with no hair.

66. Vacuum cleaners were put on this earth to frustrate the crap out of me.

67. Ditto garden hoses.

68. Ditto CD jewel cases. I usually break them trying to get into them. Actually broke a CD once trying to get it out of the jewel case. That was a quick $15 down the drain.

69. I think "The Dick Van Dyke Show" is the funniest sitcom that’s ever been aired.

Is this getting Boring?

70. Anything smaller than a 16 oz. cup of coffee is of no interest to me.

71. The only soda I really like is cola. Pepsi or Coke, either will do.

72. I hated Kool-aid when I was a kid.

73. My favorite lunch when I was little was peanut butter-and-grape-jelly sandwich, chocolate milk (Hershey’s syrup) and potato chips. It’s a gourmet combination. Trust me.

74. The smell of anything barbecuing will make my mouth water, a la Pavlov’s dog.

75. I have never smoked. I can smell cigarette smoke, either in the air or on something or someone, from about a mile away.

76. I have never smoked marijuana. I don’t have any particular objection to the use of pot, I just never wanted to do it. It was almost a matter of rebellion against my own generation.

77. I’m afraid of heights. I used to get dizzy looking over the rail at two-story shopping malls to the shops below.

78. I love to drive. Jumping in the car and just driving somewhere is a form of recreation for me.

79. I’ve never served jury duty. I’ve gotten two jury summonses since we moved to this house three years ago, but they’re from the neighboring county. They seem to think we live in Multnomah County.

Almost There

80. I’m actually bummed about the jury duty thing, because I have the time and the interest. Can you volunteer for jury duty?

81. There are some songs that need to be listened to at top volume: "Edge of Seventeen" by Stevie Nicks. Led Zeppelin’s "Stairway to Heaven." "Crazy On You" by Heart. Derek and the Dominoes’ "Layla.."

82. I haven’t found it a hardship to give up McDonald’s for the sake of my diet.

83. Urns with ashes of three cats occupy a basket in my family room.

84. I’ve learned to like West Coast pizza, but I really miss Chicago pizza. An entirely different animal.

85. Zoos make me sad, no matter how well-treated the animals are.

86. I love John Denver. Saw him in concert three times. Was really bummed when he died.

87. I used to play the guitar. Lots of John Denver, Simon and Garfunkel, Beatles, Joni Mitchell…and for awhile, song service at church.

88. I sang in a church choir for a very short period of time. They didn’t kick me out—we left the church.

89. I love music, love to sing, wish I could make a living at it. I can carry a tune, even pleasantly, but I don’t have the talent to do it for a living.

Last bunch

90. I love my husband more than anything or anyone else in the world. We complete each other.

91. My family is my major social contact. I feel most comfortable hanging with my sisters.

92. I had the biggest, most formal wedding of all of us five girls (which isn’t saying much, really.)

93. There is a pile of catalogs, magazines, books, and mail that I read before I fall asleep strewn in about a 9 square foot area on the floor next to my side of the bed. I straighten it out once a week or so.

94. My first reaction to any suggestion is always negative. I am not adverse to changing my mind however, and usually do after giving the issue some thought.

95.I love to sit on my back deck, reading, talking, and drinking coffee (morning) or wine (evening.)

96.Hummingbirds enchant me. As do most birds, but I really love hummingbirds.

97. I keep a pair of jeans in my closet that I grew out of 12 years ago. I try them on about once a month to see if I can get into them. I’ve been able to zip them for about a year. This morning I put them on, and I could actually have worn them out of the house and been able to breathe, sit, and eat. I’m pumped.

98.One of my favorite weekend getaways involves driving to the coast to stay in a campsite where we sit by the fire, read books, drink coffee, and hand feed peanuts to the birds and squirrels.

99.I don’t lie, can’t stand to be lied to. Am not as gullible as I used to be.

100.I miss my Dad. I miss my sister Joyce. I miss my family as they used to be. But life goes on.

TV Review

Came home from work yesterday afternoon feeling like I'd been run over by a truck.  I had to work am shift both Saturday and Sunday---this would be the 6 am to 1:30 pm shift.  And believe me, it is REALLY hard to get up at 5:00 on a weekend morning and go to work.  Especially when you've been up half the night with killer hot flashes.  I know...I'm spoiled.  The hot flashes generally don't do me much damage; being semi-retired, I can usually sleep as late as I want after a bad night.  Other women don't have that advantage.  But I can whine sometimes, can't I?

All I had the strength to do last night was sit and stare at the boob tube.  My husband had done the laundry while I was at work (NOT really a good thing...  I shouldn't complain, but he always leaves stuff sit in the dryer until it gets wrinkled, then folds it and puts it away anyway, AND doesn't collect most of MY dirty clothes--and what he does wash of mine, he loses or puts away somewhere where I can't find it for months...)  Then he made dinner, which was also less than satisfying, but, hell...I'm on a diet anyway (sorry, dear!)

The GOOD thing about last night was what we watched on TV.  The "Blue Collar Comedy Tour" on Comedy Central.  OMG is that funny!  It's Jeff Foxworthy and three other "redneck" comics in concert in Arizona somewhere.  I wish I remembered the names of the other three guys, because they were funnier than Foxworthy.  One guy described his flight from Flagstaff on a plane "about the size of a pack of gum, that traveled at half the speed of smell."  And another dude talked about a trip to the sporting goods store with a case of the farts, and being accused of trying to steal a duck call and stink bait. And then there was Foxworthy's story about a guy getting his nipple bitten off by a beaver...  I was about falling off the couch laughing!

Y'all need to catch that show if you haven't already. 




Tuesday, March 16, 2004

Family Dynamics (1 of 2)

Other journalers write of the need to be careful what they post, because family members and friends read their journals. What I wouldn’t give to have the people from my "corporeal" life (as opposed to my cyber-life) read my journal. They have been invited. Actually, I do have one friend, and she does visit my journal (Hi, Jackie!) But as far as my family goes, even my husband stays aggressively away.

I suppose I must forgive the husband. We all know that most men would rather be boiled in oil than talk about feelings. Or listen to us talk about them. When husband and I sat down a few months ago and plotted a course away from a rough spot in our marriage, he conceded that such discussions would be part of the recovery plan. But in his mind, the best way to accomplish this was to set aside an exact time, one evening a week, to sit and "just do it." (There’s apparently some ritual, to which I am not privy, that must occur before these conversations can take place, and spontaneity is utterly out of the question.) So I guess it would be foolish of me to think that he might be inspired to go "feeling-seeking" outside of the time frame he set up. He’d surely be drummed out of the Husbands Union.

Continued below...

Family Dynamics (2 of 2)

My sisters are a different story. How can I describe the dynamic between the Baldwin sisters? We were raised by parents who were very emotionally reserved. Actually, I found out as an adult that my Dad had all the reserve, and my mother adopted it (or tried to) because…well, I don’t know why. I think it was because she admired it in my dad. But if there ever was a human being who operates on a purely emotional level, it’s my mother. Maybe that’s why she started to drink when she hit middle age. But that’s a story for another day…

We grew up with a standard set by Dad. He was reserved, intelligent, and fiercely independent, in a quiet and determined sort of way. And a cardinal rule of his was that anything that happened inside the family, STAYED inside the family. One did not air one’s dirty laundry in public. He kept his own "dirty laundry" to himself, and the family’s stayed neatly contained inside the four walls of our home (where it sometimes got REALLY ripe.) For good or ill, each of us has adopted most, if not all, of my father’s rules for adulthood. My dad was a MAN (obviously), and of a different era, and the five of us WOMEN have not always had it easy trying to make our way through our contemporary lives under his rules. But they’re so deeply ingrained, we can’t shed them.

So, does it really surprise me that my sisters won’t read my journal? I suppose not. We just don’t relate to each other on that sort of emotional level. There are times that we know we should, and we try…but we generally fail miserably. This is probably why things were so god-awful between us after Dad died. We NEEDED to share our emotional upheaval with each other, and we didn’t know how to do it in a constructive way. I love my sisters. We hang out, we do holidays…people on the outside call us "close." And we ARE, in that there is the unbreakable steel strap of family love that binds us together. But on an emotional level, we just can’t connect. I, for one, really wish we could.

Thursday, March 11, 2004

Liking Myself

It must be spring. Everyone is full of resolutions for new beginnings in their lives. It’s a more "resolutionary" time than New Year’s. Me? I’ve quit trying to board that bus.

I spent my whole life NOT being content with myself. Never satisfied with anything I’ve had, been or done (with the possible exception of my marriage.) I’ve been under-employed, over-anxious, hyper-sensitive; not had enough patience, schooling, spiritualism, free-time, down-time, over-time…fill in the blank. At some point, while I was battling the demons that pursued me during my "bunch of bad years in a row," I threw in the towel on self-improvement. I just got utterly sick of not liking myself. I needed a friend SO badly, and I realized that the first and only person fit for that position was ME.

At first, I was a pretty crappy friend. I wasn’t always there when I needed me. Or I got a little over-zealous in protecting me—either building walls, or sallying forth beyond them with my sword swinging. Eventually, as I realized I was alienating everyone I met, I got off my horse and put down my sword. Punched holes in the walls. It was then that I started to blossom in the sunlight of my own friendship.

Who doesn’t yearn for unconditional love, and yet, how many of us have learned to confer it upon ourselves? Why can’t we turn to the person who knows us best, and expect that person to stand by us in spite of our short-comings, sharp edges, and uncertainties? I am not completely in that zone yet. But the part of it that I inhabit is so…restful. I don’t feel like I’ve stopped growing, changing, or trying. It’s just no longer the first thing I think about when I look at myself. I think, "This is me. This is who I am, who I’ve always been. And it’s okay!" These days, I look for situations in life that work for who I am. Not for who I should be, or who I want to be. I try to fit my life to ME, rather than beating the crap out of myself trying to fit myself to a life I think I need to have. I almost wrote that I’ve learned to forgive myself, but why should I do that? Do I ask, or want, anyone else’s forgiveness for being who I am? I think the word I’m looking for is "embrace." I’ve learned to embrace myself—the "good" AND the "bad." It has brought me a glimmer of the first real peace I have ever known.

Wednesday, March 10, 2004

A Bite from the Apple...

I quit caffeine five years ago, when I started having stress-induced heart rhythm problems. The doctor off-handedly recommended that I cut out caffeine. Scared ****less by the whole affair, I got very religious about that particular lifestyle change. Didn’t touch a drop of caffeine for four years.

Last summer, in the middle of the season with my concession trailer, I was always so tired…and cranky. There were the 14-hour days, the travel, the set-up and take-down... But ten years ago, I worked sixty hours a week, and always seemed to have enough energy to get through the days, plus have a life outside work besides. I thought I’d lost my edge. Then it hit me…CAFFEINE.

I argued with myself for a bit. I had made this body-cleansing change, and I didn’t want to backslide. But I realized I was pissing off everyone around me—employees, husband, festival management (which I could NOT afford to do.) In the end, I revived the "latte in the morning, Pepsi in the afternoon" habit that got me through decades of restaurant management. I honestly think it saved my business. I was able to jump right back on the wagon when summer was over. How cool is that?

Now I’m faced with another temptation. The diet sucks... I’m down to losing less than 2 pounds a week, and I’m starting to feel way sorry for myself. And bitchy. And constipated. All of which can be cured by the wonders of caffeine. Last summer’s cheating proved to me that I CAN ingest it without having a coronary. So I’ve taken to sneaking REAL coffee in the morning from time to time…maybe just so I can feel like I’m cheating without trashing the diet.

This afternoon was an eye-opener, though. I decided to slug a HUGE cup of coffee to stay awake during a meeting. I had no sooner gotten the first few sips past my lips, than I was transformed into this bright, cheery, witty, talking-a-mile-a-minute livewire. After the meeting, I whizzed around the kitchen, juggling fifteen tasks, smiling and gabbing with the other girls, joking with the residents. This is NOT me…at least, not the me I’ve been for the last five years. It was absolutely mind-boggling. So now I’m thinking: What’s the harm? There are worse addictions. If I can get this euphoric from a stupid cup of (legal) coffee, why the hell not? Looks like I’ve fallen off the wagon for real this time.

Sunday, March 7, 2004

The Journey to Adulthood (1 of 2)

For people who actually do grow up (as opposed to those who never do), there’s a common progression of "stages" of how we relate to our parents over the years. First, we try every which way to grow up and away from our families. This stage usually hits us at about sixteen and lasts for a good decade. We’re going to stretch out those stubby little wings and fly, and we’re going to squawk and flap and rock the whole nest until we make it. If we fall on our butts, we might let Mom & Dad feed us for a little while, but pretty soon we’re back to pecking and squabbling, and trying to get back up and away on those precious wings.

Then we hit about thirty. We (hopefully) have our own nests now, maybe even our own brood. We’re "There"…and suddenly, it’s not as fun or rewarding as we thought it would be when we were struggling to GET "There." And it can’t be our own fault that things haven’t turned out to be as glorious as we thought. We look back at Mom & Dad, and start really seeing them as people. And we see…oh no! They’re flawed! They have warts and boogers, and they have given them to us! They did horrible things while we were growing up, scarred us for life, and we would never do anything like that to our children!

Sometimes our parents really are that bad. Most times, they aren’t. Regardless of whether or not they"re the horrors we painted them to be, we all still must arrive at the third stage of the relationship. If we don’t go there, if we stay stuck in stage two, we risk derailing the whole journey to adulthood. A lot of people get stuck here. They go no further in life; they simply wallow endlessly in a world where they are out of place and miserable, and it’s not THEIR fault!

Stage three: We get over it. We pack up all the revelations we had about our parents during stage two. We put them in a knapsack, sling them over our backs, and keep going forward. We have to take them with us…they are part of us and always will be. But once we pack them up and start walking, we realize they aren’t an unbearable burden.

The Journey to Adulthood (2 of 2)

Once again we look back at Mom & Dad. They’re looking older, smaller, slower. At the very least, they don’t intimidate us anymore…they don’t threaten us. At best, we understand that they are, perhaps, a portrait of ourselves in twenty-five years. By now, twenty-five years is a time frame that we can actually understand…it’s an ever-decreasing portion of our lives. Twenty years ago, it was our whole lives. We couldn’t get our arms around what would be happening in twenty-five years.

When we’re young, of course our world revolves around us. We’re selfish. We’re self-absorbed. We need to be or we’ll never be strong enough to break away. We take that selfishness and project it back on to our parents. Since everything is about us, our parents must have been all about us. Every move they made in those early years of our lives must have been for us, or at us. At some point, we start to understand that they did some stupid, destructive, and/or selfish things. We get angry with them for having had lives that were not necessarily dedicated to bringing us up to perfect successful adulthood. Often, as we’re having this revelation, we’re moving into a time of our own lives where we are being loaded down with responsibility. We come to a place (rather quickly!) where we see it is impossible for us to be held to the kind of standard to which we have been holding our own parents. The great, hard-won revelation dawns: It’s NOT all about us after all! When we understand this, a lot of life’s mysteries fall into place. We realize that the past is past, and the responsibility for our future happiness or success rests solely on our own shoulders. We either accept this and move forward, or reject it and remain mired in a place of hostility and blame for the rest of our lives.

The unfortunate part of this process is that, often, we are just coming to a glimmer of understanding and appreciation for our parents, when we lose them. My husband and I lost three of our parents between 1995 and 2000. It was only a few years after we came to the great understanding that "my dad (mom) didn’t get out of bed every morning and try to think up ways to make my life miserable." We had very few years left with them after we had that epiphany. I admit, I feel more than a little cheated.

Friday, March 5, 2004

MY Dream Life Movie Script (1 of 2)

Christina (ckays1967) wrote:

In life do we do what we are suppose to or do we do what we are born for?

Is a good job the right job?

When is it time to change?

Do you follow your head or heart?

What is the ideal career for you...schooling and aptitude aside?

The same day, or maybe the next, Marcy (punky5678) wrote a journal entry entitled "My Dream Life Movie Script."

How did you guys know that I was starting to get fed up with my job? That the old, "God, I wish I could do what I REALLY wanted with my life" was starting to swirl around my head again? So many of us who write journals write about what we wish we could be doing, instead of what we are doing. What is the difference between us and the people who end up having fantastic careers, doing exactly what they’ve always wanted to do? What do we lack? Opportunity? Funds? Chutzpah? A Sugar Daddy?

I told Marcy I would write my dream life script in my journal. It turned out to be a difficult task. Hard to choose what my REAL dream would be, since just about anything would be better than what I’m doing now. So, of the myriad of possibilities, I chose this:

MY Dream Life Movie Script (2 of 2)

I’m sitting on a bench in front of my eight-harness floor loom, working on another spectacular piece of fiber art for a rich client. The loom is strategically placed in front of the floor-to-ceiling windows of my studio, which is located in the upstairs of our 3000 square foot cedar A-frame in the Cascades (we have spectacular unobstructed views of fine snow-capped mountain peaks.) This is one of our three homes. We also own a seventeenth century cottage a few hours drive from London, and an apartment overlooking Central Park in New York. I have complete studios in each home.

Wonderful smells are drifting up the stairs from the kitchen, where the girl who "does" for us is fixing a light lunch. She is also making up something to put in the fridge for us to warm up for dinner. She comes in three days a week, does the cleaning and cooking. We have a lovely gourmet kitchen that is to die for, and I like to cook…I just don’t want to have to.

I get up from the bench and stretch…it’s time to change into my bathing suit and go down to the (indoor) pool to do my workout. I want to get it in before lunch. This evening, the community choral group that I’ve organized is coming over for a practice session. We’re going to be entertaining at a school benefit in a couple of weeks, and we’re trying to master some new material. Before they arrive, I’ll go out to my greenhouse to putter in my hydroponic vegetable garden…we get fresh lettuce and herbs, even in the middle of winter! Then out to the yard to check all my bird feeders.

We have forty acres here in Oregon, and we have several outbuildings for guests…in fact, there are three full guest houses, 1500 square feet each. My family comes up often to stay, sometimes for a month at a time. The husband’s family visits often, too. We have huge two-family reunions in the summers, with scads of kids, animals, and general hubbub. And then they all go home and leave me in peace to work on my weaving.