I went to church this morning, ordinarily not a big occasion but I've been avoiding it lately and then of course, filled with guilt, trying to figure out why. Maybe it's because I dislike going alone--still true. The ranks of the women I used to sit with have dwindled, several due to illness and one to death. Jordan and Christian have no space in their life now for chuch, with Christian working on Sundays, but I'm confident they'll return when Jacob is old enough for Sunday school. Then there's the fact that I had a couple of classic "lost my balance" episodes in the church parking lots--but I can valet park right by the door. And finally there's habit--I've gotten out of the habit of both church and exercise, and I think I'd feel better if I did both.
So the new me set off for church today with a great deal of vigor--and I was so glad I went. I got several hugs, and one woman rushed up to say she was loving my collection of short stories, which she's now reading with her book club (I will speak to them in October), and I found friends to sit with. I was glad to be back in the familiar and comforting ritual, and I enjoyed the sermon though I think I took from it a different message than the minister intended. It was sort of on thinking outside the box to further's God's work (title was "My Scheming Friends"), but when he cited a peacemaking group in Chicago and their efforts to create "safe zones" in a neighborhood by enlisting the help of gang leaders in painting a mural, I heard the line, "Let us be peacemakers." It's so much what I think this country should do. Instead of approaching the world with belligerance and threats, why do we not go out to say "How can we get people to work together and respect each other? How can we help those in poverty, hunger, illness?" We've got Theodore Roosevelt's big stick but insead of walking softly we are brandishing it with vigor. It both scares and angers me.
I'm reading The Memory Keeper's Daughter, one of those much-discussed contemporary books that everyone else reads while I stick to mysteries. But neighbor Sue, in her ceaseless effort to widen my reading, left this on the porch table. After a glance at the dust jacket and reading two pages, I abandoned the P.D.James I was trying to read (James is so slow to my mind) and have had to tear myself away to index my children's book on Audie Murphy. The index turned out to be quite a chore. I've got a draft done, will let it "set" while I nap, and then check it again.
Last weekend I had too much of my own company, so I determined to get out more this weekend--and I did. My regular shopping, plus a bit of clothes shopping which saved me a great deal of money because I didn't find anything. Last night I went out to have wine and cheese with Jordan and Jacob, but he was in his fussy, "I want only Mama" mood--not as much fun as he usually is. They had come for supper the night before, and he was charming. Jordan says he's trying to show her how he wants to change his schedule and she just hasn't gotten the picture yet. But long weekends were supposed to be over for a while--we were going to Austin next weekend, but now that's in doubt; then the next I hoped for a brief visit in Frisco because I need to be in Dallas Thursday night--but after I'd made all those arrangements, I realized I can't spend the weekend in Frisco--I have two book signings, morning and afternoon, on that Saturday. But the following weekend I'll go to Frisco for sure--Jamie has a triathlon, Mel and Maddie have Brownie camp, and I get to hang out with (and babysit for) Edie. I'm looking forward to that.
Meantime, I keep busy. Tonight I'm going to fix myself a chicken/tomato/rice soup I found that sounds light and good--and I'm going to keep reading. Of course I do have the cookbook to keep rewriting, the great chefs book to begin, the Robert E. Howard column to write. More about all of those later.