Then I realized I had to get the neighborhood newsletter to the designer, so there went the one last calm hour of the day. Jacob watched TV and I worked on the newsletter and sent it. After that, chaos reigned--but a wonderful kind of chaos.
Jordan arrived and then my former neighbor, Meredith, with four-year-old Abby and Grayson, who is not quite two. Jordan had planned and prepared elaborate snacks for the kids, some of which they ate. She put out popcorn which they ate by the handfuls, and I put out some small oatmeal cookies that fascinated Grayson. He wanted to carry more and more in his hands. It's amazing how quickly you forget how much watching a two-year-old requires. Grayson is adorable but typically boy-busy. The girls and I tried to visit but spent a lot of time kid-monitoring, although Jacob is good about watching the younger children, and he did, at Meredith's request, do his Michael Jackson routine. This was a long overdue visit, and we all enjoyed it. As they left, Meredith met Sue, who had lived in the house next door before her and was now coming for a happy hour visit. When Christian heard that Sue ws here, he said, "Pour me a glass of wine. I'll be right there." So the four of us sat in the living room (mosquitos really bother Sue on the porch) and had a high old time, full of laughter (maybe the wine helped). Sue left, but Jordan and Jacob had to play with Sophie, and they were so cute we all had to take pictures It was seven before they all left and almost seven-thirty by the time the kitchen was tidied and I could re-heat that leftover lasagne from lunch. Finally I settled down to dinner at my desk, red pen in one hand, the manuscript in front of me, and Fred's notes beside it. I've actually rewritten one chapter--pretty good accomplishment, I'd say. But the first chapter didn't need much--it will get a lot harder as I get into it. May get one more done tonight.
Long story short: the reason I haven't written the Great American Mystery is that I have a life, one filled with family and friends, and I feel so blessed.