Monday, September 02, 2013

Peoria, white shoes, and long holiday weekends

Bored Sophie

Many years ago, my mother was walking down a Chicago street with two friends, one of whom considered herself an expert on style and all things fashionable. “You never wear white shoes after Labor Day,” she intoned. “People will think you’re from Peoria.” My mother’s other friend was indeed from Peoria, and it was a touchy situation for a while. But Labor Day is the time we mark the traditional end of summer, though it will be hot for another month in Texas. Still, it’s  unfortunate that the true origin of the holiday has been overshadowed by the fact that it’s time to say goodbye to summer, put away those white shoes and bags, and welcome fall. Actually I haven’t worn white shoes, except tenners, in a long time.

Holiday weekends can be long when you live alone. I find like a lot of other things the anticipation is worse than the reality. I began to worry last week about how to fill my weekend, but I had Jacob overnight Saturday, we met his mom at church on Sunday, and Sunday night I went to a nice gathering at the home of neighbors—stayed out later than I’m used to.

Today, though, I’ve had my face in the computer screen all day—wrote a belated Potluck with Judy (should have written it last night but all creativity was gone when I got home). Mostly, though, the day was spent doing second edits on a manuscript for my publisher. It’s a good story, and you’ll like the book when it comes out—probably titled Poplar Place. The author, Ellen Butler, and I addressed structural issues and the like in the first edits, and she’s done a nice job of clearing up some questions. She’s also stood up for herself a few times, as in “Please leave this.” Now I’m doing line by line copy-editing, which is a bit slow. So far today I’ve done 129 pages.

Sophie found my day particularly dull. None of her special friends came to visit her, and I’m no fun, though I did throw a toy for her a lot this morning. Poor baby—she’s wandered around, sometimes disconsolately with a toy in her mouth. Tomorrow Jacob will be here briefly to cheer her up.

I didn’t find the day as dull as she did because I was occupied and had a goal, but I’ll be glad of human contact tomorrow—haven’t even talked to anyone on the phone today—and I’ll be glad to return to routine. Still a day like this every once in a while is good for the soul—and sure makes you feel efficient.

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