Come writers and critics
Who prophesize with your pen
And keep your eyes wide
The chance won’t come again (Bob Dylan)
This blog is not about the upcoming election, or Daylight Savings Time, or Columbus Day now designated Indigenous Peoples’ Day. No more Pinta, Nina, and Santa Maria, and rightly so. Disaster of a different kind has struck.
No, nobody’s sick. The house hasn’t burned down. I still have most of my teeth, though I lost a crown eating Sugar Babies. They look so innocent and delicious, but they are chewy little devils, so fair warning. Fortunately, I did not swallow the tooth with the candy, and it sits on my desk in a baggie rebuking me as I type. I have explained we’re in the middle of a pandemic, and it will have to wait to be reinserted.
I know in the wake of Hideous Current Events, this is a mere trifle, but…my yard guy is talking about leaving town and moving out west. Mike has been with us fourteen years through four houses. When we left Farmington, he followed us all the way to Belgrade in 2010 and then back to Farmington again in 2019. We have very little lawn in our new (to us—it was built in 1880) house, so he adjusted his fee accordingly. He has raked up millions of leaves and planted at least 1,000 bulbs between our last two houses. He and his wife came to our son’s outdoor lakeside wedding, for which he took such pains preparing the property. Despite the meticulous landscaping, the marriage didn’t last, but Mike is faithful, showing up every two weeks or so from early spring through late fall. He arrives with treats for our dog Fitz who loves him unabashedly and a political opinion we usually agree with.
We have given away our mower, string-trimmer, and wheelbarrow because Mike has all these things. During the course of our marriage (still lasting…50 years in January), both my husband and I have taken turns cutting the grass. Years ago, we conned our kids into doing the job with a riding mower “that was almost like driving,” but they have licenses and lawns of their own now.
I have discovered I don’t really like change, which is too bad, since publishing, like life, is moving at warp speed. I can’t seem to keep up with the various promotional schemes, trends, and brouhahas (I have always wanted to use that word somewhere). I don’t want an Instagram or TikTok account—Facebook and Twitter are tortuous enough.
Ten years ago, when I was first published, I had an active personal blog and contributed to several other group blogs on a weekly basis. My morning routine consisted of checking on favorite sites (around a dozen) daily. Most of the blogs I used to follow are no more. Today, I’m here (and very happy to be), but rarely post on my own website. Maybe I’m worried about running out of words, or staying relevant.
If you’re reading this, I thank you! Is there a Mike in your life you depend on? Do you have a special Internet site you don’t want to miss that’s gotten you through these odd times? Where do you go for book news? I visit Word Wenches and Crime Reads, and belong to the Crime Thru Time mailing list to get news on free historical mysteries. What else should I be doing, besides pricing lawn mowers?