Friday, October 19, 2012

Day Nineteen

Thirty-One, A Novel

A reminder: if you are joining us midstream, these daily chapters are posted consecutively over at
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Day One
Day Two  
Day Three
Day Four
Day Five
Day Six
Day Seven
Day Eight
Day Nine
Day Ten
Day Eleven
Day Twelve
Day Thirteen
Day Fourteen
Day Fifteen
Day Sixteen
Day Seventeen
Day Eighteen

Day Nineteen, Friday

Today, Morgan wanted to weed in the backyard, sweep off the patio, go to Home Depot to buy the sandpaper and paint for the table and dresser, and read. Winter Solstice was waiting for her.  How were Elfrida and Oscar coping with all the changes? And who was this Sam guy? How would he be part of their story?

First, her cleaning day. She made a quick pass through the rooms, stopped especially to enjoy the space and emptiness of the guest room. She left the door open, now. This will be a happy place, a productive place, and soon, she thought. She vacuumed and dusted and straightened, opened windows to bring in the crisp breeze.  She stood at the open window, drinking in the cool air. Her house was becoming more than a place to hide in, a place to keep her busy. Her house, like herself, was opening up.

Before she went to Home Depot, she measured the spaces with the missing drawers on the dresser. The frame pieces for the drawers were still there. It would be simple to nail a piece of wood on to those to make a floor for the baskets. Morgan tried the existing drawers in different spots, deciding where she would rather have the empty slots, decided on the top two spaces for the baskets. She would have them cut the pieces there, then she could nail them on and paint them. Should be simple. She measured for the baskets, too, and put the measurements in her wallet to have when she found some she liked.

By two o’clock, she was back home and out on the patio, her feet up on the footstool, a glass of cold lemonade beside her. The book sat unopened in her lap. A soft smile on her face, she gazed across the yard. The yellow and purple chrysanthemums bloomed happily. The alyssum spilled over the edges of the pot. The purple and white petunias still had blossoms, although they were starting to look tired.

She thought of the other back yard. Run ragged by that dog. Trampled by her boys. Ignored by her husband. She loved having a space she could take care of, keep beautiful, enjoy on her own. Surprised by the calm she felt. A few months ago, she wouldn’t have thought this possible. Then, in the middle of the crisis, she didn’t feel like life would ever feel normal again.

An army of memories marched by. Tom, leading the way with his banner of anger and resentment toward anyone, everyone. Her boys, Eli and Shane, caught in the sour moods, unable to gain his respect or attention.  She, unable to balance the atmosphere in the house, unable to keep the peace between them all. Until that last blowout happened.

She picked up the book. Opened it to her bookmark, and sighed. Perhaps, this odd combination of characters will be able to sort themselves out, recover from their mistakes, rebuild their messed up lives. I hope so, it would give me hope and courage, too, she thought.

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