I am very impressed with September's ability to fight off August's efforts to appropriate a few of its days. Bravo September, plucky 30 day month.
September is always a significant month in the Pfeffer family, since it hosts my mother's birthday (100 years of birthdays to be celebrated Monday Sept. 5) and my brother's birthday, and my parents' wedding anniversary. In addition, my father had emergency open heart surgery on Sept. 7 and regarded that as a second birthday. I used to spend a lot of money in September on gifts.
Speaking of my mother and my parents' anniversary, my job for September is to clear out my mother's apartment. She has made the official move to the Health Center, where people look after her and bring her three meals a day and comment regularly about how cute she is.
Clearing her apartment out is a good stress reducing job for me, since it distracts me from thinking about my editor reading The Shade Of The Moon. My editor had been under the impression that August had an extra 5-7 days attached to it, so she was taken by surprise when the book arrived on schedule.
My new term for The Shade Of The Moon is domestic dystopian, and my new excuse for anything my editor might object to is, "It's all Princess Summerfallwinterspring's fault!" I always like being blameless.
Back to my mother's apartment, which is where I'll be going back to soon enough. We have 30 days minus 2 at this point to clear it out. It's not that bad a job, because my mother had done a great deal of downsizing throughout the years, so it's not like an 8 room house with a hundred years of memories. And there are the hidden treasures that make this sort of job worth doing. I have found over $1.57 in loose change already (I think it was $1.58, but I didn't count the pennies too carefully). We found some kind of silver coin collectible that my brother priced on the open market, and if the market is open enough, we stand to make at least $12 from it. And my mother has an extraordinary collection of slipper socks from her various stays in hospitals. Green and grey are the favored colors.
What I did find are my parents' ledger books from the time of their engagement and marriage. Apparently they wrote down every penny they spent on groceries. Boy, did they use a lot of butter. My mother said she gained 20 pounds that first year of marriage, and now I know why. The ledgers were kept in marble composition books, full of useful information on the back. The English pound sterling was worth $4.86.65 and 24 sheets of paper=1 quire. Who knew?
Here's a list of purchases my parents made to set up their kitchen. Notice how they bought two different kinds of can openers and a flashlight. They knew someday their daughter was going to write Life As We Knew It, and encourage those kinds of purchases to people around the world (granted, not including their daughter, who waited about five years after the publication of her novel to buy a flashlight to call her own).
Now if only I could find that 10 cent square grater. I'm certain it could bring in at least 2 bucks on eBay!