Friday, August 29, 2008

Happy Last Gasp Of Summer

Personally, I do better with the transitional seasons, fall and spring.

I haven't heard back from my editor yet about the interweaving version of the possible third book that I suggested. I've given up trying to read the non-existent tea leaves.

Switching metaphors with dazzling assurance, I've been filling my dance card for the fall. Next Friday, Carol and Marci and I will be having lunch with my mother, in celebration of her 97th birthday. My mother and I visited Dr. Thyroid yesterday, and my mother is doing fine. She seems to be recovering from both falls, and her blood pressure (110/70) leaves me to believe she's going to live forever. Among my autumn tasks will be to teach her how to be comfortable with her computer and the internet, since that's going to be the primary way of watching figure skating this season. Wish me luck.

Speaking of birthdays, my sister-in-law and brother both have birthdays in the immediate future. And my sister-in-law will soon be a grandmother for the first time, something wonderful to celebrate.

My apartment is due for a thorough fall cleaning, and the big autumn job is to clean up the outside storage closet, which will involve all kinds of keep or throw out decisions. I put a lot of sentimental attachment items in there when I moved to my apartment four years ago, but since I haven't looked at them in four years, I have to question just how sentimentally attached I am. On the back wall of the storage closet is a locker, which holds all the extra copies of my books, and it's been quite the challenge to open its doors.

Among the things I need to dust are my social skills. Counter intuitively, I'm in process of giving up the volunteer job I've held for fifteen years. Working at the Friends Of Middletown Thrall Library Used Bookstore every Wednesday has been my primary social outlet. I've smiled and said thank you to dozens of strangers each week, as I've taken their quarters and dollars.

But I need to conquer the great power of inertia and try new things, meet new people. I've located at least four local non-profit organizations I'm interested in, and that doesn't include helping out in the upcoming political campaign (I really like my congressperson, John Hall, although probably not enough to make phone calls or knock on doors).

And, of course, new book or no new book, I still have a career. I have the FAME conference in less than a month, and a school visit to Missouri scheduled for November, as well as NCTE in San Antonio.

This has been a long complicated August that was part of a long complicated summer. I don't know that fall is going to be any simpler, but I hope it will be different.

Any of you feel like coming over and helping me dust?


Marci said...

I'll help you dust. I fully expect you to miss the book store and come back at least occasionally.

You forgot to tell everyone that I am bringing your mother an ice cream cake!

Susan Beth Pfeffer said...

Hi Marci-

I did consider mentioning the ice cream cake, but I was afraid of a mob scene of Anonymouses crashing the party if I let them know.

Oh dear. The secret is out. I'll have to warn my mother!

Anonymous said...

Ice cream cake? I'm on my way!

Anonymous said...

What a pleasure to have your website come up looking so...what is it?...elegant, yet inviting? Something like that.

As you go through the items in the outside storage area, and you have and might toss anything that came from this end, feel free to toss it back up here, what with us having such exquisite taste and all.

Walter Slezak, et al

Susan Beth Pfeffer said...

Hi Anonymous and Anonymous Walter Slezak et al-

I have one suggestion for all Anonymice who are planning to storm the barracades in search of ice cream cake- come early. Marci is under strict instructions to bring a small cake.

As far as returning items to Anonymous Walter Slezak et al, my guess is anything you gave me over the years, I'm keeping. But I'll know better when the great cleanup begins (which won't be today, when I intend to add to the madness by shopping with carefree abandon at New Paltz Crafts Fair).

It won't be before Thursday, now that I think about it, since Monday/Tuesday I plan to watch tennis with the sound off and listen to the audio verson of d&g, and Wednesday will be one of my last few times at the Friends bookstore.

Anonymous said...

I just read that Winston and Salem did not merge until 1913, which would place Freda's birthplace in one or the other? Which? Historical minds want to know. Is her birthday the 5th or the 9th, anyway.


Susan Beth Pfeffer said...

Hi Anonymous W.S.-

Freda's birthday is Sept. 5, and I have no idea if she was born in Winston or in Salem. She always told me she was born in Winston-Salem, but then again, she wouldn't have any memories of its unification.

She's pretty good about remembering street names, and I suppose I could ask her what street she started out on and then do massive amounts of research to determine if it was in the Winston part or the Salem part.