Doing The Write Thing
By John R. Greenwood
I took a week off work to work. It takes me a week to reclaim my garage, cellar, and tool shed from the accumulation of all the pieces, parts, and tools I use working on my assorted winter projects. I'm sure there are others like me who are so anxious to finish the job they slack off when it comes to the cleanup. That has been a problem of mine since I was a kid. I remember the look on my father's face when he would find his cherished hand tools rusting in the woods at the base of one of my many tree forts. The veins in his forehead would pop out a quarter inch. It worked out okay though because years later when my boys wanted to use my tools to build forts I would let them use the rusty stuff I ruined as a kid. Life has a way of working itself out.
So, here it is day four of a summer vacation and this is my first post. The last thing I posted was on our 39th wedding anniversary. I guess that's the point I want to make. As a husband, father, employee, writer, homeowner, citizen, and creative artist I have many rules and responsibilities. I spent days one and two weeding out and reorganizing my garage and cellar. Both were necessary tasks and each took a full day to complete. On day three the sun finally made a commitment to stick around, so a day of yard work was in order.
By day four my writing itch need scratching. Usually a walk around the block (1.5 miles) is enough to ignite a story. This time was a little different. My responsible, homeowner, husband-personality showed up unexpectedly. It poked me in the shoulder, looked me square in the eye, and with the sternness of a serious parent listed a dozen things that I have been putting off for months.
This has been my dilemma forever. Where do you separate need from want? When does the need to grab a pad and pen supersede the responsibility of maintaining your home, job, or marriage? It is a constant balancing act for me. A tightrope walk between being a devoted husband, loyal employee, responsible adult, and creative artist, who enjoys eating and having a dry roof over his head.
When it all boils down I find that this is not such a horrible problem to have. Number one, I have a beautiful wife to answer to. She provides a warm and loving home for me to enjoy. It comes with clean clothes, rotating baked goods, fresh flowers a plenty, and a life-long vow to love me for better or worse. I own a simple home located in the epicenter of all things important. It's less than a mile to a fresh gallon of milk and dozen eggs. Our jobs are both so close they can't be called a commute. I am ten minutes away from the Las Vegas Strip of Shopping. Thin plastic bags full of over priced groceries, watch batteries, and cheap lawn chairs are all accessible within tens minutes and a quart of gas. No it's not an island getaway but it screams American Dream and I have zero reason to complain.
The week began with dreams of early morning writing jags at the picnic table in the side yard, with the birds singing and providing an inspiring backdrop. Dreams and visions don't always align perfectly. You have to be resilient and quick on your feet. When duty calls you have to be prepared to change course. Sometimes it requires flexing the responsible adult.
In the end I got back to my roots. Back to that primal need to be a home owner and create a comfortable oasis of my own. I owed it to my surroundings to give back all the good things it had given me all winter. It gave me warmth and refuge from the craziness of the world around me. I can now navigate my garage without fear of a visit from OSHA. My cellar is organized and brimming with pride not boxes and my yard is back to respectable status. Two newly installed replacement windows grace the front of the house and I still have a weekend left to do what I really want to do. Paint the dining room????