Coronavirus Chronicles, Memoir, Memoir exercises

I am looking at…

^^^Outside my “office” window at home. The houses on this street are very close together. Often this space is a driveway that leads to the back yards, where most houses used to have a small garage or carriage house. Most of those have been torn down or converted into something else. We have a 1996 jet ski (not seen here, but just below the photograph) that hasn’t been moved in 12 years. It is a point of contention between my husband and I that has never been resolved. I finally gave up. Our neighbors are not currently at home. They are living in Thailand and Tanzania, and will be back soon. They have all kind of security and if I get up to go to the bathroom at night the motion detector on their house senses my movement within my house and turns on an outside light. Kind of creepy in a way, but it makes for a good night light. Pablocito has a box on a table beside this window where he often annoys me during Zoom meetings by scratching on the curtains and rubbing his head on my shoulder and sometimes biting me on the head. He is scratching on the curtain and purring right now.

^^^My messy table that I use for work. This used to be my studio table. I have a couple of folding tables set up for that stuff now. Lots of USB cords. I couldn’t figure out why I couldn’t transfer my phone camera files to the laptop for a while this morning. Turned out that I had one USB cord plugged into the laptop and a different one plugged into the phone. Duh. I have notes for work here but also a note about how much income I can expect if I retire at 62. Eyes on the prize. There is also a writing pad with a checklist of cleaning tasks that I thought would keep me on target for getting this house deep cleaned. That lasted for two days.

^^^I should have taken a “before” photo. How many times have I said that? Instead of weaving yesterday, I made soup and tackled purging and cleaning the linen closet. This was a major undertaking. I filled half of a large garbage bin, mostly with old sheets and pillowcases that no one would want. I kept a lot of them because we have different sizes of beds at the lake house, but lately my sister has been making up the beds for us before we visit. Besides, a queen sheet will fit anything smaller if you tuck it in right. I had some old sheets in there that I found or bought with the idea that I would dye them and weave rag rugs with them. Bye, sheets, hello room for the vacuum cleaner and accessories. Bye, years old lotions and ointments and cough drops and medications and nutritional supplements and samples from natural foods stores. This closet is so tall that it is impossible to do much with the top shelf, but I managed to put a box of heirloom stuff up there and some new curtains with which I intend to replace these curtains that Pablocito is shredding now. I’ll probably wait until we are ready to sell the house so that they don’t get ruined too.

Prompt from “Old Friend from Far Away: The Practice of Writing Memoir” by Natalie Goldberg.