Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Hilpin Adventures

So we are finally starting to be at a really good place with The War I Finally Won, which is the sequel to The War That Saved My Life, which I fondly hoped some time ago would be published by now, but eh, at least it'll be worthwhile when it does come out. I'm still shifting scenes around, so yesterday I got out some blank paper and wrote out notes by hand, chapter by chapter. I felt like I'd made excellent progress, so you can imagine my dismay when I looked the notes over this morning and read:

Add hilpin. Or maybe hatpin. Or something.

I tried copying my own scrawl to see if the letters would somehow form real words if I tried to write them over, but no, I only got variations on hilpin. Or hatpin. For the record, the last time a hatpin featured in a plot was in the Borrowers series.

Anyway most of the rest of it makes some sense, and that's good, because all sorts of mechanical things are frankly falling apart right now. Last week I took some frozen bratwurst out of the freezer and they weren't. Weren't frozen. They were still cold, and since their package had been stuck on the freezer door they were the warmest thing in the freezer, which means I didn't lose a whole ton of frozen meat, but it was a close-run thing there. We have an auxiliary freezer in the basement and we moved everything down there fast. Then we monitored the refrigerator side--for a bit I thought it was still cooling, but nope. Emptied that. We have a dorm-room sized refrigerator ready for my daughter to take to college; right now it's keeping our milk and cheese from spoiling, while a refrigerator's worth of beer and pickles hangs out on the kitchen island, and has been since last Wednesday. The first day the repairman could come is tomorrow. I wish I were making that up.

Meanwhile there have been here a series of other small disasters, and a whole bunch of college preparation--not the academic kind, more the I-need-XL twin sheets-kind. I've got to tell you, the big superstores have turned this college thing into a giant marketing scheme. They've got flyers saying What You Need for Your Dorm Room and most of it is completely superfluous. Ironing board, iron, ironing board cover? Uh, right. Cause that's going to happen.

I felt like my mother was right about college: you need bedding, towels, and at least two weeks' worth of underwear.

My mother was right about a lot of things. She has always been very very good at not giving out extra parenting advice. She never tried to tell me how to discipline my children or feed them or when or how to put them to bed. She mostly loved them, played cards with them, and made them cookies. But very early onto my own journey into motherhood she spoke sharply to me about parenting for the only time. I was talking to her about my weeks-old son. "I can't wait for him to start smiling and reacting to me," I said. "I can't wait for him to get a little older."

"Don't say that," she said. "Never wish for your time with him to go faster. Enjoy every day. It will all go by too fast."

That's why, instead of worrying over what I meant by hilpin, I'm heading out to the barn with my daughter. Then I'm having lunch downtown with my son. Then I'm getting a massage.

Then I'm disinfecting the refrigerator. I mean, come on, life's still real.