where the writers are
Life Goes On

While Jeannie’s family was leaving Woodsong at 6:30 Saturday morning on their way to Nashville for Leslie to start college there, Gerry was hurriedly signing off the phone with his dad.  The moving van had surprised him by arriving early in Georgia, where he and Vickie and Geri Ann had been sleeping on air mattresses in their rented house. 


Our family has been busy adjusting to many changes and the new school year.  Erin is in her new quarters at College Station, Texas, with a new address since she is renting a different house with other girls.  Mary Ellen and Brian have seen Trent enter his sophomore year in high school while Bri started her last year of middle school.  Here in Marion, Samuel was just entering middle school this week. 


Gerald has been busy helping collect Gerry’s dog paraphernalia at their old house, talking to the movers while they packed, and visiting with the terrific neighbor who is feeding and watering the two dogs Gerry will soon collect.  I got to pick up Samuel and Josh one day and find out where to meet them in the nearby parking lot at this new school.  With Sam’s trombone in the trunk and listening to the guys chat, I realized although it seems like yesterday, it’s been a long time since I used to occasionally pick up Sam and another neighbor kid from Pre-K. 


In the meantime at the farm, I was busy working on an article for the next anthology our Southern Illinois Writers Guild is planning.  I left the farm Thursday to get my hair fixed, run by Katherine’s, and go on to Guild to hear Jacinda Townsend speak. I was thrilled to be presented with a gift from Jari Jackson—her new book.


Friday noon we drove over to meet up with my brother and wife and her siblings for lunch at the Golden Corral.  Jim and Vivian were finishing up two days of visiting friends and relatives in this end of the state.  Today they were celebrating their 54th wedding anniversary.  Our parents had this same August 24th wedding date, so I have thought of them this day.


I baked a couple more main dish zucchini pies that look good on the plate with Gerald’s bright red garden tomatoes.  Before Jeannie’s  family arrived, I decided to let the other loaf of zucchini bread stay in the freezer and made two fresh loaves—one the delicious kind that is difficult to stop eating and one that is less tasty but more healthy.  Doing two things at once while I was baking them, I forgot to oil the bundt pans.  The delicious one fell apart and I had a hard time refraining from eating the tempting crumbs.  The healthy one turned out absolutely beautiful. 


Talking to a neighbor on the phone while I fixed sloppy Joes Friday night for the  midnight snack for Jeannie and Rick’s  family’s, I burned the bottom layer in the heavy pan,  Fortunately there was plenty left not only for them, but Gerald and I had the leftovers as sandwiches for two weekend meals. Now all I have to do is finish cleaning the pan which is soaking in the garage.


I wanted to drive to Anna yesterday morning to hear Kathy Cotton talk on poetry there at Union County Writers Group, but too little sleep on Friday night combined with the price of gas kept me home. 


The week was saddened by the death of a too-young man, who grew up in our old neighborhood just a half a mile away.  His parents must live through that awful experience of having their child die before them.   The dad fought in World War II, and this younger man fought in Viet Nam.  Although he had a career in the coal mines like his father, Steve was plagued with cancer and other health problems. I am not sure how many were related to his service in Viet Nam.  We sat at the funeral home with our 90-year-old friend Chester, who also had a son fight in Viet Nam and who was killed in a car wreck soon after he came home.  Life can be cruelly unfair and desperately difficult when it must go on without those we love the most.