My favorite house

When I was 22, I spent a month or so housesitting for a friend of a friend of a friend in a house tucked into the foothills. It was early spring, and every morning I carefully poured coffee into my blue willow mug and took it out to the porch. Sometimes clouds would get caught in the foothills. Just tiny scraps of clouds. The cows fussed amicably in the field to my right. My neighbor’s daughter’s boyfriend tore down the dirt road in his Dodge Ram to pick her up and to take her to school. I had not yet started to write seriously.

When I was 23, I learned how to sit in a coffeeshop and write. My favorite place served chocolate chip muffins and was right near the train tracks. I watched the trains, watched the people around me, watched little lines fill my notebook. My roommate had a little black cat who once ripped my favorite new poem to shreds. Everyone is a critic, or maybe she sensed that I loved my writing more than I did her.

Now that I’m thirty-mumble, I write at my dining room table (Cougar would say that it is my parents’ table, but it is mine now, sorry), in a red dining room. Except that I didn’t write at all this weekend. I can see the small playground in the park from my window, and what cracks me up is the number of times I see adults on the swings, swinging as if their life depends on it.

What are your rites?

 

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12 responses to “My favorite house

  1. Our previous cat once chewed up one of my income tax forms, but it wasn’t my favorite schedule, so . . .

    After the kids go to bed, I fill a mug with hot peppermint tea and edit until 9:30, when I mark my place and turn to whichever of my projects I’ve thought about all day and transcribe my stack of scribbles-on-catalog cards until the kindling catches fire or the damp defeats me.

      • Schedule K.

        I had a small purposed trust fund from my grandmother that paid for most of grad school. The interest on the remainder provided a $1.24 check annually after I turned 25, but I had to report it because the IRS is a lovely institution. I filed that schedule until I turned 35 and was granted access to the remainder of the principle, which was enough to pay for a “Ding Dong the K is Gone” dinner for one at Wendy’s.

        Thus endeth the TMI. Before you ask, Mac chewed up Schedule A, about which I have mixed feelings.

  2. Early rising (2:30 a.m.), a pitcher of iced tea, a quiet house, and an effort of will to enter the mental space where my stories flow to me. No distractions, thank you.

  3. “My roommate had a little black cat who once ripped my favorite new poem to shreds. Everyone is a critic, or maybe she sensed that I loved my writing more than I did her.”

    Love that.

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