At this moment in time, 3:30 on a Friday afternoon, I sit at my computer table, composed of a wooden top affixed to the stand of an old Roberts brand treadle sewing machine. As I type, I gently move the treadle with my foot, as if I were actually sewing. I'm not sure if the rhythm of my typing creates the rhythm of the treadle, or vice versa.
I bought this table at an antique shop a few years ago. I was immediately entranced by its unique makeup and its top painted with white wisteria on a sage green background. It was never meant to be a computer desk, but now I wouldn't dream of using anything else.
As I look to the left I see the stone fireplace, made of rounded, river-polished rocks. Centered at the top of the fireplace opening is a Native American stone club, probably Lakota (Sioux). And probably a war club.
If I look to the right, I see the Gothic arch between my living and dining rooms. Beneath my feet are red oak hardwood floors. These three things, combined with the arched brick nook that holds my kitchen stove, are what prompted me to fall in love with, and buy, this house 26 years ago.
Like the one in Childe Hassam's painting, my living room is chock full of dark wooden furniture, little tables, a chintz-covered couch and chairs, books and more books. Some might call it cluttered, but nothing is out of place; everything is carefully positioned.
There are other treasures in my living and dining rooms: my precious Roseville, my mother-in-law's antique clock topped by the figurine of a Grecian woman, my beloved blue and white china.
As in Hassam's painting, the walls are crammed with pictures and paintings. No single color- coordinated picture above the couch for me! I consider my wall-to-wall picture style as English Style. The pictures include my Scottish castle oil painting, my print of the Washington Cathedral gardens, a large faux-oil dog painting above the fireplace, a Maxfield Parrish print, my bucolic English Lake District print, all combined with a couple of wildlife prints as a concession to the fact that my husband lives here too. (That shabby old recliner is his as well.)
There aren't any fresh flowers or plants at the moment, but there often are, most recently Easter lilies and daffodils.
In the kitchen, Gracie, my puppyish German short-haired pointer, is chowing down yet again. Penny, "The Big Red Dog", a golden retriever, sits patiently - oh so patiently - beside her ball, waiting for me to throw it outdoors. Every once in a while, if she is being ignored, she lets out a plaintive little groan.
I have left the patio door open on this glorious "finally-it's-spring" day. Through the doorway, I can see our giant American Elm's budding branches, which sweep down so gracefully over our deck. Though the dogs are free to go in and out as they please, they check on me frequently, worried that I might abandon them again, as I did earlier. Horrors, the thought that they might be left alone for an hour or two!
For once, I'm dressed up, in a nice pair of black slacks and black shoes, with a flowered top in magenta, tan and black. And for once I have put on earrings - magenta glass beads. I am dressed this way because I had a job interview at 1:00 p.m.
On my way back from the interview, I ran into a book lover's/rummage sale goer's dream: a rummage sale that was all books. I came away with seven books for $3.50. Afterward, feeling optimistic, I went to a Mexican restaurant for chicken fajitas, selecting one book to read while waiting for my meal.
Now, I type, with Oprah and Dr. Phil as background TV noise.
With these few paragraphs, did you get any sense of me as a person? The reason I ask - the reason I wrote this post - is that one of my book purchases today - the one I brought into the restaurant to read - was "Writing the World" by Kelly Cherry. In the book's prologue, Cherry does a similar point-in-time "exercise" about herself (she may not have considered it an exercise). I got a very good sense of her personality, so I thought I would give it a try too.
I didn't put a lot of time into this exercise - I wanted it to be off the cuff and spur of the moment.
Also, I was using it as a way to calm my nerves and pass the time until I heard the result of the interview.
At 4:45 PM:
P. S.: I just got the job. I'll be working in the continuing education department of our local state college. It is part time to begin with and hopefully it will become full time. I start Monday, so please pray for my success in this endeavor.
Also, please, PLEASE pray for rain here in Bismarck and all of North Dakota. We need it so badly.
We have had two grass fires this week WITHIN the Bismarck city limits. In my lifetime of living in North Dakota, I have seen prairie fires and river bottom fires. Three years ago, three area volunteer firefighters were, sadly, burned and/or otherwise injured when a prairie fire engulfed their fire truck. But I have never, ever, seen grass fires within the city limits.